‘Ragnarok’ is comedic


Photo courtesy of IMDb

“Thor: Ragnarok,” the third film in the Thor franchise and unlike its predecessors, is astonishingly comedic in tone throughout. Not to say that none of the past Marvel films have ever offered any laughs, but one of the film’s biggest pulls without a doubt is it’s rapid-fire jokes and constant situational humor.

In this inclusion to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself thrown across the other side of the universe, fighting for his life on an alien planet, all the while his home world Asgard is under violent takeover.

The new villain is Hela the Goddess of Death (Cate Blanchett), in addition to new cast member Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson). Returning to the central cast of characters are Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) in supporting roles for the hero, whom for one reason or another find themselves all on the same planet as Thor.

Ragnarok is definitely one of the biggest formula breakers to come from the MCU―a necessary development for a film that is to be both the 17th in an ongoing franchise and original all at once.

Upfront the movie is an action-comedy and a complete blast throughout, credit due of course to the material being handled by director Taika Waititi who is no stranger to directing comedy. Not to mention the amazing comedic timing of the cast, and for having some of the most exhilarating action scenes in the MCU yet.

But the same comedy that might make it so appealing can easily be its biggest drawback. Several gags and character quips are sandwiched between some of the film’s quieter moments, creating a few pacing problems and a bit of mood-whiplash at times. For instance there is the preoccupation with side-plots, reconciling the arcs of others characters, and eliminating past characters without any proper sendoff or later mention.

Through-and-through the entire movie was straightforward about being an action-comedy while never pretending to be anything else even in it’s more precious scenes, begging the question, ‘are any of the scenes in question negligible in the context of the rest of the movie?’ The answer to that question is ‘yes,’ they are completely forgivable.

Overall it’s a great viewing experience and one of the best superhero movies yet. Impressive considering that the reputation of past Thor movies middle in popularity when compared to other superhero movies, elevating this one to something far above being filler in the Marvel canon.