“Thor: Ragnarok” or “Guardians of the Galaxy 2.5?”
By Alexis Tucker Arts & Entertainment Editor
Marvel is always improving, for the most part. The Thor movies have been the least exciting or anticipated of all the stand-alone movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). “Thor: Ragnarok” undeniably tried to redefine Thor in many respectable ways, but all in all it feels as though the film lost its way a bit in the process, particularly its identity.
For those who don’t know, Ragnarok is the end of days in Norse mythology, and is the driving factor of “Thor: Ragnarok.” Previous Thor films stay pretty true to the mythology as well, which gives a unique feel and tone that isn’t seen elsewhere in the MCU.
“Thor: Ragnarok” differs in tone as opposed to the other two Thor films, the self-titled “Thor” and “Thor: the Dark World.” The trailers depict a more comedic tone that isn’t expected in Thor films, one that is too similar to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which neglects the thought that the two films could be similar yet retain their individuality.
Certain characters also felt different, mainly Thor, who in the past has always been the more serious of the Avengers. Although the past few movies have shown the hero lightening up anyway, “Ragnarok” features a dramatic difference in Thor’s character development.
Director Taika Wiatiti is transparent with the decision. In an interview with ComicBook.com, Wiatiti said, “You’re going to see a version of Thor that is most fun, and I think the most lovable.”
However, Thor seems to understand the gravity of situations better now rather than being as reckless as before. There were several “bad guys” in the film, and all were handled well. It is a shame a few of them didn’t get more screen time. One of the villains is arguably the best villain so far, especially for a standalone Thor movie.
The Incredible Hulk talks more than previously and develops the monster in some ways while Bruce Banner doesn’t really seem like himself, which becomes partly justified in the film. Banner, as with most of the characters, makes too many jokes as well, which feels forced on occasion.
While “Ragnarok” is great in many ways as a standalone movie, it is hard to see how it plays into the future of the MCU, particularly the upcoming “Avengers: Infinity Wars.” There is little, if any set-up for the movie, which is not a good sign for “Infinity Wars.”
All in all, “Thor: Ragnarok” is a worthy film to see, but there isn’t much to justify seeing it a second time. The set design, some character development, certain scenes and the general comedic feel are compelling reasons to see it sometime before it goes out of theaters.
On the flip side, some forced and confusing character development along with unnecessary jokes make the film feel too much like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the pacing in parts of the movie feels off. “Thor: Ragnarok” isn’t super surprising and is slightly safer in comparison to the risks that were taken in other MCU films.