This weekend I gave in to my superhero loving husband and accompanied him to Marvel’s new installment, the Thor Ragnarok movie. The third in the Thor series opened to huge numbers and promised, as they always do, to be one of the most exciting, adventurous Marvel movies yet. Coaxed by this information, (intended to increase my odds of participating) I decided to go to the Thor Ragnarok movie and see if it was in fact, (this time) different from the rest.
Up until recently, the extent of my actual knowledge on Thor consisted of a few “facts”. (Well, maybe fake news.) One, he’s the God of Thunder. Two, he wears a lightening helmet, and three, he’s played (sort of) by a young, strapping Vincent D’onofrio in Adventures of Babysitting. Well, apparently Thor has come quite a long way. He has been busy making a name for himself in the massive, superhero world franchise we all currently live inside. But ever since I started to hear more about this Thor fella, seeing snippets, and moments of him in other Superhero movies, my interest in the Thor Ragnarok movie was piqued.
No matter how many new Marvel movies I see, no one has matched my original, favorite superhero, Superman. Let me be clear. NOT ZAK SNYDER’s SUPERMAN. Not the brooding, frankly angry Henry Cavill Superman. The light, sweet, charming one indelible in my heart and mind, and played by Christopher Reeve. (Though I do love Starlord particularly), no one yet has matched that charm. Although, the more I delved into the Thor Ragnorak movie this weekend, I realized Thor could actually be a contender for the most charming superhero today. He’s sarcastic, witty, even self deprecating. When talking about his break up with love, Jane he declares, she broke up..well I broke up with her actually..”
It wasn’t my favorite Marvel movie ever, but turns out, the gossip is mostly true. The Thor Ragnorak movie does have a lot going for it, including not being the typical, cookie cutter superhero flick.
The hero himself.
These days, every superhero comes with their own corresponding charm. Captain America has wholesomeness, Iron man has arrogance, Batman has brooding, Deadpool has sarcasm and so on. What is Thor’s then? A subtle level of fake accessibility. He’s gorgeous, powerful, but funny too. Three things which in real life, rarely seem to go together. After seeing some of his comedic flair in the last Avengers movie, and in the end credits of Dr. Strange, it became more apparent this could be a superhero to love. One with a killer smile to reign us in. Then, a self deprecating humor to help us relate and keep us enticed. He did fall for a mortal after all, just like that other aforementioned powerful being. Even more so, in Thor Ragnarok, Thor’s trusty hammer and the source of his power is destroyed. He’s then captured, imprisoned, and forced to fight in a Gladiator style arena resided over by the eccentrically evil Grandmaster, the leader of Sakaar. The always charming Jeff Goldblum. But throughout the entire ordeal, he never winces, never growls, and doesn’t appear to worry too much about his predicament. Even captive, his superhero appeal shines through.
The music in most Marvel, or any superhero movies for that matter, is typically similar. A medley of pop culture, recognizable beats, mixed with moments of triumphant music about sums it up. But the Thor Ragnarok movie sounds more like a mix of Drive and Stranger Things. Cool 80′s beats thump loudly during the more animated scenes, taking us from one peril to the next.
Every movie lover knows for every good, there has to be bad. For each protagonist, an antagonist. And of course, as is always the case in superhero movies, a bad guy. Except the bad guy in the Thor Ragnarok movie is a woman. Cate Blanchett, (who has never strayed from these types of roles before) plays Thor’s bad blooded sister Hela, banished long ago from their home Asgard. When she returns to wreak havoc, and destroy (what else are they ever there to do), it leads Thor and sibling Loki, who typically holds the villainous title to join forces and unite against her. Loki also a Marvel staple has his own ‘bad boy’ charm. Is he fighting for good or evil? Even Loki himself admits, “it changes from moment to moment”. Blanchett’s dark, gothic style, even her strut feels exciting. Coming at a time when powerful women are growing in outspoken numbers, she’s the perfect person to play one.
Superhero movies have a formula, and part of that formula includes one liners and zingers. Over the years though, I’ve noticed this dialogue has gotten much better. We’ve come a long way from Schwartzenegger spewing out Mr Freeze quotes. But the Thor Ragnarok movie seems to go even a step further. This includes another super hero’s role in the movie. Hulk makes an appearance, playing more green giant than dorky Bruce Banner. Something’s different in the Thor Ragnarok movie unlike any other superhero film we’ve ever seen. The Hulk has his own dialogue; even his own vibe and tone. Something the mostly quiet, not so smart Hulk character never had before. He even scores a few laughs, cementing that Thor Ragnarok movie definitely has its own vibe too.