Marvel Cinematic Universe Continue to Improve Their Storytelling
By: Kenny Velez
After the disappointment that was “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, Marvel’s next film is an improvement, that being “Thor: Ragnarok.”
Thor (Chris Hemsworth), returns home to Asgard and forces Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to reveal he has been disguising himself as Odin (Anthony Hopkins) for some time.
After finding his father, a new threat reveals herself to Thor and Loki. Her name is Hela (Cate Blanchett), and she is Thor’s long lost sister.
She smashes his hammer Mjolnir to pieces during the ensuing fight, and knocks Thor and Loki to another world.
There, Thor is forced to fight in the arena against his former ally: The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Now, he must make his way back to Asgard before Hela can start ragnarok or the apocalypse, but he first needs help from an Asgardian warrior named Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) in order to do so.
The action sequences are shot well and are easy to follow. There were some awesome moments in the beginning of the movie, like when Mjolnir flew through the enemies Thor was fighting. The camera even focused on the hammer like it was in first-person perspective, which was cool.
Thor has a more creative display of his powers this time around, as he can generate lighting by himself without the use of his hammer.
Lightning appears in his fingertips early on as his eyes glow blue. It covers him when he uses his lightning in combat. He also has to fight without his hammer after it is destroyed, and he learns to rely on a pair of short swords.
The Hulk’s fight scenes are not simply shots of him running towards an opponent and beating them senseless. Instead, he uses weapons such as a hammer and an axe. His most used power in the movie is his leaping ability.
Thor makes an unusual choice where he chooses to let the prophecy of Ragnarok be fulfilled in order to defeat Hela.
In most other superhero stories, the hero would choose to prevent the prophecy from happening and save his hometown. He does this by allowing Surtur, the monster that he destroyed in the beginning of the movie, to be resurrected.
This is another unusual choice he makes, as in the other stories, world-level threats such as Surtur would be the main villain. Here, he is essentially a weapon used by the hero to beat another villain, which is pretty brilliant.
There are some flaws however.
Like in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, there were instances where jokes were said during serious moments and it felt somewhat forced. It’s a common Marvel thing but sometimes it doesn’t feel natural.
For example, towards to the end of the movie, the character Korg said that Asgard could be rebuilt. Then, what remained of Asgard exploded like it was Krypton, and he laments that it can’t.
The joke killed whatever tension the scene could have had. If you cut out all the superhero stuff, this movie would be a comedy.
The movie tries too hard to be funny. Most of the jokes do not land, though some do.
Another flaw in the movie is the Hulk’s “Hulk Speak”. It comes back with a vengeance.
If they wanted to have Hulk become a character, they should have kept him as a silent and strong type similar to Snake Eyes from “G.I. Joe”.
Movie audiences haven’t seen the Hulk speak in his iconic “Hulk Speak” since The Incredible Hulk (2008), back when Edward Norton was still playing the character.
Since Mark Ruffalo started playing the character, the Hulk has had only one line, that being “Puny God!” from “The Avengers”.
Overall, “Thor: Ragnarok” is solid, and is an improvement compared to “Spider-Man Homecoming” and the previous Thor films.