For fans of Marvel superhero movies, there has been a lull for quite some time. After the success of bringing Spider-Man into the Marvel cinematic universe with “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” we were stuck waiting for five months.
We sat patiently hoping that the new Thor movie would satisfy our superhero craving, knowing that there would be three more movies that followed within six months of Ragnarok’s release. This film not only managed to fill us, but also set a new standard and expectation for superhero movies.
Some critics state “if the first two movies don’t pan out, make the third a comedy.” And while this seems to be just a saying that we read in movie reviews, there is some truth behind it. There has been a new trend within the Marvel cinematic universe, one that separates it from the DC cinematic universe, and that is the new focus on the use of humor.
Since “Guardians of the Galaxy” was released in 2014, there has been a noticeable effort to make the movies and characters more relatable to audiences, and that comes through humor. We’ve seen it through both Guardians movies, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, and now through “Thor: Ragnarok.”
“Ragnarok” begins by showing us what Thor has been up to since his departure in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Throughout the duration of the movie, we see our blonde-headed God of Thunder doing what he can to prevent Ragnarok, the prophecy predicting the death of all of Asgard, from being carried out by none other than his long-lost (well, technically cast-out) big sister Hela.
We see him team up with old allies: his father Oden, his brother Loki, and Bruce Banner, best known as the strongest avenger, the Hulk. But we also see him gain new allies in Valkyrie, a strong willed Asgardian warrior with knack for drinking too much, and Korg, the overly friendly, simple-minded Kronan (stone-man) who does nothing but generate laughter out of the audience.
A few moments that you’ll want to pay extra attention to, especially if you’re looking for some tear- jerking laughs, are the interactions between the Hulk and Thor, both when the Hulk is greened out and when he is the feeble Bruce Banner. If you’re a fan of baby Groot from “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” then you’re going to fall in love with the big green guy in this film.
No fear if you haven’t seen any other Thor movie, or Marvel movie for that matter. While the film does draw upon past adventures and reference previous movies, it able to stand on its own, not requiring the movie-goers to come in with any prior knowledge or research on Norse mythology. Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, is able to deliver an exceptional performance, showing us a new, fresher side of Thor as he reflects on how his time on Earth has changed him. His humor makes this movie a success.
It’s plain and simple. We want to see our idols laugh and have fun. We want to be able to relate in that way. Yes, there is going to be action, fight sequences, and destruction; in the end, it’s still a superhero movie, and they are fighting to save the world. But it doesn’t have to be as gloomy and doom-driven as the DC universe has made it out to be. Wonder Woman was a step in the right direction for them, but until Warner Brothers makes the decision to fit their productions to the audience, they will continue to struggle and fall short when compared to Marvel movies.