Thor: Ragnarok

Writing MovieWRONGS

By Jim West

Thor: Ragnarok

Directed by Taika Waititi

Written by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost

Quite easily the most fun of all the Marvel film’s to date and granted the director’s comedic influences are oozing with each scene.  The three writers on this film actually did a very solid job here.  Pacing was a bit fast and rushed to get us to the reunion of Thor and Hulk which is really the highlight of the film.  Unfortunately a film can only be a great as its villain.  This film, while funny and action packed, fails heavily in that department.

Here comes the spoilers.

The film opens with Thor tracking down questions to Ragnarok.  An end of the world phenomenon he wants to prevent for Asgard.  He meets and soon defeats the creature whose destiny is to destroy Asgard. He thinks all is won and returns home to discover Loki posing as Odin.  They set off to Earth to find Odin and as soon as they find him he dies.  What?   Yet of course not revealing to his two sons that they have a sister and that there is a darker history than the one they grew up knowing.  A history of war and conquest that was kept hidden.  Odin reveal when he is gone he can no longer contain their sister, Hela Goddess of Death.  Wonderful name for your daughter daddy Odin.  As soon as Odin fades to light particles viola! Hela appears to greet her brothers and start taking over. 

Through a sequence of teleporting and a fight between the three; the two brothers end up on a junkyard planet run by Jeff Goldblum and the main thing to do here is collect scrap and watch gladiator fights.  Now the funniest and best scenes do occur on this planet, but the lore of Asgard falls to the wayside for the Thor versus Hulk matchup.  No explanation of why Bruce Banner has been in Hulk form for two years, and no explanation for Hela’s ability to just appear on mudguard (aka Earth) right where Odin was.  Was she just in Odin’s back pocket?  Okay suspension of disbelief I know I know this is fantasy in comic book form on display here.  Jokes abound and soon we are off into a swirling wormhole to magically get back to Asgard and just in time for the final showdown. 

Okay enough spoilers here.  This is how to take this solid film and elevate it to epic status. Show more Hela.  Hela appoints a weasel of a guard as her executioner and yet nothing menacing happens here with the role.  Other than his quasi redemption and glaringly obvious self-sacrifice which is cliché as it gets.  The only real surprise in store for the viewer is our title hero loses an eye.  Slow clap inserted here.

Hela needs more backstory to show her in action.  Actually show us a flashback with Odin of the two of them destroying armies and taking over the nine realms.  THAT would help solidify her as a real villain.  Sure she destroys Thor’s hammer.  Slow clap again inserted here.  Everyone saw that in the trailer.  By the way Marvel you should really learn to hide some surprises for the viewers by not revealing essentially the entire film in the trailers!  So add at least two more minutes of Hela’s past destruction and have her be more quick to kill without hesitation when the executioner hesitates let her finish off the girl in the courtyard interrogation scene.  Further enforcing her ruthlessness.  That is how you can elevate the film from good to great.  Now most may disagree with me on this, but think about it this way:  Marvel has been infusing more comedy into their films since Ant-Man and Spiderman.  Although I can appreciate the laughs and witty jokes, but this can be one slippery slope by which you descends into bodily fluids and penis jokes.  Wait a second they had one of those in this film…oh oooo.

Thanks for reading Writing Movie ‘WRONGS’.   

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