Review: Thor: Ragnarok [2017] (Spoiler-Free)

a review by the Azure-Winged Magpie.

I don’t like hanging out in normal theatres no more. It’s all got too corporate…

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OPENING THOUGHTS

Hello hello and chatter chatter! A-W Magpie here, tickets to Sakaar in my feathers and all!

So, some months ago, we wrote up a Thor: Ragnarok preview post. And recently, before I flew off to the theatre, the Crow reviewed a film by the director of Rangarok, so here I am with a SPOILER-FREE review of the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

So, let’s go over some basics first: these superhero films are getting a bit… em… paint-by-numbers. I mean… apart from people switching up costumes and the set-dressing changing now-and-again, they’re all basically the same. But hey! This one looks kinda… different from the trailers.

It looks all 80s-ish and 90s-ish… it comes in neon colours and a pumped-up soundtrack. It looks fun (well, a good bunch of the Marvel films do and… aren’t). Aaand… it’s got Cate Blanchett (who doesn’t love her?!).

’nuff said. I’m sold. I’m a simple Magpie. I see pretty things. I… er…

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Alright. I’ve been sitting on this review for two days already. Let’s go!


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THE AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE | Thor: Ragnarok

a.k.a. The Thor & Hulk film we all wanted!

WARNING: THIS SECTION CONTAINS NO SPOILERS

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Thor: Ragnarok is a blast to watch. There. I said it.

The beginning of the film jumps around a little. We start off chillin’ with Thor and Surtur off in Musphelheim (sp?) while they talk about Ragnarok (yes… that Ragnarok, just Marvel-style). Things get a bit feisty between our boys and Thor legs it with Surtur’s crown (the Magpie game is strong with this one). Back home at Asgard, he gets into a tiff with his adopted baby-brother Loki, and they come on over to earth to find their old man, eyepatch-Hopkins.

See? It does jump around a “little”. Anyways… one thing leads to another and before you know it, all HEL(A) breaks loose I’m so clever! Mjolnir bites the dust like we saw in the trailers (although this time it’s in a field and not some city street), and chases after Thor and Loki who leg it after meeting her.

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Thor and Loki end up on Sakaar, some time apart, while Hela sets up shop and dosses down in Asgard as its new Queen. Thor is sent off to fight in the gladiatorial pits by the Grandmaster, and like we all saw in the trailer, he meets “a friend from work! 🙂 ”

Turns out, our BIG GREEN GIANT has been bigging and greening and giant-ing about for the full two years since he smacked Ultron upside the head in the last Avengers film. He slaps the ever-loving shit out of Thor before Thor finds out he didn’t need Mjolnir to control thunder and lightening, it was inside him all along! But… the fight ends, and our two boys chum out like they’ve never chummed out before once the Hulk stops smashing and lets Banner out (the Hulk is such a sweetie for his bae ❤ ).

This is a Hulk we haven’t seen yet. As not-Bruce Banner, the Hulk gets a whole bunch of screentime. He talks, he reasons (well, in his own way), and he makes it clear what he wants. We get a bunch of fun new characters as well. We get Valkyrie, who’s teamed up with Loki while Banner and Thor are chatting away (I’m leaving out what they’ve been up to since… y’know: SPOILERS), and I really liked how they dealt with Valkyrie’s character and what she’s been through. This is a character I don’t really know all that well, and I’m a bit of an instant fan right away. She’s a bundle of awesomeness.

Korg (and his mate Miek), Skurge, and the Grandmaster are the other “new” characters introduced in this flick. I don’t really have that much about the first two. They’re fun and all, but they’re just kinda… there. I get why they’re in the film, but considering their roles in the story, I’m a bit sad that we won’t see more of them. You can tell that the team had a lot of fun with these two. Korg’s even played by the director (who also plays the mo-cap for Surtur).

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Skurge, was a lot more interesting. I’m sad that Karl Urban is playing such a one-off character, since he’s such a good actor (I mean… he can play anything he wants and I’ll still be taking a good long gander at his lusc… okay. Wait. I should stop. Bad Magpie! BAD!)

Anyway… the Grandmaster is just a total lunatic and Goldblum really goes out of his way to cheese up his role. Whatever he was on while filming Ragnarok… I want some. This [BLEEP]-er is off his tits. He’s so high in this one that he might not have been able to find the toppings on any pizzas he might’ve ordered to the set. I really kinda want to see him again. Maybe in an insufferable space-road-trip comedy movie with his brother the Collector. That’d be AMAZING! Take notes, Marvel!

