Thor Ragna-Rocked!


Sarah Nicholson, Staff Writer

Eek! This was definitely my inner fan girl throughout the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Thor Ragnarok dropped in theaters on November 3rd. By the end of the weekend, I had seen it four times with absolutely no shame.

I’ve always been a fan of the franchise, but I’ll admit, it has acquired a predictable aspect to its films. The Thor films especially fit this description. How many times can Thor really believe that Loki is going to turn over a new leaf? While I think its wonderful that Thor loves a human, Jane’s story line felt a somewhat dead, especially after the Dark World installment. Thankfully, this was obvious to the new director, Taiki Waititi. The native New Zealander was an indie film darling before his move into the MCU, but you wouldn’t know it from the movie.

While in the past Thor has been a cocktail of honor, duty, dignity, and mopey hope, Waititi’s approach injected some much-needed life into the franchise to achieve hilarious results. This movie is cheesy in the best way possible. Thor shares a charming level of comradery and one-liners right out of the gate as he dangles in front of Surtur, a fire monster who’s supposed to be instrumental in the coming of Ragnarok, the Asgardian equivalent of Dooms day.

The whole tone of this movie is somewhere between the first Guardians of the Galaxy and the first Avengers film. This shouldn’t work, but oddly enough, it does. Cate Blanchette makes a stunning appearance as Hela, the new resident evil doer of Asgard. I seriously was digging on the goth and green look they put her in. I’ve seen Blanchette in more movies than I care to admit, but I would have never put her in this role.

She is so vastly different from anything you’ve seen her in and it works, even when delivering the occasionally cringy villain dialogue that is the hallmark of superhero movies. There is one point where she threatens Thor and says something that I swear sounded like the wicked witch from Wizard of Oz, and I thought, “You know what, don’t care, I do believe you’d get Thor and his little Loki too. Own it.”

As we all know, the Hulk plays a big part in this new installment and it is totally worth it. Hulk is playing gladiator supreme on the alien planet of Sakaar, where Jeff Goldblum reigns as the Grand Master, when Thor runs into him again. Taking us away from Asgard and Earth is the smartest move Waititi could have made as director. We get to see a whole other side to the Hulk, as an actual being with feelings, rather than just a rage machine.

We also get the much needed connection to Guardians of the Galaxy that sets the franchise up for Avengers: Infinity War. If you think about the Avengers films and all of their underpinned titles we haven’t really had a visual bridge to the Guardians of Galaxy world, that cements this as the same universe. Ragnarok completely embraces the eighties style that was so present in the Guardians films and makes the connection in a stronger way.

Besides being chock full of punchlines, the real genius of Ragnarok is timing and music, specifically the use of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song. It was used in the trailer, and in a brilliant move, the song was kept for the actual film too.

I watched an interview with Waititi, who said that the song had always made sense to him from the very beginning and they couldn’t believe that no one had thought to use it before. I completely agree, and thrilled that he chose it, because it is hands down my favorite scene in the movie, and possibly in the whole MCU franchise.

I won’t say which scene, because of the spoiler alert. But, trust me, if you go see Ragnarok you will know exactly which scene I mean. I seriously got goosebumps.

Thor Ragnorak is irreverent, raucous, hilarious and, I’ll just say it, maybe the best movie of the MCU. If you haven’t gone yet, what on Asgard are you waiting for?