Personally I have never been happy Disney bought Marvel Studios. I feel since the Mouse took over Iron Man and friends they are determined to make their superhero movies into comedies with some action thrown in for good measure.
I just want to say to Disney “clam down, this isn’t an animated movie.” If you have ever read or picked up a superhero comic book, you know they are very serious, save for a few characters that rely on humor, and those are the minority. Alas, the over done humor is back in the new film “Thor: Ragnarok”, a title that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. The story line basically boils down to a family feud between Thor (Chris Hemsworth), his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and their sister Hela (Cate Blanchett).
For those unfamiliar with the character Thor, he is based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name. The Thor in the Marvel Universe is the crown prince of Asgard, a realm that appears in space as a flat planet. Thor, a member of The Avengers, must deal with his adoptive brother and nemesis Loki, who is always mischievous and a trickster. This Thor adventure begins with Thor escaping from the demon Surtur, only to discover Loki posing as their father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) back on Asgard. Thor forces Loki to help find their missing father, and thanks to a cameo by Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), they find Odin in Norway. Unfortunately, Odin is dying, and his passing will allow his firstborn child, Hela to escape from the prison where she was held. Hela meets her brothers in Norway, and when they escape her attack via a wormhole, Thor lands on Sakaar, a garbage planet surrounded by wormholes.
The planet is ruled by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), made up as if he were part of “The Hunger Game” series, and he is happy to have Thor enter his Contest of Champions. Here Thor happily (in his mind) is pitted against friend and fellow Avenger The Hulk. I must add most of the interactions between Thor and Hulk, other than their arena battle, are like a stand up comedy routine. In addition, Hulk talks! I have always been under the impression Hulk is only supposed to grunt. Hulk’s conversations are very child-like in nature, but he still has plenty of opportunity for the witty banter Marvel Studios is so fond of. I kept wondering if the two would end up in a comedy club on Sakaar. Thankfully the aforementioned never happens, and Thor forms his team of Hulk and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), a resident drunk and bounty hunter, to take on his sister Hela. Speaking of Hela, her costumes would be at home on the stage of any Cher or Lady Gaga concert. Hela is responsible for a shocking twist concerning Thor, who during the early part of the film has a makeover.
Apparently the filmmakers, or Hemsworth himself, decided the time was ripe to do away with the long blonde hair. Thor, being the god of thunder, does have some awesome moments with his power over thunder, and those are some exciting segments in the film. The two siblings duel it out, and all appears to be in favor of Hela, until Loki comes to the rescue in a surprise twist. Sadly, Asgard does not escape unscathed, and after Thor is crowned king, the survivors of the planet head to Earth. The highlights of this film for me were the special effects and Loki. Why doesn’t Marvel just make a movie starring the marvelous Hiddleston as Loki? His character is more than capable of carrying a film on his own. When all is said and done, “Thor: Family Feud”, I mean “Thor: Ragnarok”, is a film that is far from perfect and relies a bit too much on humor, but does provide for some enjoyable moments from Hemsworth and company. However, next time leave the talking Hulk at home.
(Rated PG-13) 3 hammers (out of 4)