Thoughts On Thor: Ragnarok: The Dumbing Down Of Marvel
Marvel Studios third Thor movie, Thor: Ragnarok, debuted this weekend in theaters and judging from the positive reviews and box office revenue, it's a major hit.
It has a whopping 93% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and its box office currently sits at $427 million worldwide with a $121 million domestic haul, which beat expectations and estimates.
Following are some of my thoughts on the flick: I'll say it didn't exactly blow me away, but I did find it entertaining. It's simply another Marvel "popcorn" flick meant to appease the masses, and similar to most Marvel movies these days, it isn't aimed at the hardcore comic books fans, as we're obviously in the minority (looking at you James Gunn and Guardians of the Galaxy).
The opening scene was both super cool and eye-rolling at the same time. I was disappointed with Surtur as the demon came off more as some sort of video game boss than anything else. Thor joking around when he was hanging from the chains I found "stupid"--and I found myself saying that out loud at the theater, but the battle that ensued and use of Mjolnir was pretty awesome.
From there, we are taken to Asgard where that Matt Damon The Avengers play is going on - more goofball jokes - and Thor outs Loki as being Odin; however, it's just another day at the office, as nothing becomes of it. The two head to Earth where they meet up with Doctor Strange. I found this to be a really cool scene and enjoyed seeing Doctor Strange alongside Thor and Loki. I noticed that Doctor Strange didn't tell Thor he is the Sorcerer Supreme, which follows the Doctor Strange movie in that Strange isn't SS just yet. Doctor Strange then helps them find Odin's whereabouts on Earth.
This is the scene that Marvel changed regarding the destruction of Mjolnir. Originally, Odin was going to be a hobo, and Thor and Loki were going to meet Odin in an alley (assumed NYC). I think Marvel was right to change the scene from an alley to an open country/field as the scene was pretty emotional. It would have been over-the-top, even for this movie, to have Odin as some goofball bum talking with Thor and Loki and essentially "dying." Hela then makes her presence felt and destroys Thor's hammer, with the three of them on their way to Asgard.
Regarding Hela, I thought she came off as a rather bland villain, per the norm with Marvel. She was basically a carbon copy of Loki, but retconned into Asgardian history. It was a quick explanation: long lost daughter of Odin that no one knew about that wants revenge and the throne of Asgard. But wait? Valkyrie does remember Hela, and it's Valkyrie's first appearance in the MCU. How convenient. Meh. They didn't get into any back story about Hela, how she (at least in the comics) is the ruler of Hel and Niflheim. I guess that's too much for the general audience as it would go over their heads, so why bother delving into it? I also found Hela's powers underwhelming as all she did was create weapons out of no where. You can hit up Wiki to learn more about Hela's powers, which basically weren't in this movie in the least bit.
So while battling Hela on their way to Asgard, both Loki and Thor are booted out of the Bifrost and find their way to Sakaar.
I'm a huge Hulk and Planet Hulk fan, and Sakaar in Thor: Ragnarok was just awful and cringe-inducing. Again, this movie isn't aimed at comic book fans in the least bit. It's a shame we'll never get to see a straight adaptation of the Planet Hulk (and even World War Hulk) storyline from the comics, but I'm guessing it's too serious for Marvel Studios anyway. Director Taika Waititi voicing the goofball version of Korg was simply atrocious. Ditto for whatever they did with Miek, two of Hulk's Warbound in the comics and huge parts of the Planet Hulk and World War Hulk storyline. Basically, Korg and Miek were wannabee versions of Rocket and Groot. And that pretty much sums up what Marvel Studios did with Thor: Ragnarok, which is to rip off James Gunn's own Looney Tune approach to Marvel COSMIC. And that is exactly what I felt when watching Thor: Ragnarok, as it felt like a Saturday Morning kids' cartoon (beep! beep!).
I'll never understand why movies change so much from the comics. The general audience won't know the difference between Saakar, Skraat, or Sacajawea, or Korg, Gorg or Kroc. Why change things?
I also didn't generally like the Hulk in the movie, both his demeanor and CGI (Thor vs Hulk fight was cool). I guess they were going for a 2-year-old approach to the Hulk, as that is the amount of time Banner has been away, but a lot of it came out forced, just like a lot of the humor in Thor: Ragnarok. Hulk looked much better in Avengers: Age of Ultron. I will say I expected more screen time from Mark Ruffalo, and I really enjoyed his Banner. It did make sense that Banner couldn't be featured in the movie a lot as he's only a puny human. It was rather interesting that Banner said if he changes back to the Hulk, he won't be able to change back to Banner again, so I assume they will be going more into that in The Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4.
Tom Hiddleston as Loki is always a treat. There can never be enough of Loki. Doctor Strange gave Loki a good whippin' (lol). So did Loki grab the Tesseract, and is that why (assumed) Thanos' ship appears during the first post-credit scene? Seems likely? Also no Soul Stone? I don't think the Eternal Fire was meant to be the Soul Stone, or was it?
Some other thoughts:
A quick note regarding Loki, so he steals the throne of Asgard, takes away Odin's powers and banishes Odin, which leads to the death of Odin, to Hela escaping, and to the destruction of Asgard, and it's business as usual? No consequences for Loki? Again, just another example of this being aimed at the general audience who probably doesn't even remember the previous movies.
Skurge/Executioner was terrible. Was this some sort of liberal attempt to sneak in a gun joke? The guns are called "dest" and "troy" (or whatever it was). Why? Because guns destroy? Hardy har har, right Taika?
The Warriors Three are no more. I guess it was a good thing Zachary Levi signed on as Captain Marvel for DC. Also, no Sif? I guess that means she is alive out there somewhere at least.
The final post-credit scene was also pretty dumb. I could live without ever seeing the Grandmaster again.
Oh, regarding the Grandmaster, you are telling me he has never heard of Asgard before or even Odin? It seemed odd to me that an Elder of the Universe didn't recognize either Odin or Asgard when Thor mentioned it. Now it is possible Grandmaster might not be an "Elder of the Universe" in the MCU or any sort of COSMIC bigwig, which would explain things, and would be another example of Feige dumbing down the MCU for movie goers and the $$$.
Also, it looks like Odin won't be around for Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers 4? I would have loved to see what he had to say about Thanos acquiring the Infinity Stones.
Did you notice they finally cleared up that right-handed Infinity Gauntlet from the first Thor movie? Apparently someone at Marvel did a big oops and created a prop of the Infinity Gauntlet on the right hand. In the comics (and the one Thanos has in the MCU), it's the left hand. Hela said it was a fake (lol).
Anyone else notice they kept Thor's missing eye a secret from trailers and promotions?
Also, was this scene cut from the movie? (again, notice Thor's eye), and I'll end my thoughts that the action in the film was absolutely enjoyable and terrific: