Review: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ impresses, does not exceed expectations

Story​ ​by​ ​Nicholas​ ​Lester / Contributing Writer

If​ ​you’ve​ ​read​ ​any​ ​reviews​ ​for​ ​​”Thor: Ragnarok”​​ ​before​ ​this​ ​one​,​ ​you​ ​might​ ​walk​ ​into​ ​the​ ​theater​ ​with​ ​the​ ​expectation​ ​to​ ​see​ ​Marvel Studio’s​ ​production​ ​of​ ​the​ ​cure​ ​for​ ​cancer.​ While​ ​it’s​ ​definitely​ ​good,​ ​it’s​ ​not​ ​all that​ ​many​ ​critics​ ​would​ ​have​ ​you​ ​believe.

Yes, the movie deserves praise, but it’s too early to give it an over-ecstatic label of approval. So ​what​ ​about​ ​the​ ​movie​ ​has​ ​the​ ​critics​ ​praising​ ​it​ ​like​ ​the​ ​gods​ ​that​ ​these characters​ ​are?

For​ ​one,​ ​the​ ​humor.​ ​​ ​There’s​ ​a​ ​scene​ ​where​ ​a​ ​character​ ​names​ ​his​ ​two​ swords​ ​Dez​ ​and​ ​Troy​ ​to​ ​create​ ​the​ ​name​ ​Destroy​, although it​ ​remains​ ​unclear​ ​why​ ​he​ ​named them​ ​after​ ​Dallas​ ​Cowboys​ ​players.​ ​​​Also, Doctor​ ​Strange​ ​uses​ ​his​ ​powers​ ​that​ ​he perfected​ ​in​ ​his​ ​own​ ​movie​ ​to​ ​mess​ ​with​ ​Thor’s​ ​mind, which is quite comical.​ Lastly, Thor,​ ​Loki,​ ​Bruce​ ​Banner ​and Valkyrie​ ​play​ ​off​ ​each​ ​other​ ​very​ ​well​ ​and​ ​share​ ​some​ ​hilarious​ ​exchanges.​ 

Also, the​ ​trailers​ ​that​ ​had​ ​you​ ​thinking​ ​that​ ​this movie​ ​was​ “​Guardians of the Galaxy​ ​Volume​ ​3″​ ​didn’t​ ​entirely​ ​lie​ ​to​ ​you.​ ​​ ​The​ ​humor,​ ​style​ ​and​ ​characters are​ ​straight​ ​out​ ​of​ ​a​ “​Guardians”​ ​movie. Thor​ ​is​ ​the​ ​strong​ ​guy​ ​with​ ​abs​ ​who​ ​can​ ​take a​ ​comically​ ​unrealistic​ ​amount ​of​ ​punishment​ ​and​ ​walk​ ​away​ ​pretty​ ​much​ ​unscathed, just like​ ​Drax​ ​the​ ​Destroyer.​ Hulk​ ​is​ ​the​ ​muscle​ ​of​ ​the​ ​team​ ​who​ ​can​ ​take​ ​out​ ​several dozen​ ​interchangeable,​ ​faceless​ ​bad​ ​guys​ ​at​ ​once​, identical ​to​ ​Groot. Valkyrie​ ​is​ ​basically the​ ​town​ ​drunkard​ ​who​ ​is​ ​also​ ​the​ ​team’s​ ​female​ ​tough guy, ​a​ ​combination​ ​of​ ​Rocket and​ ​Gamora.

Another reason critics love the movie is the​ ​costumes​ ​and​ ​set​ ​design, which​ ​are​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​best​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Marvel Cinematic Universe to​ ​date.​ Jeff Goldblum’s​ ​character​, who​ ​mostly​ ​acts​ ​and​ ​speaks​ ​like​ ​Ian​ ​Malcolm​ ​in​ ​”Jurassic Park,” ​looks​ ​like​ ​a​ ​professional​ ​interior​ ​designer​ ​painted​ ​his​ ​costumes​ ​on​ ​him. Tessa​ ​Thompson also sports a​ ​costume that’s pretty impressive and even ​looks​ ​like​ ​a​ ​female version​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Tin​ ​Man​ ​from​ ​”The Wizard​ ​of​ ​Oz​,” ​minus​ ​the​ ​helmet. And let’s not forget​ ​Hela’s​ ​elk-like version​ ​of Maleficent’s costume​; all​ ​of​ ​them somehow​ ​look​ ​incredible.

However,​ ​no​ ​movie​ ​is​ ​perfect​ ​and​ ​this​ ​one​ ​is​ ​no​ ​exception.​ ​​ ​As​ ​usual,​ ​Marvel continues​ ​to​ ​struggle​ ​to​ ​create​ ​an​ ​interesting,​ ​multi-dimensional​ ​villain.​ ​Hela ​was not all​ ​that​ ​intimidating. In fact,​ ​it seemed like her script​ ​was​ ​copied and pasted from​​ ​pretty​ ​much​ ​every​ ​other​ ​Marvel​ ​film​ ​to​ ​date. Plus, ​a​ ​big​ ​reveal​ ​that​ ​involves​ ​her character​ ​felt​ ​forced.​ ​​ ​​ ​

There​ ​were​ ​also​ ​a​ ​handful​ ​of​ ​elements​ ​that​ ​I​ ​could​ ​clearly​ ​tell were​ ​borrowed​ ​from​ ​other​ ​films;​ ​they​ ​even​ ​lifted​ ​the​ ​river​ ​scene​ ​straight​ ​out​ ​of​ “​​Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.”

But​ ​for​ ​the​ ​most​ ​part,​ ​it​ ​lives​ ​up​ ​to​ ​the​ ​hype.​ If​ ​you​ ​like​ ​the​ ​MCU​ ​or​ ​if​ ​you​ ​just​ ​want to​ ​have​ ​a​ ​Hela-vatime​,​ ​go​ ​see​ ​​”Thor: Ragnarok.”

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

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