Now… Cate Blanchett as Hela… OH MY MAGPIES… this woman kills the role. She’s SO good here. If that crazed “I’m the goddess of deeeeath!” from the trailer didn’t sell you, you oughta really think about what a git of a customer you are. She is POWERFUL. She is SCARY. She is THE BEST MARVEL VILLAIN YET!

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(See how I used CAPITAL words up there? That’s to show how much I MEANT those THINGS.)

Okay, sure… she’s a bit of a cookie-cutter “big bad” who’s here to ruin everyone’s day, but Blanchett really nails this role. She’s so good that she takes what this standard villain and turns it into a genuinely creepy, nutty character who sends your skin a-crawlin’. It’s something about the eyes, those are some sure “I’m gonna kill a crow and file its bones into toothpicks” eyes.

er… that was just a … random thought. Nothing to see here, you lot!

And oooh birdy, she’s so god-damn hot in this one.

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I have a dirty mind… sometimes… but WOULD YOU BLAME ME?!

And that’s one thing I really liked about this film. For the FIRST TIME (okay, Civil War did this to me a bit too), I felt a bit worried about some of the main characters. People are flies here, about to get swatted and dropped left, right, up, down, ass-backwards, and the like. Even our main character, Thor, I felt a bit worried about. I mean, I know he’s going to be all good and fine in Infinity War (at least the first one — I may or may not have seen the teaser trailer… somewhere), but oh man… okay. Let’s just say he’s not coming out unscratched (I mean, we saw him losing his Asgardian HAIR, for one; and yep: his hair’s done for).

And for you Doctor Strange fans out there, let me just say this: while I’m a big fan of Benadryl Cumbersnatch ( 🤤 ), don’t get your hopes too high up. The Doc’s not in this all that much and our little theory from our “preview” didn’t really come about.

To talk about our two MC brothers a bit… they actually have a surprising number of brotherly moments in this one. And it’s not done in the Loki-whining, Thor-lecturing way in which the last few films have done it. This film is a straight-up comedy. And it uses its comedy to add some meat to the sibling rivalry that the two share.

Also: I’m beginning to think that it’s in Loki’s blood to be a massive circumcised bellend. Yeah, yeah, sure, he ‘redeems’ himself, but man… I really want to break that perfect pointy nose with like a rock or something.

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This film looks and sounds GREAT. Everyone can thank Guardians of the Galaxy for proving to marvel that YES! You can use COLOURS(!) in your fucking films. And it seems they’ve fixed that stupid greyed-out feeling that the other Marvel projects have been carrying a little as well. The CGI is flashy, but just like with Guardians otG, it doesn’t get in the way so much (take notes, DC!). I loved the way they mixed the 70s-to-early-90s camp feeling with modern cinema, and I’m 100% sure that the soundtrack had a lot to do with that.

This is a really nicely balanced film. Everything moves along smooth, and the timing of each beat is on fire. In other words, as some pretentious idiots would say: the “pacing” is “excellent”.

So there you have it! Thor: Ragnarok gets a big two-winged salute of approval from yours truly. The Crow’s also gone and watched it, so I’ll add a rating from him at the end of this. It’s the best Thor film by a long, dry mile, and it’s one of the best Marvel movies to date. I don’t really have a head-list for where what ranks, but they’ve done a banging job this year with Ragnarok and GotG Vol. 2. Go watch it! Go watch it! Watch it now and make it some money!


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CLOSING THOUGHTS

I… er… don’t really have much to add here.

I think I’ve talked myself tired about this one (and to think: I was having trouble starting this post!). So, I guess I’ll just leave you with a quick byte:

I’m well happy I went and watched it. And I’m ordering you to do so as well. Wait. No. I got someone better to tell you to spend your money on this film:

The eyepatch King of Asgard commands it, and you shall obey.

Or I’ll get very cross at you.

And you… won’t like me when I’m cross…

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FINAL RATINGS

THE AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE: 9/10

THE CROW: 7.5/10


The official poster for the movie follows:

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15 thoughts on “Review: Thor: Ragnarok [2017] (Spoiler-Free)”

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