Thor Ragnarok

LetterboxD review link

This is, clearly, the best Thor movie. But is that like saying it’s the best lasagna at the Olive Garden? I don’t mean to be too derisive but there seems to be a strong structural force keeping Marvel movies from breaking their mold too much. I think too much money and too many jobs are on the line to truly have allowed Taika Waititi to make a Taika Waititi movie. But if this movie allows him to make an extra one or two smaller budget comedies a few years from now, it will all have been worth it.

Thor Ragnarok is a romp. It’s a silly pastiche of colors, sounds, and characters, with a simple plot holding things together. All the Waititi players, including Waititi himself, show up here and are welcomed distractions in the film. The stakes are high, I guess, but they seem like the same stakes as every MCU movie. The familial relationships are frought, but not explored all that much. Waititi, especially in films like Boy has shown that he can do a lot with family themes. He doesn’t go in that direction here. The parts of this film that sail are the ones that feel clearly from Waitit’s brain (namely, the humurous interactions between Thor and Hulk, the hijinks that deflate Thor’s status as a God) and not as much the action sequences and more traditional MCU scenes.

Sometimes I can’t believe that Marvel, a decade ago, made a 25 year plan and is actually executing it. Knowing a little about what it takes to steer big, traditional companies, I’m most impressed that they’re actually pulling off this plan, even if I don’t really find any individual film all that compelling.