Geeklies Look At: Thor Ragnarok

By Alan Mathews on

About Alan Mathews

Alan Mathews keeps trying his best at writing even after his mother admits she was only encouraging him so she could get some work done.
Follow him on Twitter @JAlanMathewsJr

 

Thor: Ragnarok released on November 3rd, barely two weeks ago. And if you haven’t seen it, what’s keeping you? This movie is fantastic! It’s a thrill ride full of action and non-stop comedy. My friend, Shloka, and I have seen it. We messaged each other about it the other day. Fair warning, we don’t hold back. From here out, there be SPOILERS.


Alan: Rotten Tomatoes gives Thor: Ragnarok a 90% score. What would you give it?

Shloka: 100% all the way. What is wrong with Rotten Tomatoes? There is literally nothing to criticize about this movie.

Really? I’d give it an 80-85%. It was great, but I had some issues.

Ooh, pray tell. What kind of issues? I was in love from start to finish.

It uses a lot of intertextuality, where they make references to other movies, but they use exposition or glance over what used to be really important characters. And they just get rid of them!

What characters are you talking about? Is this a movie thing or a comic book thing? Perhaps this is the source of our divide; I don’t actually care about these movies in any greater context. I enjoy them as standalones, and to that end, this one was raucously good.

Really? I felt like it couldn’t stand alone with all the context. But I’m talking about movie stuff! Thor’s best buddies are taken out of the series in a second and his one female friend, Sif, is never mentioned.

But he gets a new female friend, Valkyrie! And instead of a buxom blonde, we get Tessa Thompson who is miles more entertaining and kick ass.

I think it reflects the franchise needing a bit of a makeover. Hemsworth has talked about how silly he thought things were getting (ergo his desire for Thor getting a haircut in this film) and having him go it alone for a bit and then pair up with Loki and the Hulk was a good way to shake things up. Every ensemble cast needs to switch partners once in a while to keep things fresh.

That’s where the comic book part sucks! Because his female friend from the other movies is a Valkyrie too and a badass! But then they talk about Thor and Jane breaking up. If you didn’t know about her, why would you care as an audience? I get shaking things up. I’m even okay with them killing off a bunch of former main characters. But to not recognize getting rid of them kind of sucks.

And I didn’t like Jeff Goldblum aside from him being his regular self. He seemed super out of place. I think he was a great character, but he was jarring.

Haha. Jeff Goldblum is always jarring; that is the point of Jeff Goldblum. If anything, it’s perfect casting. He is the weirdest actor we have on the planet. Who else could play a galactic gladiator overlord/DJ?

You got me there. I still loved the movie. It’s just the way they brushed off details when they weren’t necessary that bugged me. Like, if we’re not gonna have the people from the other movies, mention it once and move on. I mean, Doctor Strange didn’t even have to be in it!

I found the random cameos entertaining and served as a treat for the people who actually do watch all the movies without alienating people who are new to the whole franchise. I saw it with a friend who usually sees all the Marvel movies, but had missed Doctor Strange. That cameo actually persuaded her to see it so she could piece together what she had missed. So really it’s all part of Marvel’s clever marketing . They let new people get sucked in, but also reward the regulars for sticking with the MCU.

I can understand that. I don’t like it, but I understand it.

Thor: Ragnarok definitely have some great quotable moments. What were some of you r favorite scenes?

This is out of left field, but I’m a sucker for a kiwi accent, so I loved every random scene with Korg (especially since he’s voiced by Taika Waititi).

Korg! I think he was my favorite too.

He was just so bizarre, and reflected the weirdness of this entire movie in general. Like, every battle scene was more comedic than action packed. Overall Waititi did such a good job of keeping things light while still making it high stakes, making you want to ensure these characters succeed.

Yeah! Man, I was so worried for some of them. But Korg made everything better all the time.

And it’s just gorgeous to look at. There’s the moment when you get a short backstory of the battle between the Valkyries and Hela. Watching those women charging at each other on their flying horses against that gorgeous backdrop is jaw dropping.

Yeah, It’s like an oil painting come to life. Man this movie was gorgeous. And the different ideas for tech. How it was used and the decorations. I mean, you spend most of the time in the movie on a literal trash planet, and I wanted to go there.

OMG yes! The production design on the trash planet was epic. Someone must have put so much thought into that and most of the details probably completely blew past me.

What are your thoughts on the use of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”? Or the soundtrack in general?

I loved it. I was happy to hear it twice. I don’t think I could get tired of that song. It’s so much fun and to choreograph two beautiful and hilarious fight scenes with it was brilliant. You?

Agree wholeheartedly. It felt like it was written for this movie. Such a powerful and fabulous accompaniment to the action.

