Newest ‘Thor’ movie Ragna-rocks the box office


Marvel Studios

Thor, everyone’s favorite God of Thunder, prepares for battle against the Hulk on the barbaric planet Sakaar. This epic fight is only one appeal of the latest installment in the Thor franchise.

Ian Fertig, Staff Writer

He lost his hammer. He lost his hair. He may lose his home. Thor’s not having a great day, and to top it off he has to fight the Hulk.

When “Thor: Ragnarok” arrived in theaters last Friday, fans were excited, yet nervous. After two underwhelming previous movies in this particular Marvel franchise and with only one more Marvel movie left to set up for “Avengers: Infinity War,” the expectations were high. “Ragnarok” was either destined to crash and burn like the previous “Thor” films, or breathe new life into the series. What audiences received was one of Marvel Studio’s funniest, best-reviewed, and most exciting films to date.

Throw in a talking rock alien named Korg voiced by the movie’s director, a giant wolf, Doctor Strange, and an un-dead army, and you have a cinematic masterpiece.”

— Staff Writer Ian Fertig

The story told in “Ragnarok” picks up two years after the events of the last “Avengers” film. Thor, having left Earth at the end of “Age of Ultron,” has been searching the cosmos for infinity stones with no luck. Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk, disappeared in the Avengers’ Quinjet after the battle in Sokovia. As viewers know from the end of “Thor: The Dark World,” Loki has been ruling Asgard by masquerading as his father Odin.

When Thor returns home after battling the fiery monster Surtur, he discovers Loki’s treachery and goes to retrieve his father from Earth. Needless to say, this does not end well. Hela (Cate Blanchett), the Goddess of Death, destroys Thor’s hammer, invades Asgard, and dumps Thor on the unforgiving planet of Sakaar. At this point, Thor is taken hostage by the mysterious Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), sold to Sakaar’s dictator, the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), and is forced to fight the Hulk. Throw in a talking rock alien named Korg voiced by the movie’s director, a giant wolf, Doctor Strange, and an un-dead army, and you have a cinematic masterpiece.

“Ragnarok” is set apart from its predecessor films because it introduced new concepts, characters, and plotlines that were more entertaining than anything in the first two “Thor” movies. Thank goodness this was not a repeat of “The Dark World.” “Ragnarok” changed the tone and atmosphere of the franchise by introducing more color and upbeat music, such as Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song.”

Fans of the comics will be upset that a Planet Hulk movie will not be happening. However, seeing Hulk in gladiator armor fighting on Sakaar is more than enough. Valkyrie, Grandmaster, and Korg, all characters introduced on Sakaar, help make the film what it is. You would not expect Jeff Goldblum playing a colorful, eccentric dictator to go wrong, and it doesn’t.

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Speaking of the new characters, Hela, the movie’s villain, is played wonderfully by Cate Blanchett. Hela is the first female villain in a Marvel Studios movie, and her sarcastic, confident swagger was exactly what the next Thor villain needed.

Somehow, while telling its crazy whirlwind of a story, this movie also manages to include hilarious dialogue, something Marvel Studios is known for. “Ragnarok” does not disappoint in this area. It is clear that Taika Waititi used Chris Hemsworth to deliver the funniest lines of the movie, undoubtedly because of Chris’s natural ability to be hilarious. Surprisingly, Hela is also a major source of humor. Apparently, it can be exasperating trying to conquer Asgard when the Asgardians aren’t accepting you as their queen. Hulk, who can speak in complete sentences now, also contributes heavily to the humorous side of the film. Not a single opportunity is missed.

For a two hour and ten-minute movie, “Ragnarok” covers an impressive amount of ground. The film had to explain where the characters have been since the last film, tell its own story, resolve the conflict, and end by setting up for “Infinity War.” Fortunately, the movie was able to do all four. At the same time, the pacing of the film never allowed for a dull moment.

Overall, “Ragnarok” represents the final product from a highly skilled team of actors, actresses, and studio workers, completed over the course of months. However, if there was one person to blame for this movie’s success, it would be director Taika Waititi. Without his touch, the “Thor” franchise would have remained the worst of Marvel Studios’ series. Waititi brought color, humor, and new life to this film. He has stated in interviews that he designed the movie in the way that a six-year-old would want to see it. The final result was that “Ragnarok” is enjoyable to watch from start to finish.

Thanks to Taika Waititi, Thor has become one of the most engaging Marvel heroes. This newest film has changed the entire series for the better and the introduction of a fantastic ensemble of new characters promises continued excitement in the future of the Marvel Universe.