I'll Ragna Your Rok: A Look at Thor Ragnarok
So, I saw Thor: Ragnarok this weekend and I've got some thoughts about it. (Also, I'm skipping doing a quote today. I'm sorryyyyyy. It's been a weird, whirlwind few days. I started ANOTHER new job. I'm sure most of you at this point are like, Tina, wtf is happening in your life? And, if I knew, I'd tell you.) Back to Ragnarok.
First of all, Ragnarok is the coolest word and I wish it meant more than Prophetical Annihilation of Asgard because I'd like it to come up in casual conversation more often.
I haven't really been particularly moved by any superhero movie recently, aside from Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman. (I still haven't seen Spider-Man: Homecoming, so keep that in mind.) That being said, Ragnarok had promise! It was supposed to breathe life back into the
oversaturated Marvel Universe!
The basic premise is that Thor's dad, Odin, dies, and the sister Thor didn't know he had, Hela, comes out of her imprisonment. She's like, I'm gonna take over Asgard now thx. Hela is Cate Blanchett, and as someone who has a framed magazine cover of Cate Blanchett in her kitchen, it was a delight to watch her crush Mjölnir with ONE HAND.
Despite having Cate Blanchett as the villain, her screen time probably only amounted to ten, maybe fifteen minutes. Which begs the question, why have a powerhouse like Blanchett and why give her a fascinating familial backstory and then make me spend more time with Dr. Strange than with Blanchett? WHY?!
Honestly, why even bother with the first thirty or so minutes of the movie? It could've benefited from extreme editing because once we made it to Sakaar, the movie was delightful. Jeff Goldblum was charmingly ludicrous and Tessa Thompson was a force to be reckoned with. I feel like that scene where she slow-motion walks away from the fireworks coming out of the ship in her full Valkyrie outfit added ten years to my life.
My issue with the movie is that the least interesting character is supposed to be the hero.
I have nothing against Thor and I loved that they let Chris Hemsworth lean into his wonderful comedic timing, but he stopped feeling like Thor. He became a well-intentioned frat boy with super powers. Thor is a god, and I feel like by letting him act more goofy, they take away from his godliness. You could see a lot of the jokes coming from a mile away, and after a while they just felt a little relentless. It felt like Marvel was trying to prove they can have fun outside of Guardians of the Galaxy. There's a balance, and I think they overshot entirely.
That was my main issue. It felt like they spent too much time trying to force this new, improved, goofy Thor, that they didn't look at what they had right in front of them. Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie is the last one of an elite team of warriors who were brutally killed by Cate Blanchett's Hela. Blanchett's character was Odin's first-born, and the two of them went on a colonizing spree many years ago until Odin tired of being feared and wanted to be loved. He banished Hela and hid the evidence of their murderous conquests.
Both of those women could've carried the focus. We waited this long for a female villain, and Blanchett did an incredible job with what she got, but we barely saw her. Valkyrie deserves a standalone, and since
Captain Marvel isn't seeing the light of day for another million years, Marvel needs to greenlight a standalone Valkyrie.
ALSO, LET VALKYRIE BE BISEXUAL FOR GOODNESS' SAKE. I applaud Tessa Thompson for fighting hard for a scene that would allude to her character's bisexuality (it was ultimately cut), but it is 2017 and I'm sick of alluding. It's just like James Gunn and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, when he said of course there are LGBT characters in that movie without explicitly writing an LGBT character.
Here's my concept art for Valkyrie's standalone movie: