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Movie Discussion: Thor: Ragnarok

I'm gonna be talking about the movie, discussing and sharing my opinion about aspects of the film while disregarding spoiler warnings, aside from this one here. Don't scroll down if you haven't seen it unless you don't care. I hope you enjoy!

Ragnarok poster

Ragnarok poster

Where was the Sense of Loss?

Let's detail all that was lost:

  • Odin
  • Thor's hammer
  • The Warriors Three (not that anyone cares, even Thor apparently)
  • The Asgardian Army
  • Asgard itself

But the film never really feels like it dwells on these things. Thor drops about two lines about his hammer (aside from the conversation with Korg that's meant to be hilariously clipped to summarize the relationship), there's a short scene about the aftermath of the destruction of Asgard, but so little time in spent on what Thor and the Asgardians lose, despite the film on paper sounding devastating. Sure, the film preferred being amusing than deep, but I feel that I suffered a disconnect that failed to actually hook me or make me really care about the stakes since the film didn't seem to care either.

Hulk vs Surtur

Hulk vs Surtur

Asgard's Gone; Does Thor Still Have His Power that Comes from Asgard?

I mean, there really isn't a lot more to say about this. It's dropped once or twice in the film that Thor, like Hela, draw their power from Asgard. So, in blowing up, does that mean Thor is just a one-eyed Asgardian without a home?

Or, is it instead the people? That doesn't seem right. Hela was mass murdering the Asgardian military when she showed up, but they specified that she was getting stronger the longer she was in Asgard. Did Odin's power also come from Asgard?

And on that point...

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston)

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston)

Does Loki Cause the Events of the Film to Pass by Seperating Odin From His Power Force?

If Odin draws power from Asgard as both of his blood children do (which only makes sense), then did he get weaker from whatever charm Loki put on him when he was separated from his home realm? As Odin is implied to be incredibly old, perhaps his power was helping sustain him.

The film really doesn't give any real information how Loki was able to discretely depose Odin from his film by the end of Thor 2 up to Odin's death in Thor 3. Mental addlement? A warped perspective or loss of sense of self? Regardless, Odin knew and acknowledged he was dying but I don't believe he explained the cause or implied that it was Loki's fault.

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Hela as played by Cate Blanchett

Hela as played by Cate Blanchett

Is Hela Really Gone?

One of my favorite theories I've come across for Infinity War was that no new character named Death was going to appear, rather Hela, the goddess of death, would take her place as Thanos's object of affection. Given Hela's unfinished backstory (apparently Odin could hold her at bay from entering Asgard, initially with the Valkyries' help) we don't know if Hela was locked away in a specific dimension away from the dimension where Earth, Asgard, and all the familiar Marvel characters reside or if she was simply locked out of Asgard. I'm assuming the latter, since she didn't appear on Earth until Odin passed on nor does she seem to be creating death and destruction anywhere else in the universe. Either way, it could be easily explained that Thanos came across her and fell in love with the totality of her power and design, desiring to please her by acquiring ultimate power via Infinity Gauntlet and Stones.

But, the film kind of ends with her being smashed by gigantic flaming sword down to the core of the planet before the whole thing explodes and vaporizes. I mean, sure, Hela might have survived that but in a word, it seems unlikely. Still, she could be used to help explain Thanos's backstory (perhaps he was traveling through dimensions and came across her) or maybe the character Death will be completely absent. Thanos could easily be rewritten either as a power-mad tyrant who is self-serving or believes the universe needs to be remade in his image. I just hope there's more depth to him than being a generic and forgettable Marvel villain.

Hela is also, I believe, one of the better Marvel villains we have gotten on the big screen. I think she is, ultimately, a little forgettable in the long run. Sure, she breaks Thor's hammer and murders a lot of Asgardians and the Warriors Three (although most audience members won't know they have a title), not many viewers have an emotional connection to Thor's world and if Thor retains his new powers, his dynamic 'power up' is visually more interesting than him swinging his hammer around, in my own opinion. While I think she's a one and done villain to film, I'd like to see her have more time to make a lasting impression on the universe as a whole.

Karl Urban as Skurge the Executioner

Karl Urban as Skurge the Executioner

Karl Urban's Skurge the Executioner

To preface this, I'm a huge fan of all the random roles Karl Urban plays, both front and center like Judge Dredd in Dredd or 'Reaper' in that fairly disappointing Doom film, and as a side character as he was as Eomer in Lord of the Rings or Dr. Bones in the new Star Trek films. I always get the feeling that he's giving 110% of his ability to act whenever he performs and he always seems to enjoy it.

But moving on. I didn't care for his character Skurge. There wasn't much presented and truthfully, his character was on predictable rails almost at the moment he first appeared. As soon as the audience sees his fear and almost sympathy for his dead countrymen, we knew to expect him to betray Hela and most likely die in a heroic moment. I don't think this was Urban's fault, but rather the fast pace the film was desperately clinging to, letting many smaller things than Thor's journey fall to the wayside without any real fleshing out.

Still not sure how his two assault rifles were ripping apart undead Asgardians being brought to life by something called the 'Eternal Flame' though. Isn't Thor bulletproof?

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange

Dr. Strange's Cameo

While it is a little more fleshed out than a cameo, Dr. Strange doesn't do a lot in the film. However, the little bit he has speaks a good bit to how he's come along as a sorcerer. Whereas in his film he was able to win almost all of his conflicts through trickery and outsmarting his opponent rather than his understanding of the mystical arts, he immediately binds and teleports Loki (who is well taught in his magic via his adoptive mother) and keeps him away from 30 minutes before repeatedly and instantaneously teleporting Thor throughout his home. It's not a lot but it helps bridge the gap from where he was at the end of his own film to where he'll be in Infinity War.

Closing Thoughts

And there you have it! All the things I wanted to share in a review but wouldn't do unless the people I'm sharing with have already experienced the film. You agree or disagree with my points? Maybe you wanted to talk about something else? Let me know in the comments.

Further Reading

You can also choose to read my spoiler free review of Thor 3.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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