I may have confessed this before but, at the risk of harming my geek cred, I’m not much into Marvel. I watched the first movie of several of their franchises, and didn’t feel inclined to continue. Although I make exceptions for Dr. Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy. And now, as it turns out, Thor: Ragnarok.
I came late to this one, but I finally watched Ragnarok last month. From the trailer and the reports of people I knew who watched it, this seemed to be a funnier Marvel one than most–and it was! Which is a bit odd considering the titular event is the end of the world… In brief, the goddess Hela is released on Asgard, the Norse gods’ home realm, and Thor and Loki have to work together to top her–but wind up exiled to a kind of cosmic junk heap in the process. Where, oddly enough, they bump into the Incredible Hulk. As one does.
I knew this was going to be a better movie as soon as it started demonstrating a willingness to poke fun at itself. Early on Thor confronts a giant flame demon whose name I can’t remember, and tries to carry on a conversation while rotating around hanging from a chain. Weird, I know. But it’s really funny as flame demon tries to rant about his fiery vengeance and Thor keeps asking him to pause because he’s rotated around out of sight. The movie kept up a similar kind of tongue-in-cheek humor, and Thor himself was a lot funnier than I remembered from previous encounters.
It also helped that we had a fairly small cast, with the action centering around Thor, Loki and the Hulk, with Hela (an unrecognizable Cate Blanchett!) It gave a decent amount of time to showcase each character, their arc and their relationships with each other. Much better than ensemble casts of a dozen where barely any character gets seen.
So, from a non-Marvel fan, Thor: Ragnarok gets my approval as a funny, entertaining superhero flick!