Ragnarok: Funnier than the Average Marvel {guest post by Madison Ward}

Official poster via Marvel

Official poster via Marvel

Introduction: Madison is our entertainment guru, keeping us up to date on the latest books, TV shows, and movies. She loves to cover pop culture and we're glad to have her voice in this capacity.

{This post written by Madison Ward, Superstar Intern}

Warning: spoilers ahead!

When realizing they would not be a part of the large group starring in Captain America: Civil War, Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Mark Ruffalo (Hulk) were determined to top--or at least rival--the big cast with their own in the next Thor movie, Thor: Ragnarok. After finishing the film, the Ragnarok group couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out. Hemsworth and the cast joked that this was not only the best Marvel film yet, but the best film, period. Now, I’m not sure I would go that far, but I, too, am pleased and surprised by what the team pulled together.

Refreshing and rebellious, this movie did not lack in humor or action and repeatedly confronted the audience with a new, more irreverent Marvel.

Though Hemsworth is drool-worthy and dependable, I will admit that his first two individual movies, Thor and Thor: The Dark World, did little to nothing for me. The action is always exciting and thrilling, but his character went from arrogant to boy scout so fast it gave me whiplash, and throughout those first two movies, Thor just felt like he was missing something. I’m surprised it took them so long to pull out the ‘the hammer is just a tool’ twist and how he is much more powerful than anyone except his daddio even knew.

Looking closer to other consequences that quickly followed Odin’s death, it seems like that one event unlocked several powers--or made them less fearful--as Hela and others started rising up against Asgard right after Thor and Loki’s father passed away. I can see this possibly being a reason Thor finally evolved into his stronger self (that scene was flipping amazing, by the way), and even though I wish I would have gotten a more sooner into his growth as a god, not just a person, I am happy with how this movie plot played out and believe the wait was worth it.

With several new characters arising and different character combinations being tested, Thor: Ragnarok created its very own dream team that may have been smaller than the Civil War cast, but were more crucial. I am all for chucking as many characters as you can get in a film, all with their own power and role, but with the more you take on, the less personal you can get with each one, and Ragnarok's narrower focus allowed the directors to develop each of the main characters continuously and harmoniously.

Thor, Loki, Hulk, and Valkyrie may have not fully bonded together by the end of the film but gave the audience enough to see all their values and how they will all, for the most part, end up on the same side from now on. (Loki can always teeter-totter a bit, but more on that later.)

But what the movie pulled us in with the most was the witty, almost childish, interactions the cast carried with through its entirety. In a meeting with Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige, Hemsworth made a point to want to make his role more interesting and to integrate more humor into the movie and create a comfortable, enjoyable atmosphere for all those watching, according to Vanity Fair. This film was about fun and their humor paid off ten times over. Thor and Hulk’s ‘buddy comedy’-like partnership and lovingly aggressive conversations and Thor and Loki’s ‘only a sibling would understand’ banter and hilarious tiffs made the movie lighter and not suffocated with so much tension. The innocent, yet inappropriate quality that all these interactions withheld, made for a very interesting ice breaker compared to the other Thor films; possibly all the other Marvel films as well.

Magazine cover via Entertainment Weekly

Magazine cover via Entertainment Weekly

Another refreshing and ironic aspect of Thor: Ragnarok was how the solution to their Hela problem (ha, ha, ha, hella’ problem) ended up being siccing another, worse evil upon her, one that they had been trying to prevent the entire journey. Their resolution of their issue was creating another issue and hopefully this will not come to bite them in the butt later on.

Speaking of later on, this movie was also an amazing in-betweener to prepare all of us Marvel fans for what’s in store for the next Avengers film, Avengers: Infinity War. Here is what we now can assume:

  • Thanos is on their tail and since they are in space and the Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) are going to be in Avengers: Infinity War, this is probably where they will meet up as GotG will probably help them out of this extremely sticky situation.

  • Loki has the tesseract and, if Thanos suddenly knows where everyone is, it is very likely Loki tipped Thanos off and is being a little turncoat jerk again, sad as it is.

  • Drax and Hulk’s first meetup will be pure three-year-old-tantrum-dialogue gold.

  • Hulk is still Hulk and Banner warned Thor earlier that if he Hulked out again, which he obviously did, he may not be able to ever change back again.

  • Throughout this film, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers 4, it is said to contain Hulk’s ‘individual movie’ since they aren’t going to make an actual one for him, just trade around and resolve his storyline woven throughout all the other messes happening now.

It is well-known that I am not a very patient human being and will hopefully survive the long lapse between now and April when the next Avengers is said to come out. Black Panther does come out next month, so I will have a bit to tide me over, but also more material to even further ache for. And as Marvel continues to raise the bar even higher and higher, we can all pray that their future films will live up to their current reputation and that our minds won’t explode when they do.

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Kristin Shaw