That’s the thing about these new Marvel movies. They’re so gorgeous that I want to see them again and again just to marvel at them (badum-tsh).

Haha, tip your waitress.

And it was stupid fun too. The song was so rock star and the fights were so badass that when the comedy takes you in another direction, it really hits hard. Then goes right back into badassery.

I was also happy to see Hulk get more to do and say apart from, “Hulk smash.”

Right?! Some people were hinting that this was a blend of what was suppsoed to be a stand alone Hulk movie. There’s an animated version of it called Planet Hulk, but it’s not cannon with the live movies. I’ll bet the producers don’t think they can ever have a successful Hulk movie again.

Ooh interesting. Yeah, I’m not sure I would care for a stand-alone Hulk movie, but I will happily take this Thor/Hulk partnership.

Totally. I love them as a pair ever since Avengers. I so loved how Hulk looked more and more like Banner! His hair and cheekbones!

Your right, they definitely did a better job of showcasing how Banner is imbued in the Hulk and vice versa rather than making it a straight up Jekyll and Hyde dynamic.

Yeah. And I liked the worry Banner is having about the Hulk. I like that the Hulk is getting to be himself too. He was so sweet with Valkyrie.

Speaking of fab pairings, I always love me some Thor/Loki sibling fun. The “Get help” ruse was def a highlight.

That ruse was so bad! It was good, but I’m with Loki. I don’t see how it ever works.

It works because Loki is skinny, little man-child and Thor can just throw him at people like a bowling ball! It’s amazing!

I’m really happy Loki and Thor are sort of just going to be a good pair for now. And that they’re not completely demonizing Loki. Even though it’s a ton of fun watching him squirm. Oh man. When Hulk shows up and he’s like, “I need to get off this planet.” I was rolling.

Yeah, I love Tom Hiddleston. I didn’t realize how long it had been since I had seen him in anything. He needs to do more comedy.

Right? His acting in this movie was better than the other Marvel ones. Or at least the character was made dynamic enough for him to show way more emotion.

Basically, they all need to do more comedy. If Waititi accomplished anything, it was showing us that all these fine dramatic actors should be forming an improv troupe instead.

Heck yeah. I think with Guardians of the Galaxy, they saw just how successful comedy can be and they’ve steadily gotten better and better. Waititi is perfect for them.

Wait! I can’t believe we’ve discussed so much and left out Queen Galadriel herself. Cate Blanchett as Hela was brilliant. Such icy evil perfection. I wish she could be the villain in every Marvel movie.

I didn’t even recognize her until I saw her name in the credits! She was cold and snarky. I loved how she mostly just wanted to be heard and was exasperated by all the men around her with wool in their ears.

Also, between Hela, Thor, and Loki? Hottest family ever.

They’re gods! They gotta be babes!

It’s enough to convert me into worshiping the Norse gods. What would that make me? I Norsemist? Norsian? Probably just a weirdo.

Have you read Neil Gaiman’s book on Norse Mythology? It’s fascinating that there are hardly any Norse myths that survived.

I’m on hold for it from the library, hasn’t hit my kindle yet. I did have a book of Norse myths as a kid, though, so I have always been fascinated.

Anthony Hopkins is probably one of my all time top favorite actors, so he’ll always be a babe to me too.

You can have Anthony Hopkins. I’ll stick to the kids.

That’s disproportionate! At least give me Korg too!

You can have Korg and all the dismembered Dougs.

I can’t wait to see these characters all gathered together again. The next movie with Hulk and Thor is going to be Infinity War! How are they going to get them all together?!

Omg, I can’t even comprehend the behemoth that is Infinity War (makes sense that it would need to be a two-parter). The MCU has become so gargantuan that I’m slightly worried it’ll become a semi-incoherent series of cameos, but I suppose I ought to have faith by now that Marvel fully knows what it’s doing. Can. Not. Wait.

Same. This has me amped beyond belief.

Says the man who would still only give this movie an 80-85% score. Psh.

I still loved it!

Your love is so conditional.

Maybe I’ve been watching too many film critic YouTube channels like Nerdwriter. That’s where I heard that bit about Intertextuality.

Yeah, I have three main reactions when I watch Marvel movies. I either love them or hate them or tolerate them. This one goes squarely in the love camp.

That’s some clear conditions.

Like I said, I am not a purist and can barely keep the movies straight in my head. So as far as I’m concerned, I’m in the theatre for two hours, watching something brand new, and it either wins me over or it doesn’t. Taika Waititi won me over in spades. More kiwi directors, please!


You heard us. We love it! If you aren’t already a part of the fun, what are you waiting for? Go see it! You’ll have a blast.

If you want to find more about Shloka and me, you can find us on Twitter! Shloka’s @shlokes and I’m @JAlanMathewsJr. See you in the theatres!

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