These days, I feel like so many trailers for superhero and other genre films are so same-old-same-old that they tend to blur in my mind. When I saw the first trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, though, it hit me right between the eyes, between the use of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” (my favorite band, and one of my favorite songs of theirs) and the retro 80s logo. Throw in some humor that was lacking in the previous Thor installments and I was sold.
Sure, it feels like someone said: “Hey, the Guardians of the Galaxy movies did really well – do what they did,” but that’s not such a bad thing. I’ve never been a big Thor fan, preferring heroes who are more conflicted and fallible, so seeing the son of Odin kicked around a bit while cracking wise was okay by me. I also love how this film, like many others in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, feels like one of those classic Marvel comic books where the main character is having an adventure anyone can follow along with, but there are still tie-ins to the larger story universe that he inhabits.
The film opens with Thor captured by the demon Surtur, whose defeat he believes will prevent Ragnarok from happening. That’s pretty important to him, since it will mean the destruction of his homeland of Asgard if it occurs. He manages to achieve his goal but returns home to discover that Odin is MIA and his trickster brother Loki has taken their father’s place.Despite some of the tonal inconsistencies the Thor franchise has had in the past, Thor: Ragnarok feels like the defining Thor film. Chris Hemsworth returns to reprise his role as the title character he has played since 2011, and the third installment features a brand new first: the addition of a fellow Avenger, the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Director Taika Waititi takes the title character in the direction the franchise should have followed since the very beginning. By embracing the comedic potential and letting Waititi tell the story that he wants, turning Thor: Ragnarok into a hilarious action-filled adventure. While Ragnarok will hit store shelves on March 6, 2018, the digital version has been available since late February.
Along with the film, this home release is chock full of bonus features — the cover Thor, the first ten years of Marvel, Valkyrie and Hela, the source material that inspired the film, and of course, the return of Darryl.
Check out the full review here below.
Thor: Ragnarok takes place two years after the events of Avengers: Age Of Ultron, with Thor still on the search for the “colorful” Infinity Stones. After preventing Surtur from bringing Ragnarok to Asgard, the god of thunder finally returns home only to discover that Loki is not only alive but he has been impersonating their father. So the two brothers return to earth in search of their father. But they find out that his exile was something he wanted, as he is nearing his death. But just before he dies, he reveals that his death will release Hela, his firstborn and their sister, from her imprisonment.
Promising to rule Asgard as the way it was meant to be ruled, Hela takes herself to Asgard and disposes of Thor and Loki with ease. They are transported to the gladiator planet known as Sakaar where the only way to survive is to fight or be food. While Loki gains the Grandmaster’s favor, Thor is brought to the arena to be a gladiator by Valkyrie, a drunken elite warrior who was once part of a proud group of female warriors that fought by Odin’s side. However, she and the rest of the Valkyrie were unable to defeat Hela and she found herself losing her way.
Meanwhile, Thor is forced to fight his way out of Sakaar, and the only way to do that is if he beats Sakaar’s champion, who just so happens to be The Hulk.
The film itself is fine. Again, it’s nice to see the franchise finally embracing its silliness and absurdity. Taking it to the lawless Sakaar left plenty of room for the character smash, and the buddy road trip concept was hilarious, as Thor tries to convince Hulk he should come with him, which wasn’t easy, and Thor tries to convince Banner to come with him, also not easy.
Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie was a bit of fresh air for the franchise. Though Jane Foster and Sif each brought their own thing to the Thor films, Valkyrie was something new as the character was deeply flawed and looking for a way to earn redemption even though she had been running away from it since her defeat and the loss of her comrades.
Hulk and Banner get their own chance to flex their muscles. We get to see a hilarious Hulk who has been living a lavish life as Sakaar’s champion, treating Thor as his personal plaything. And we get to see a more sensitive side to the character, one who realizes what he has left behind and the rage he unleashes when sees what he has lost.
Korg (Taika Waititi) is a charming scene stealer. Hela (Cate Blanchett) is fine as a villain with a generic motivation and goal.
Production designer Dan Hennah created these fantastical worlds that feel almost tangible. Asgard looks more real than it did before and Sakaar is just not a place I would want to visit, despite the fact that it does have gladiator matches – I mean how cool is that. And Mark Mothersbaugh‘s crafted a score that fits with the film’s rocking vibe.
Overall, Thor: Ragnarok is great but it is also a Thor film. So while it is enjoyable, we have to remember, it’s not the strongest of the MCU franchise films. Still, any hardcore Marvel Cinematic Universe fan will feel incomplete without adding the film to their collection.
Deleted/Extended Scenes – Deleted Scenes: The Sorcerer Supreme, Skurge Finds Heimdall & Hulk Chases Thor Through Sakaar and Extended Scenes: Thor Meets the Grandmaster, Stupid Avenger vs. Tiny Avenger & Grandmaster and Topaz
Gag Reel – Watch a collection, of goofs, gaffes and pratfalls starring the cast
Exclusive Short/Team Darryl – Fresh off being unseated as the ruler of Sakaar, the Grandmaster makes his way to Earth to start a new life. It’s been over a year since Thor left Australia and Darryl has been struggling to pay his rent. Now Darryl needs a new roommate to help make the monthly payments. Unfortunately for Darryl, the Grandmaster was the only one who answered Darryl’s “Roommate Needed” ad and with no viable options, the Grandmaster moves in.
Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years – The Evolution of Heroes – Marvel’s universe is vast and transcends both time and space. We’ll examine the Cinematic Universe as a whole and revisit each of our heroes’ current location and their place in the current MCU timeline, as it all leads up to the one culminating event: “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Getting in Touch with Your Inner Thor – “Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi has brought his unique sensibility and sense of humor to the film in a great many ways but it is the evolution of Thor’s own sense of humor, which stands out the most in the new film. This piece explores the impact Chris Hemsworth has made on the development of his widely-loved character and celebrates the mighty cast and crew who reveal the fun and hard work that went into assembling Thor’s eccentric counterparts.
Unstoppable Women: Hela & Valkyrie – This piece explores the strong female characters in “Thor: Ragnarok,” their importance in the MCU, their incredible casting and their epic comic origins.
Finding Korg – A tongue-in-cheek interview with Taika on casting Korg. He describes the difficult search for just the right evolution of the character design, and the nuances of this instantly classic character in the MCU. This conversation will also delve into all the extraordinary visual effects that brought Korg, Sakaar and the worlds of “Thor: Ragnarok” to life.
Sakaar: On the Edge of the Known and Unknown – Sakaar is the collection point for all lost and unloved things. This documentary will answer all known and unknown questions while also exploring the hard work and creativity that went into creating the look and feel of Sakaar. From design inspired by Jack Kirby’s classic artwork to the dedication of the visual development team to the awe-inspiring physical and digital production, you will see this distant world come alive.
Journey into Mystery – A deep dive story piece with the writers, director and producer Kevin Feige about the inspirations for “Thor: Ragnarok” within the comics. Most notably, the contest of champions limited series where the Grandmaster pitted our favorite heroes against one another as he does in the film. This piece also further explores Thor’s comic book origins and classic arcs through interviews with some of the most important comic creators, such as Walt Simonson and Jack Kirby.
8bit Scenes – Final Bridge Battle + Sakaar Spaceship Battle. Dive into these climactic sequences presented in retro video-game format.