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‘Thor: Ragnarok’ strikes a balance between comedy and action

Showcasing witty humor and an exemplary soundtrack, the third movie of the series,
Showcasing witty humor and an exemplary soundtrack, the third movie of the series, “Thor Ragnarok,” is sure to entertain.

The opening scene begins with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) hanging from the ceiling in chains. He begins with a monologue directed at the viewer explaining the situation. Suddenly, he drops and faces a fiery demon-like being known as Surtur. Surtur says, “Thor, son of Odin,” in which Thor responds, “Surtur, son of a….b***h.”

“Thor Ragnarok” came out on Nov. 3rd. Compared to the two previous films, “Thor” and “Thor: The Dark World,” “Thor: Ragnarok” emphasizes action and humor. The movie is also heavily reliant upon music to support what each scene tries to display. “Thor: Ragnarok” rightfully deserves its high ratings and praise.

Something to note—as this is the third installment and intertwines with the other Marvel movies— there will be a few names and events that if you hadn’t watched the other movies you will not understand. This is not a huge negative and should be somewhat expected, regardless the movie is extremely enjoyable and feel-good.

Thor finds himself imprisoned on a world known as Sakaar. He is held prisoner by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) and must fight in a gladiatorial arena against the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). From there, he is forced to find a way off the world of Sakaar to return to Asgard to defeat the Goddess of Death, Hela (Cate Blanchett), who has taken over. Hela is believed to be the person to initiate Ragnarok, also known as the end of Asgardian civilization.

Compared to the previous two films, this one displays a much bigger comedic side, which seemed to work well for Marvel’s other films such as “Guardians of the Galaxy” and its sequel, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” The comedy is quite appropriate and appeals to Marvel fans of all ages. Sarcasm is the basis of this humor and had me chuckling throughout the movie.

Some of the funniest scenes revolve around Thor and his witty responses to people that he speaks with, mainly villains. There are also many familial jokes and references throughout the film, especially related to Thor’s relationship with his twin-like adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston). They tend to bicker and fight as elementary school brothers would. For instance, in order to beat the enemies behind the door and escape, Loki pretends to be injured, hanging loosely in Thor’s arms as Thor yells out for help, catching the enemy off guard. From there, Thor throws Loki unexpectedly, resulting in grumbling complaints from Loki as the two reminisce about similar occurrences in the past.

The relationship that Thor has with the Hulk/Bruce Banner, as he tries to appeal to the two halves individually, is another example of this humor. For example, when talking to the Hulk personality, he says that he hates Bruce and that Bruce is thinking too much. While appealing to Bruce, Thor says the Hulk is too barbaric and it is clear in both scenes he’s just trying to get each personality on his side.

The use of different types of humor allows the viewer to make a connection to the interactions made by characters. The connections are important as the characters being watched aren’t exactly normal humans or even are humans, but the humor provides something to relate to.

“Thor: Ragnarok” also uses third person viewpoint with its action shots, which allowed the viewer to feel as if they were watching in person. Many bird’s eye view shots were utilized to enhance fluidity of movements made by all characters in the shot.

In every fight scene, slow motion clips increased the intensity of the fight. They typically left the viewers anticipating the next action taking place.

A key aspect in enhancing and putting the finishing touches on the film was the music. For example, the world of Sakaar pans across the screen, with views of the city accompanied by sci-fi-ish melodies. This helped identify the scenes as something that were different from Earth and were instead alien. Classic rock music from the mid-late 90s was used in order to pump up a scene’s action, reminiscent of “Guardians of the Galaxy’s” use of 70s rock songs.

To me, “Thor: Ragnarok” is the best of the three Thor movies and probably one of the better Marvel movie productions of their cinematic universe. The added humor throughout the movie was appreciated to allow a viewer to make a human connections with the very non-human cast. The screenplay regarding the music and third person views of scenes where masterfully done to value scene’s meanings and roll it plays throughout the film.

The humor is somewhat childish and crude, though not to the extent of “Deadpool,” so if you don’t care for that type of comedy then you might not fully enjoy this movie. However, if you’re into comedic superhero movies then you’ll be in for a treat with the great acting, action and screenplay that “Thor: Ragnarok” bestows on a viewer.

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About the Contributor
Maxim Kawashima, Author