Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

Thor Ragnarok quick review

I saw Thor: Ragnarok a couple of days ago, so I thought I’d do a quick and dirty write-up. It will contain spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen the trailers.

I’ve said before that I’m not entirely… comfortable… with stories about multiple gods. I’ve got another review up where I talk about that in detail, and I don’t want to do it every time I write for this site (but so far I have), so: let’s brush that aside. I can suspend my disbelief and have fun.

Some people have complained about Marvel undercutting all their serious scenes with comedy. This movie is called Ragnarok, and the villain is the goddess of death. It lives up to that.
So, has Marvel put aside its constant need to be full of humour and jokiness? Is it finally taking itself seriously?
No. The aforementioned complainers won’t like this movie.
It mostly lives up to the trailers, although one scene (one of my favourites in the trailer) is only on screen for about a minute, and during the Hulk’s intro I wished I hadn’t seen the trailer at all.
The Ember Island Players scene is awesome; keep an eye out for the cameos. Cate Blanchett is amazing as Hela.

I never bought their Valkyrie as Valkyrie (well, maybe once) – I wanted to call her Valkyrie In Name Only, or vino. Given the amount she drinks in the movie, she’d probably like that. She was a great character, by the way. Just not the right great character.
The score is very interesting; by Mark Mothersbaugh (of Devo fame), it sometimes sounds like a typical modern score, and at other times sounds retro – like Stranger Things. Immigrant Song is used well – but for a movie so full of Australianness, it doesn’t use Thunderstruck by AC/DC at all. (Would’ve been perfect in the arena scene.)

It calls back to earlier MCU movies, but you don’t really need to have seen them for this (the other Thor movies are recommended, though).

It does leave you with a couple of questions:

Did I blink, or did I miss the fate of Fenris? (I blinked.)

Did we see the resolution of Hela’s story? (I don’t think so.) Is she left open to be Thanos’s would-be girlfriend in the next movie?

Am I only dreaming or is this burning the Eternal Flame?

While this isn’t the best MCU movie, it’s still a good one. I highly recommend Thor: Ragnarok to those who like Marvel’s output so far; not so much for those who like the DCEU’s serious take on superheroics.


  1. Peter

    I’m pretty excited for this because a) Taika Waititi deserves a huge hit and b) the cast is great and it will be cool to see the returning stars in a Thor movie without a bad script. That said, it’s a bit of a shame that the movies have never been able to nail the unique tone of the Thor comics. They can be funny, yes, but the best runs (Lee/Kirby and Simonson) have a truly epic feel and serious things to say about the nature of valor.

    1. Le Messor

      It’s possible you’ll be disappointed with some aspects of Thor: Ragnarok. I’m not sure. Not all of the cast returns.

      I’m honestly not sure how well it follows the Lee/Kirby or Simonson runs – though it visually homages Kirby a lot (and, is it just me, or does it homage Moëbius, too?)

      There is definitely epicness throughout, though.

    2. Walt Simonson got a special credit at the end for his contributions to the film. I believe he was actively involved in the process, and a lot of the film feels like a Simonson comic, particularly the battles with Surtur, Fenris, and what I believe is the Midgard Serpent. Hela facing hundreds of Valkyrie on winged horses is definitely a Simonson-flavored sequence.

      1. Le Messor

        I’m not sure I recognised anything as the Midgard Serpent. Unless you mean right at the beginning? I thought that was just a dragon. I didn’t like it much, either, as a design; its ‘rocket-powered’ aspect smacked of ‘Let’s do this to be different’ more than ‘this makes sense’ (and also made it four-limbed, instead of six, but at least it was ‘different’ in how they handled that).

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