Thor: Ragnarok is not a serious film and it does not pretend to be one. The third film in the franchise, Ragnarok took the God of Thunder in a direction many fans never expected with director Taika Waititi at the helm.
The Thor franchise is usually known for its very serious and often dark portrayal of Thor and his adventures; however, with gags and wisecracks, Waititi was able to transport his audience into an adventurous epic like none before it.
Imprisoned and forced to fight gladiator-style in Sakar–a planet in the farthest part of the universe–without his trusty hammer, Thor must find a way to escape and stop the witch Hela from wreaking havoc on Asgard and causing Ragnarok – a world ending event.
Even though the subject matter is pretty heavy and stakes are higher than they have ever been, Thor treats the impending events with such levity that it is almost too easy to forget that they are trying to stop an apocalypse from occurring.
Despite being a comedy, Thor: Ragnarok deals with pretty serious themes throughout the entirety of the movie. A very prominent theme is brotherhood. In this movie, Thor again has to deal with his relationship with his brother Loki. However, as Loki is not the main antagonist in Ragnarok, we are able to see their relationship for what it is: dysfunctional and ever evolving, with Thor and Loki even getting to share some really tender moments and act like regular siblings.
We also get to see a more tender side to Loki who lost his mother in Thor: The Dark World and is faced with losing his home in Ragnarok. Thor himself has undergone changes as he is no longer the spoiled child that he was in the first movie or the naïve hero he was in the second; Ragnarok sees him maturing and becoming very much like his father.
The theme of brotherhood is once again present in Thor’s relationship with The Hulk. Hulk, who left Earth in Avengers 2, is now worshipped in Sakar as a champion. The arrival of Thor forces Hulk to confront the demons he left behind in Earth, his role in the Avengers, and his relationship with Thor. In Sakar, Thor and Hulk are able to bond and strengthen their relationship, making them closer than they were before.
The movie gives us the closest thing we may ever get to a Planet Hulk movie. The movie also features The Grandmaster–an elder of the universe and brother to The Collector. Channeling comic creator, Jack Kirby, amongst others, Waititi gives us epic ‘80s visuals and an awesome ‘80s soundtrack to go with, not to mention some truly colorful and stunning scenes and imagery. Ragnarok also ties in very well with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s timeline.
Thor: Ragnarok is a solid movie, a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and the redemption that the Thor franchise so badly needed. A problem with the movie is that it has one too many gags. Even its emotional moments are undercut by jokes, reminding the audience not to get too involved in the story.
Another lesser problem is that the film follows a formula–the Marvel formula. Although it is a formula that has been working for them, it does get a bit tiring seeing the same thing happen over and over again across the MCU. Regardless, Ragnarok is a great movie and definitely worth the watch.