Thor Ragnarok – In-Depth Review [SPOILERS]


So, unlike a certain Australian entertainment show I am going to give you the standard ****** , the third instalment of the god of thunder’s standalone stories and one that truly astonishes. Taika Waititi, much like James Gunn did with the first Guardians has carved out a new style for all other Marvel films to potentially follow suit with a film that gives Thor a much-needed resuscitation.

The Plot Storyline Sounds Ridiculous

So, whilst Earths mightiest heroes battle it out in a Civil War at an airport Thor had been searching for the infinity stones but returns to Asgard in an attempt to stop the upcoming ‘Ragnarok’ (end of all things) which he believes to be caused by Sutur. It is in fact the arrival of Hela in Odin’s (rather underwhelming passing) that is the true bringer of destruction.

The reveal of Hela being his older sister is mentioned very early and I think should have had a lot more emotional bearing on the character but he really didn’t seem that fazed by it. I also feel that they could’ve played with a Hela/Loki alliance too which never seemed to be an option.

Thor and Loki are defeated and land on Sakaar which is essentially a planet made of the galaxies dregs and is run by Jeff Goldblum’s ‘The Grandmaster’. For his entertainment he runs The Contest of Champions of which I’ll come back to but for now it serves as a planet Hulk style arena where

beats gladiatorial

on a daily basis.

This time It’s Thor and after an initial bit of confusion, fight and gaping plot whole of how it actually finishes they end up teaming up again. Hulk, Thor and Loki are joined by Valkyrie the estranged Asgardian comrade who has gone rogue. The newly labelled ‘Revengers’ head back to Asgard to defeat Hela oh and Skurge by using Surtur and effectively sacrificing the land of Asgard to protect its people. This plot sounds ridiculous and do you know what….so is the film but therein lies the joy.

Awkward comic exchanges on a backdrop of absurd sci-fi and fantasy

The film makes other Marvel films look black & white with the use of a bold and garish colour pallet and sets that are unapologetically alien. Inhumans could’ve borrowed half of the set and props from Sakaar and looked immediately better (clearly not over that one still) Taika who you may know from ‘what we do in the shadows’ and the director of ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ puts on a show as funny if not funnier than both of those indie comedy classics.

Thor Ragnarok is unlike anything I’ve seen before. It has Taika’s trademark awkward comic exchanges on a backdrop of absurd sci fi and fantasy settings. The pacing of this film is perfect. It runs for 130 minutes and not for one second drops in holding your attention. If it’s not hilarious back and fourths between the characters it’s unadulterated Marvel action such as Hulk wrestling giant Fenris wolves and Thor radiating strands of lightening.

Part of this comedy is perfectly placed call-backs to other Marvel films like Thor giving Hulk the Black Widow lullaby, the Loki reactions to seeing Hulk again, and the pointbreak Tony Stark gag. I felt watching these that Marvel are literally getting to a point now where their own films are so iconic and recognisable that they can reference them internally which is really satisfying for fans who have been there from the off.

One of my few criticisms with this film though is that as much as previous Marvel films were respected we got some really disappointing deaths from characters that have been a major part of the mythos over the years.

The Warriors Three perishing at the hands of Hela felt like it was inserted simply to wrap up the actor’s contracts and they only had them on set for one day (Maybe two days for Hogun the slightly Braver) I touched on it earlier but Odin is held as an almighty being and seemed to literally blow away without any real meaning or gravitas.

Out with The Old in With the New

A tribute to the art of Jack Kirby

The film is to the brim will Marvel Easter eggs, cameos and fun oddities. One of the biggest of those cameos is that of Benedict Bumberbatche’s sorcerer supreme, Doctor Strange. I’m not sure how necessary this was as the locating of Odin could have easily been done by Loki himself or Heimdal but it does give us a great preview of Infinity War banter and the Doctor now seems very much comfortable in his role as the guardian of hidden worlds.

It’s essentially a drawn-out version of the Doctor Strange end of credits scene. Damn is that costume awesome though, especially the yellow gloves. The announcement of Matt Damon having a cameo had me full of speculation but his role as with Sam Neill and Luke Hemsworth is hilariously unimportant.

They play actors in a show put on by Loki depicting his version of events in The Dark World. Damon as Loki. Neill as Odin and Luke as his own brother Thor. Of course, none of this nonsense could even exist if it wasn’t for the creation of the character and Stan The Man once again raises a smile in a cameo that is up there for me with some the greats.

It’s great when Stan is used in a role that is kind of important to the story. More of this please Marvel. Stan didn’t come up with Asgard and co. on his own though and the filmmakers acknowledge this with a movie that feels like a tribute to the art of Jack Kirby. I imagine both would be proud that the Throg storyline was mentioned.

It’s revealed the gauntlet Asgard keeps is a fake witch sorts a slight plot whole from the Thanos after credit scene and there is a real glint in Loki’s eye when walking past the Tereserect which goes unanswered. Infinity War perhaps?

Speaking of the big purple guy all signs point to that being his ship in the after credits scene and will probably lead to Thor floating in the galaxy and landing on the Guardians spaceship in that comic con trailer. The other after credit scene is a bit of fun with The Grandmaster and it pleases me that his story is not yet finished. Also keep your eyes peeled for Beta Ray Bill, Man Thing, Ares and Bi Beast statues on the side of the Grandmaster’s building.

This film offers laughs, memorable action, and introduces a whole set of new characters who I hope are going to stick around and make their presence felt in the Marvel Studios films for a long time to come. It has lots of mentions and set ups for future MCU stories but can stand alone as its own tale. He may have lost an eye but the god of thunder has gained a new lease of life.

Final Rating

9 out of 10 for Ben Outta Ten

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What’s Your Reaction?














This film offers laughs, memorable action, and introduces a whole set of new characters who I hope are going to stick around and make their presence felt in the Marvel Studios films for a long time to come. It has lots of mentions and set ups for future MCU stories but can stand alone as its own tale. He may have lost an eye but the god of thunder has gained a new lease of life.



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