Movie Review – Thor: Ragnarok

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“Thor: Ragnarok” closes the standalone chapter of the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth, “The Avengers” series, “Rush“). Like “Thor: The Dark World,” the movie takes place almost entirely on distant planets, although it’s tonally very different. Taika Waititi-directed ‘Ragnarok’ is overall bright and cheery.

Thor reunites with his mischievous, adversarial adopted brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and tracks down their banished father, King of Asgard, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) on Earth. Here they encounter Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”) and his magical tricks.

After the death of Odin, Hela (Cate Blanchett, “Cinderella”) emerges from exile. She is the bloodthirsty sister Thor and Loki never knew, Odin’s firstborn. Hela is marching back into Asgard to claim her birthright as the rightful heir of to the throne. Following the tradition of royal family drama, the revelation is the most interesting part of the story. Thor discovers that his late father wasn’t always the benevolent and peaceful leader he knew and that the gleaming kingdom of Asgard has a dark history.

While Thor is mighty, Hela is mightier, as proven by what she does with the Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer. Without his powerful hammer, Thor has to improvise and look within himself to show his strength when Hela unleashes hell upon Asgard. Hela’s motivation is as legit as it gets as far as villain goes.

The super sibling showdown has to wait, however. First, Thor finds himself crash-landing on an artificial planet built on scraps, Sakaar, and getting captured by a scrap hauler (Tessa Thompson). Thor is hauled into the Grandmaster’s (Jeff Goldblum) residence and forced into a bombastic gladiatorial match with a reigning champion, none other than the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight”). Fortunately, the scrap hauler turns out to be Valkyrie, a legendary former Asgard warrior.

Desperately wanting to get back to Asgard to save his people, Thor persuades Hulk, Valkyrie and Loki to escape from Sakaar, return to his home planet and defeat Hela. This is where the bulk of the comedy takes place. More than one-liners, their interactions are hilarious. Bruce Banner now has been in the Hulk form continuously for two years, so he has developed a more advanced level of expression and vocabulary, although still primitive by human standard.

Back at Asgard, Hela is raising an army of undead and goes on a murderous spree. She declares herself queen and wants to continue with her ambition to conquer other realms. The quartet works together, and with the help from Asgard guardian, Heimdall (Idris Elba), to stop Hela and also to prevent a prophecy of Asgardian destruction, Ragnarok, from coming to fruition. In the end, the cost is way high.

The movie is brimming with comedic deliveries (including star cameos), fluid and packed action scenes bursting with candy colors. There’s a “Guardian of the Galaxy” feel to it. The actors look like they’re having one helluva time. There is nothing particularly memorable, unlike, say, the last installment of Captain America, ‘Civil War,’ but it sure is entertaining as a whole.

“Thor: Ragnarok” is a blast of rock-and-roll.


Copyright (c) 2017.  Nathalia Aryani.

Nathalia Aryani is a film columnist and has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at

"Nathalia Aryani is a film columnist and has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at"

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