Readers be warned the following may contain minor spoilers.
BEIRUT: If there is one thing that audience members can depend on from Marvel Studios, it’s the fact that the studio listens to its fans’ concerns.
Much like Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe began as a property for Marvel Studios and now belongs to the audience and the fans.
In a way it is you, the viewer, that is in control of how the rest of the franchise evolves.
The clearest evidence of this is the most recent entry, the fifth chapter of the third phase, the third entry in the trilogy, Thor: Ragnarok.
Marvel ditched all the previous decisions made, all their repetitive motifs, and seemed to have given director Taika Waititi creative freedom, as the new phase of the MCU begins to show its direction.
By finding the right balance between humor and drama, Waititi does the one thing that other helmers could not do and delivers what could possibly be the most original Marvel film to date.
Instead of being forced to follow the stream of the dull, simplistic, and predictable Marvel formula, Thor: Ragnarok is given Waititi’s individuality, leading to its success as a film.
That is not to say that the film doesn’t have some flaws, but it is still a great entry into the MCU.
The film’s narrative, being the third and rumored final Thor film, brings the Thor and Loki arc to a satisfying close, unless the final film rumor is debunked. What is fascinating in this film, however, is that Thor and Loki, played perfectly by Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, felt the most authentic.
Their interaction with each other felt effortless and natural, making it completely entertaining to watch.
As it is with all intergalactic families, Odin tells Thor and Loki about the inevitability of Ragnarok, the Twilight or Fate of the Gods, and that they have a psychotic sister who will be breaking out of her cage once he passes.
Hela, devilishly played by Cate Blanchett, who seemed to relish every moment she was in character, comes for Asgard and as soon as she is there ruling, her character hits a standstill – one of the film’s flaws.
As with most Marvel villains, she doesn’t get a proper arc, meaning her character doesn’t have a proper beginning, middle, and end, and the screenplay fails in this instance.
Luckily, the film does a lot of other things right.
The comedy in Thor: Ragnarok is very much on point, catching the audience off-guard whenever a joke is dispensed, even in the most dramatic moments.
The mise-en-scene here is quite memorable, as the art direction clearly relied on a very 80’s color palette and mood. The cinematography is impressive, and the Valkyrie massacre frames could double for canvases at the Louvre.
Yet, in some cases, the VFX, visual effects, does cause some cringing, which leads to the question - really, Marvel?
At this point in technological history, it should be practically impossible for any audience member to notice green-screened moments, and the same goes for fight sequences that remind of Neo vs. endless Mr. Smith’s.
It wasn’t even forgivable when The Matrix: Reloaded did it all those years ago, so it won’t be forgivable now.
The characters in Thor: Ragnarok work quite nicely together, and it is evident how well the actors worked with each other.
The chemistry oozes off of the screen in a charming way, making it a joy to watch.
Thor: Ragnarok film’s edit is a bit too swift and does at times hinder some moments that should have been quite powerful, but does aid in the comedic aspects of the film.
Mark Mothersbaugh, member of 1970’s band Devo, breathes a new and unique life into the Marvel Cinematic Symphonic Universe.
Not only does Mothersbaugh give Thor: Ragnarok a unique soundscape, it gives the film risk which grants the audience an emotional connection with the film.
Thor: Ragnarok does one thing really well and that is a balance. It balances humor and drama. It balances good technique with bad. It balances great character development and flat characters with incomplete arcs. Thankfully, the film’s entertainment factor will save it, especially when it is experienced in full IMAX glory.
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