Review: “Thor: Ragnarok” radiates unique style in saturated subgenre

Marvel Studios’ “Thor Ragnarok”.


Asgard’s rule has shifted, and the nine realms are left unprotected as Ragnarok, the end of the world, looms on the horizon. Meanwhile the mighty Thor and the incredible Hulk are trapped on the gladiator planet, Sakaar, unable to stop Hela, the goddess of death. While the premise sounds grim, Taika Waititi’s “Thor Ragnarok” is one the most fun movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) yet.

“Phase 3” of the MCU (“Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Captain America: Civil War” and “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2”) has consisted of some of the best movies in the franchise yet, and “Thor: Ragnarok” keeps up the standard. It’s also been one of the best sequels, building plot points and jokes off of the Thor series, as well as the Avengers, and makes it feel like it takes place in a believable, connected universe.

A common fear about the MCU is the effect of studio interference on the movies, but “Ragnarok” proves this wrong. This is a Taika Waititi movie through and through. The bright colors, and the hilarious, slightly off-color jokes all have his signature flair. The humor was well done, and had the audience laughing almost the entire time. And like most Waititi movies, he plays a role in the movie as the showstealer, Korg, a giant, timid rock-gladiator.

That’s not to say that he was the only good character in “Ragnarok.” Everyone gets their time to shine. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is still the charismatic “fish out of water”, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is weasly as ever, and their relationship shows real development since the first “Thor” movie. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), after having spent nearly two films stuck as the Hulk on Sakaar, has finally began to gain control of his more monstrous side. Cate Blanchett’s Hela is a truly menacing force on screen, and is among the better villains in the Marvel movies. Jeff Goldblum stars as the Grandmaster of Sakaar, and is really just playing himself, but I’ve got zero complaints about that.

The action scenes in “Ragnarok” are in the top-tier for the MCU, and had me grinning the entire time as Thor faced Surtur, Hela, hordes of undead soldiers, and especially Hulk. Their fight in the Sakaarian arena was everything a comic book fan could hope for, and had plenty of great callbacks to previous “Avengers” movies.  

Another complaint about the movies in the MCU, with a few exclusions, are their generally unmemorable soundtracks. “Thor: Ragnarok” does something entirely different, with synth heavy, 80’s inspired music, truly setting it apart from the rest. Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” is also featured, and is the most perfect pick for a battle scene in a Thor movie.

After some fairly mediocre entries into the series, “Thor: Ragnarok” completely revitalizes the Thor franchise, and is one of the best in the MCU. The cinematography, the jokes, the soundtrack, the action, the easter eggs and the characters all make for fun movie, and will please both the hardcore comic book fans, and average movie goers alike.



  • Great characters, action, and humor
  • Very much a director driven film


  • A few characters from previous Thor movies are almost entirely forgotten about, or poorly handled