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Thor Ragnarok a Movie Review
On the opening weekend of Thor Ragnarok, I took one of my boys to see it, I asked him what he thought of it and he gave it an 8 out of 10, myself I’d say more like a 7 out of 10.
So, why was I feeling like I had just eaten two really delicious (low salt) rice cakes?
Have you ever had a rice cake, or two, when you’re really hungry?
They don’t really fill you up, they don’t hit the spot.
This was what Thor Ragnarok felt like to me. The special effects were excellent, there were plenty of those really good moments (that can be turned into great ten second preview Ad clips) where the actors say something witty or funny. There were some good fight scenes, the plot was easy to follow (it helps when you’ve seen all the other movies from the Marvel Universe) … so I found myself wondering why it seemed something was lacking.
So I started thinking about the Guardians of the Galaxy, and how that is clearly my family’s favorite when it comes to the plethora of Super Hero movies to come out the past few years.
One of the big things Guardians had is identifiability, the Guardians of the Galaxy aren’t gods, they aren’t unstoppable green hulks, the main hero is a wise-guy young man who still has a chipper upbeat personality despite having a traumatic childhood… I would consider losing one’s mom to cancer, being kidnapped by pirates from space, and not having a dad in his life as a child, to be somewhat ‘traumatic’.
This rougue lead character meets a few misfits along his journeys and they become a dysfunctional sort of family, a tight group, even if they are outcasts, they seem connected to one another.
This togetherness is not developed in Thor Ragnarok, there is no real chemistry, no strong ‘ties-that-bind’… whereas the Guardians are together almost because they have no one else, no one to accept them into their lives, they are cast-offs more than criminals or heroes.
In contrast the main characters in Thor seem to unite despite their desires to go off and do other things, and be rid of one another. Once the threat is over, one can’t help but believe they will go their separate ways as soon as they are able.
Then too, there is a lack of romantic tension between Thor and anyone in Ragnarok, whereas there is an awkward romantic interest between the lead male and female characters in Guardians, presented to us in a way which speaks to most of us. At one point in time in our lives most of us have felt an awkward attraction to someone but were unsure of how to express it or pursue it.
When one looks at another Marvel movie, Iron Man, the lead had character flaws, he was human, he had a romantic interest in the female lead, but despite (or perhaps because) being a ‘lady’s man’ he couldn’t bring himself to pursue her in a serious and significant fashion, this changes over the course of the Iron Man movies and the character’s development.
And that’s another thing that seems hollow about Thor in Ragnarok, in the first Thor movie he went from blustering foolhardy arrogant ‘god’, to a more reflective, considerate, relatable person who fell in love with a woman on earth, that relationship continues in the second Thor movie, with some hiccups, but none the less still a prominent part of Thor’s life and the storyline.
And now, this strong love interest isn’t even mentioned, and Thor is back to being… well, about Thor, about fighting, and bouncing around the galaxy.
Thor Ragnarok has its funny moments, and thrilling fight scenes, but the characters seem shallow, and the ties that had been developed, such as Banner’s relationship with Natasha, and Thor’s relationship with Jane Foster, all but ignored.
A good movie, but not one that pulled on the heartstrings or had me identifying strongly with anyone.