Thor: Ragnarok was a refreshingly great, even semi-retooling, of the franchise with more aims at comedy than the outlandish plot which bogged down the previous entries, the second especially. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and would gladly re-watch in the future.
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action, Comedy
Disney | PG13 – 130 min. – $24.99 | March 6, 2018
Date Published: 03/01/2018 | Author: The Movieman
THE MOVIE — 3.75/5
Well, dammit, they’ve done it! They’ve really done it! I have not been the biggest fan of the first two Thor movies (The Dark World was terrible) and Marvel movies in general never got beyond being passable entertainment until Black Panther. Now Thor: Ragnarok was an entertaining film but wasn’t just passable, but truly a fun experience and one of the very few Marvel movies I’d gladly re-watch.
When the film opens, we find the Mighty Thor (CHRIS HEMSWORTH) captured by a demon who is intent on fulfilling the apocalyptic prophecy to Asgaard, which Thor has had nightmares about, known as Ragnarok. He manages to get free and capture the demon’s horn helmet (or something) and makes his long awaited return to Asgaard.
Upon arriving, he finds the portal is now being guarded by a man named Skurge (KARL URBAN) and, if you remember end of Thor: The Dark World, Loki (TOM HIDDLESTON) is now impersonating his father, Odin (ANTHONY HOPKINS). It would seem Marvel had other plans with that cliffhanger but instead, and thankfully, they dispersed with them and instead made a joke of it. Loki, as Odin, has erected a statue in his honor and has put upon a play that rewrites history making himself the hero and Thor a, well, coward. Thor quickly dispenses of the charade and exposes Loki.
There, that plot thread done, one to go: The brothers go to Earth to find their father whom Loki had placed in an old folks home which has been demolished. Luckily, Thor receives help from none other than Doctor Strange (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH) in a scene we partially saw in the post-credit scene in his own film. Strange reveals, in his quirky way, where Odin is (Norway) and opens a portal for the two. Odin is standing at a cliff’s edge appreciating the view and it’s revealed, thanks to Loki’s actions, Odin’s energy has drained and he’s at the end of his life. But worse news is, because of this he can no longer contain Hela (CATE BLANCHETT) aka the Goddess of Death, Thor and Loki’s sister whom nobody knew about, almost like they retconned her in, and if she manages to get to Asgaard, she will have unlimited power.
Well, like clockwork, and just as Odin dies and vanishes as if he was one with the Force I suppose (both are owned by Disney after all), Hela makes her return and Thor and Loki are no match for her as she, with relative ease, smashes Thor’s hammer. Loki makes a hasty decision to call upon the portal to return to Asgaard but along with them inside is Hela who diverts both off course and Thor manages to land in a strange world known as Sakaar, run by the eccentric Grandmaster (JEFF GOLDBLUM). Here Thor is taken captive by Valkyrie (TESSA THOMPSON) and forced to fight the Grandmaster’s champion, none other than the Incredible Hulk (MARK RUFFALO)!
Meanwhile on As the Asgaard Turns, Hela is making quick work to lay the claim, as the first born, to the throne, she is up against some resistance from the military while civilians are on the run led way by Heimdall (IDRIS ELBA).
Now it’s up to Thor, with hopeful help from Bruce Banner (if he can escape the Hulk) and the never-to-be-trusted Loki, and perhaps another helper, to get back to Asgaard and stop Hela before it’s too late and she unleashes her wrath not only on Asgaard, but the other realms as well.
Thor: Ragnarok is a movie that does go off-the-walls but luckily not so far off that it becomes too bizarre for its own good, though it did come close with Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster character, seemingly more appropriate in The Fifth Element. I actually for once really enjoyed Thor as a character though Chris Hemsworth always did exude charisma in spots; Tom Hiddleston had a few nice scenes and kept the character’s mischief ways; and it’s never a bad thing seeing Mark Ruffalo or Anthony Hopkins even in smaller roles, Hopkins especially was only in the film for maybe 5 minutes.
The highlight, however, were Tessa Thompson who made waves in Creed and plays a great badass while Cate Blanchett as a villainous, who wasn’t all that interesting in herself, as per the norm for a Marvel film, but her own charisma really fills out the thin character rather nicely, and never hurts she’s absolutely stunning.
Directed by the ostentatious and lively Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Winderpeople), Thor: Ragnarok certainly plays out like his personality with lots of color and amazing energy with just enough of a substantive of a story to hold it all together rather than making it some disposable comic book movie.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5
|This release comes with a glossy and reflective slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital Copy.
Audio Commentary – It’s a good thing director Taika Waititi is a lively fellow because doing a solo track, he has plenty of energy to keep it interesting and also provides some tid-bits and information on the production.
Featurettes (34:24; HD):
Gag Reel (2:18; HD) – As you might imagine, plenty of yuks here.
Team Darryl (6:08; HD) – This is a The Office-like mock-umentary where Darryl must look for a new roommate when Thor left, with his new one being the Grandmaster.
Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years – The Evolution of Heroes (5:23; HD) looks at the incredible journey of the MCU that began with Iron Man and focuses on Thor. This really could’ve been a documentary but instead is a short featurette. Hopefully we will get one with the release of The Avengers: Infinity War.
Deleted Scenes (5:43; HD) – There are five scenes that were either cut down or complete removed. Probably for the better as none of them really did much to advance the story or characters and instead were like line-o-ramas.
8-Bit Sequences – There are two scenes done in 8-bit video game form and were utilized almost like pre-vizs.
VIDEO – 5.0/5
|Thor: Ragnarok swings onto Blu-ray presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. With the light-hearted nature and 1980s-like style, this does look fantastic in HD with eye-popping bright colors and some out-there visual effects that does come off the small-big screen really well. Detail is sharp and there no noticeable flaws like artifacting or aliasing. Just an all around excellent looking Blu-ray that is reference quality work.|
AUDIO – 3.75/5
|The movie comes with a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and although it does sound great with some excellent surrounds like during the Thor vs. Hulk coliseum scene or the finale battle when Thor reigns down hell on his enemies. That said, the lower levels seemed lackluster and other parts were a bit too quiet or soft. I expected to be blown away by such an expansive track yet is still decent.|
OVERALL – 4.0/5
Overall, Thor: Ragnarok was a refreshingly great, even semi-retooling, of the franchise with more aims at comedy than the outlandish plot which bogged down the previous entries, the second especially. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and would gladly re-watch in the future (can’t say that for many other Marvel movies). This Blu-ray release has excellent video, solid audio and a so-so selection of bonus features.
Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.