Review: “Thor” rebuffs Marvel mainstream

Comedy takes brand in new direction


Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor.

Kalleen Rose Ozanic, Editor-in-Chief

Until November 3, American audiences impatiently awaited the release of “Thor: Ragnarok”, which trailers guaranteed to be a fresh look at the Asgardian’s tale. Having been hyped for months prior, it would have been a shame had “Ragnarok” not delivered, but fear not–it did! While I would normally caution readers against spoilers, I feel that there isn’t much left to the imagination after the trailers and film promotions. When Odin’s (Hopkins) secret firstborn daughter, Hela (Blanchett), is unleashed after his death, Thor is banished to the planet Sakaar. There, Thor plots his escape with his estranged brother Loki, (Hiddleston) former-Asgardian Valkyrie (Thompson), and the Hulk (Ruffalo), who, if keen audiences remember, whisked himself away on a jet after the events of “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. They are met by opposition from the planet’s autocrat, the Grandmaster, portrayed by Jeff Goldblum. Upon returning to Asgard, the trio defeats Hela and ventures to find a new world to inhabit with their citizenry in tow.

Perhaps most significant, though, aside from Thor and his companions defeating their most formidable enemy yet, is that the film takes a large step away from the typical Marvel action-drama genre. “Thor: Ragnarok” is undeniably hilarious.

When considering other Marvel movies, such as “Avengers: Age of Ultron” or “Captain America: Civil War”, there is a clear distinction between the film’s events and the way in which they interact with the audience.
In most of Marvel’s productions, the drama of character arcs and relationships is balanced well with action, to provide an experience that is multi-faceted and allows for a connection with the audience in multiple ways.
“Captain America: Civil War” for instance is punctuated with high flying action and pyrotechnics, but one cannot help but feel that these films miss the mark in truly engaging the audience, aside from quirky one-liners that are tossed in.

Then, here comes Thor. “Thor: Ragnarok” is arguably Marvel’s first comedy that bridges the gap between comedy, action, and drama. There is something about this movie that gives it so much more than “Guardians of the Galaxy”, though I am a fan of that series as well. For instance, “Ragnarok” begins with some slapstick humor, where Thor is recounting his travels through the nine realms to a dilapidated skeleton, wondering how they both ended up in such a predicament. This brought raucous laughter to the audience, and started the movie off on the right foot, clarifying then that this film would be a full-fledged comedy. But when the film balances Thor’s relationships with humor, the movie becomes incredibly diverse. Thor has a heart-to-heart with his brother, Loki, describing how he thought they would once fight together in battle forever, brothers till the end. This scene concluded with Thor dragging Loki’s body into the firefight, begging for help, only to knock down the coming assailants like bowling pins with Loki’s limp frame.

In every part of “Thor: Ragnarok” there was clear effort to connect to the fanbase with humor and visual references to the original comics. I do feel that Loki and Thor did not have enough time to mourn the death of their father, and this event was just steamrolled over, but overall, I have no major complaints.

Marvel apparently succeeded in being adventurous, and taking a step in a new direction. I can’t wait to see what Marvel’s future holds. I’m hanging in there until May 4 for “Avengers: Infinity War”, though, so see you then!