After six years, a new Thor-titled series has been released as Thor: Ragnarok, this time presented by Marvel Entertainment overwhelmingly. For those who are curious, Paramount Pictures‘ support seems to have been replaced by Walt Disney Pictures in the current one.
This piece brings us back to the holy nine realms where Thor, Odinson, king of Asgard (after the former ruler Odin) and god of thunder, is defending against his sister Hela, goddess of death, in order to preserve peace (or questionably his power maybe) and to protect people.
Until Thor and Hela meet for the struggle to boost, here we go with
- the introduction of Thor in a cage captured by the fire demon Surtur foretelling a dreadful prophecy, Ragnarok, which will be revealed at the end of the sequel for its becoming true or not;
- Thor‘s interim beating Surtur for the crown of Surtur to prevent his resurrection by the Eternal Flame; and
- exclusive referrals clearly to Greek mythology (rather than pure nordic myths) such as grape eating Odin watching a classical tragedy in pleasure / the B.C. costumes though all is appearing in smart tech times with various models of space ships that travel at the speed of light etc.
One can even say that the plot is a modified version of the classical Hellenistic plays in terms of design. Just, it likely varies for its complicated frame of the characters: mighty Thor, seemingly peaceful and encouraging Odin, tricky Loki, saviour Heimdall, and she-evil Hela. The main characters are surrounded closely by stronger side ones or villains as mostly intended in Marvel comics: Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) being a prototype for that, there are also some greyish ones like Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) or Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) which serves to add further complexity to the cinematic universe.
The overall flow is well-put. The plot’s dynamic and professional structure pays for the high technology used in shooting. In other words, Taika Waititi‘s directing and the adaptation can be concluded as to cover the expenditure finely.
Cast can be interpreted as pretty much successful as well, in particular having those great actors in place, i.e., Anthony Hopkins (Odin) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Strange). For instance, a lesson-wise intonation of Odin makes the scene unforgettable during the following conversation with Thor:
Thor (Chris Hemsworth): ”I am not as strong as you!”
Odin (Anthony Hopkins): ”No, you are stronger…”
Or it all changes when the camera is in 177a Bleecker Street, Dr. Strange‘s house in Midgard (Earth) where Cumberbatch shines with his hypnotic ability of acting. Once again, it is proven that the magnitude of acting is not counted by the number of minutes that an actor is on screen, however it stands for the emotional and intellectual impact after the movie ends.
Chris Hemsworth, physically, draws a very American Thor at first glance with a narrow forehead and small eyes. It can be teased as the irony of evolution like what happen to Norse Gods when they come to New World.
I do not want to mention Cate Blanchett as Hela since I am personally more than fed up with her unchanging alto timbre, more or less with the same resonance, for years…
However, aforementioned two gigantic actors and glazing visual effects still save the cast, I can say. Only few comments both to that overused blurry background whilst aiming to emphasize the characters in the front, and the unproportional images of Surtur shots. The idea to exaggerate Surtur versus Thor seems a little bit ”pretended”, unfortunately due to a perspective trap.
In a nutshell, Asgard as the head of nine realms where peace was known to be brought by Odin encounter a ”to be or not to be” problem in Thor: Ragnarok.
Thor: Ragnarok asks: will Asgard kneel before the queen of death or will it fight for survival? Furthermore, is Asgard a place to be saved but the people, or is it the people?.. Or should the enemy that was created somehow be destroyed at a price of smashing Asgardians’ land, perhaps?..
Including the revolutionary IMAX 3D optics, Thor: Ragnarok (2017) holds its own specialties worth seeing.