Plot: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has just defeated Surtur and derailed Ragnarok, sparing Asgard from total annihilation. Or so he though. As it turns out, the real threat is his sister Hela (Cate Blanchett), who has returned to unleash carnage upon Asgard and those who have wronged her. As if this threat isn’t enough, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is dead and with little effort, Hela has demolished Thor’s precious Mjolnir. Now as she marches on Asgard, Thor is stranded on an alien world and captured, forced to battle in an arena of champions to have a chance at freedom. When he learns the current grand champion is his old friend the Hulk, he is relieved, but of course, Hulk doesn’t share those feelings and plans to smash Thor to pieces. With the fate of Asgard in the balance, can Thor find his way back and neutralize Hela?
Entertainment Value: If you like slapstick humor and a total lack of emotional stakes, you should love Thor: Ragnarok. The movie has some substantial stakes involved, such as Odin’s death, the loss of Mjolnir, and Asgard’s demise, but it treats these as minor threads and focuses more on dad jokes and references to the director’s other movies. I didn’t mind the focus on humor, but literally no time is taken to let the movie’s more dramatic moments sink in, it is just “oh well, here’s another joke” and back to the flood of CGI. While the Marvel movies are all 99% poorly crafted CGI, Ragnarok has some even worse than normal instances. Hela’s oversized dog for instance, looks like a SyFy level creation, while the various big action set pieces look more like a 90s video game than a major motion picture. I know I am in the minority when it comes to CGI, but when it looks as unconvincing as it does in Thor: Ragnarok, it really takes me out of the movie and the heat of the moment. On the plus side, some of the humor lands and Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, and Cate Blanchett are fun to watch, with Thompson as a real stand out. But with so much flat humor, low end CGI, and a total disregard for the more impactful moments, Thor: Ragnarok winds up as just another Marvel movie.
No nakedness. A little blood, but it is non graphic and not enough to warrant a point in the tally. A severe injury is suffered late in the movie, but like the rest of the dramatic moments in the movie, it is glossed over and treated like a minor issue in an otherwise tensionless experience. The dialogue has some light humor, but the movie leans more on physical slapstick than subtle or even bold comic book style lines. A drunk woman falls down, Thor hits himself in the face, people are electrocuted ad nauseam, these are the kind of moments the movie focuses on to deliver humor. I suppose you could appreciate the dark humor in a few scenes, as tragic events are handled with dad jokes, including some from director Taikia Waititi in a vanity role with way too much screen time. But some of the humor does work, such as Thor’s snake story, Dr. Strange’s appearance, and most of Goldblum and Thompson’s scenes. But Hemsworth was just not an effective comic presence for me, in the least. As for craziness, not much to talk about here, as it does what Marvel movies do and doesn’t push for wildness or creative freshness. Which I think was a wise choice, since the Marvel fanbase likely would have been alienated if the MCU veered off the well worn path.
Overall Insanity: 0/10