GRAPHIC BY YING YANG
By CHRISTINA QUACH
It is safe to say that the new Thor movie Ragna-rocks.
Released on Nov. 3, Thor: Ragnarok managed to stir up buzz, taking the top spot in box offices, and with good reason, too.
With the possibility of his kingdom being destroyed, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is taken on a wild journey to help prevent Ragnarok, the prophecy that depicts the end of Asgard, from happening. Along with the potential doom his kingdom might face, Thor has to deal with a new problem: his evil sister, also known as the Goddess of Death.
While the film brushes over past details, Thor: Ragnarok manages to tastefully combine in-depth character development, family angst and witty humor altogether, creating an enthralling storyline.
The third installment of Thor introduces a new face to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU): Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson).
Valkyrie is a breath of fresh air from the stereotypical female character in superhero movies—often meek and dependent on the hero to save her. Valkyrie is not just another pretty face; she is witty, cunning and not afraid to snap back. While strong minded female characters are not uncommon in the MCU, Valkyrie still manages to help spark a sense of empowerment in females, especially young girls.
Also, despite there being an Incredible Hulk series in the past, Thor: Ragnarok manages to give more insight on the more current and revamped version of the Hulk, as the previous rendition of Bruce Banner, played by Edward Norton, is drastically different.
For one, the current Hulk does not have the same love interest as Norton’s version. Additionally, the current portrayal of the Hulk is very vague, as he only appears in the Avengers series. Thor: Ragnarok gives the Hulk more character rather than depicting him just smashing buildings. He has humor and wit that was not previously shown.
In the film, the audience sees more of the Hulk’s “lenient” side (AKA him not in a blind rage and destroying everything in his path). His playful banter with Thor manages to showcase his brighter and more childish nature, giving the message that he is not the monster people commonly portray him as. It also adds onto MCU’s storyline, as every movie is seemingly connected in one way or another, which in turn, excites avid Marvel fans. With more context in the MCU, fans can connect all the films together and better understand the overall plot.
However, the Hulk is not the only character that shows signs of development; Loki (Tom Hiddleston) does too. In the past two Thor movies, Loki’s constant need to take over the world becomes a bit redundant. However, in the current film, we see more of Loki’s relationship with his brother, which is quirky to say the least. The constant banter between them and the hilarious childhood stories they share are definitely one of the highlights of Thor: Ragnarok.
Unfortunately, with many pros come the cons.
For instance, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is not in the movie and is only briefly mentioned in passing, despite her having a big role in the previous films. She was Thor’s love interest; she should have a better farewell than an “Oh, I dumped her first.” The lack of reason for her departure is a small detail, but it is vital to the whole arc of the Thor trilogy, because Jane Foster’s sudden disappearance ruins Thor’s entire character development.
Thor’s character relies on his abrasive and brash nature, only quelling when coerced by Jane Foster. She basically “civilizes” him to help him blend in with regular humans; she helps ground him. While they did have their fights here and there, it is uncalled and unexpected for them to just break up so simply.
In conclusion, Thor: Ragnarok opens a new chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe while closing the book on the impactful Thor series.