‘Thor Ragnarok’ worth a look, lively and colorful

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According to some websites, Thor Ragnarok is the seventeenth Marvel comic superhero film, and it seems fair to add that many have been made during our present century.

Perhaps there are also reasons beyond having blockbuster audiences that so many characters from both Marvel and DC have been the focus of film over the past 16 or 17 years.

In watching Thor (Chris Hemsworth) do battle with agents of malice ranging from the apocalyptic Surtur to the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) of the garbage planet Sakaar (played in a comic blend of Emperor Palpatine and President Snow), to his own long lost and rather irritated sister Hela (played with ham relish by Cate Blancett), it appeared, however, that what was seen had already been seen.

It was only the equally expected uniforms and weapons that seemed to offer a bit of difference from one cranked out film to the next. Even as the battle raged to save Asgard from Big Bad Sister, the clichés between Dead Dad Odin (Sir Anthony Hopkins) and  Not So Thunderous Thor only served to spur our hammerless hero (sister took it from him earlier) to realize that he was fighting to preserve “a people, not a place”, and by such an expected turn of phrase, became so ordinary as to give clichés a dubious designation. Despite such ordinariness, Thor’s earlier exile to Sakaar perhaps suggests that the waste surrounding its central arena is more than the piles that surround its walls. As the film implies, while Thor and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) engage in a professional wrestling match, there may just be more afoot than some not too good comic relief. Perhaps, it might be suggested, that Thor offers an image of a civilization whose principal entertainment of cultural banality occurs as it is increasingly surrounded by its own rotting garbage. Such encroachment might cause one to ponder about more than the victor between washed up superheroes. If weekend matinees under five dollars still exist, this film is worth a look. As a whole, I’ll wait for something else.

 

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Marvel’s latest movie could best be summed up as ‘Morphing Marvels’ or perhaps ‘Dysfunctional Family Feud.’

We meet up with Thor suspended in chains without his hammer on the other side of the universe on the planet Sakaar. His life is a mess after his breakup with his mortal girlfriend Jane and his quest for the Infinity Stones.

Throughout the film, moviegoers witness Thor breaking through the internal chains that are weighing him down. Appearances by celebrity heroes add to the suspense and carry the story. The Incredible Hulk and Thor battle each other and then come together to battle the Asgardian goddess of death, also known as Thor’s sister.

But there seems to be a serious disconnect on his true purpose of appearing in this movie. Perhaps this is a foreshadowing of future sequels. Dr. Strange also makes a surprising and unexplained appearance. I often found myself rooting for the group of oddball companions that were teamed up with Thor.

When compared to the first two Thor films, Thor: Ragnarok appears to be more of a comedy while still maintaining the action movie vibe. The film is lively and colorful and provides plenty to keep the audience wondering what’s next and who else will appear for unknown reasons. The basic storyline is predictable with its classic good over evil, but the finale is lackluster.