I just got home from seeing Thor Ragnarok and my initial impression is that this is easily the best Thor movie to date. Not that that is an incredibly challenging feat. But let's talk about why that is, and why it seems to be rubbing some people the wrong way.
There have been a lot of complaints that this movie was "too funny". Did everyone want to go back to the "serious" and "dark" Thor movies we've had? Neither of the first two movies were great, or particularly memorable. I'm trying to think of more than 2 or 3 scenes that stand out for me, other than Kat Dennings.
Somewhere along the line someone realized that Chris Hemsworth had some decent comedy chops. So going a little lighter with this movie played to that strength. And the style of comedy, Thor being a little oblivious at times, a little unaware of how things work (think of that "friend from work" joke), seems to work.
I will give this warning. I've never seen a Taika Waititi movie. As we were heading into the theater, a friend explained that his style is dry humor and sometimes a bit disjointed and halts the flow of the scene. I noticed this immediately in the first scene. So it's a style that takes some getting used to, and maybe you'll never get used to it.
Another thing I noticed about the dry comedy in this movie is it didn't hit with everyone. There were moments where my buddy and I were laughing, but it clearly didn't hit with the rest of the theater. Oh well, their loss I suppose.
Let's wrap up this section by quickly addressing the complaints about the MCU getting too funny. I haven't had any issue with the comedy in these movies, but maybe it's that this year we had Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 (definitely funny), Spider-Man Homecoming (Fairly lighthearted with some Peter Parker silliness) and now Thor Ragnarok (see the paragraphs above). So that's all three MCU movies leaning toward the comedy side. But last year we had Captain America Civil War and Doctor Strange. Both of course have their moments of humor, but neither are what I would consider a comedy. And next year we're getting Black Panther and Avengers Infinity War. Neither of those will be a comedy (we've also got Antman and the Wasp, but I'm assuming we'll get something similar there). So is it just some overload for 2017? Is that such a bad thing? I'll take some comedy in my movies and save the serious stuff for the news (yeah, I just got a little topical).
OK, moving on. I loved the characters in this movie. Beyond our already known cast in Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and a small appearance from Doctor Stranger (Benedict Cumberbatch), we get several new characters. Cate Blanchett plays a wicked Hela. We already knew she had a great look, but she plays the character with a certain swagger that really made me love the character. Tessa Thompson joins the cast as Valkyrie. While her backstory seemed to have a couple small holes, I did enjoy her character. Director Taika Waititi does an awesome Korg, and Jeff Goldblum brings his personal brand of weirdness to The Grandmaster.
The music in this movie was great. It had a very similar vibe to Stranger Things. Lots of synth. This may not hit with everyone, but I really enjoyed it.
This movie was not without its flaws. A lot of the action just seemed to jump forward. While I understood characters like Loki (he's always sort of changing sides depending on what suits him best), there are some actions taken by others like Valkyrie that just seem to happen. This wasn't bad enough to take me out of the movie, but it was noticeable.
Some of the CGI was good, some not so good. There were scenes with The Hulk that reminded me why he doesn't get a lot of extended screen time. It's not easy to make a big green person walk around and have emotion on their face without it eventually looking weird.
Overall, my initial feeling is this is a B+. It's fun (which is not a bad thing!) and I was entertained throughout the movie. I never felt like the movie was dragging.
Have you seen Thor Ragnarok yet? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.