Thor Ragnarok Jeff Goldblum

Beyond Asgard

Ultimately, Thor: Ragnarok is critic-proof. The film is already a hit, and also one of the best-reviewed MCU films to date. The simple fact is, people loved this movie. That’s fine. This is pinnacle escapism, at a time when escapism is much needed. This is the film equivalent of an exciting amusement park ride. When you’re on it, the thrill is there – excitement mingled with the sights and sounds of the carnival grounds whooshing by. Then you step off the ride, and move on, and the excitement fades. The memory dulls. The real world comes seeping back in.

Still, it’s almost impossible to dislike Thor: Ragnarok. The cast is too wonderful, the jokes too funny. It’s hard to fault any film that gives Jeff Goldblum a chance to do his thing while also making Tessa Thompson an even bigger star. This is ultimately the best of the three Thor films, but that’s not saying much. One almost wishes this had been the first film in the series, with a script more fleshed-out to set things up for future installments. Instead, as the third, it suffers, and grows ultimately forgettable.

Yet more adventures with these characters would be welcomed. Thompson’s Valkyrie in particular needs an entire franchise of her own, one where she can step out in front to be the lead rather than a supporting player. Hemsworth’s Thor is also worth spending more time with, although Ragnarok seems to confirm that the character works best when he’s a team player rather than a lead. While Ragnarok is focused on Thor, it’s never entirely Thor’s movie. It belongs, instead, to everyone – to the wonderful cast of vibrant, funny characters. Perhaps the real lesson here is what all these wonderful elements really needed is a better script; a script that was worthy of the performances.

Where does Thor: Ragnarok fit into the ever-growing ranking of the MCU? Somewhere in the middle. It’s funny enough, colorful enough, and entertaining enough to strike a chord, but it’s ultimately hollow. It’s a beautiful bauble on display that’s a treat to look at, but one that fades from memory as you move on to something else. In the end, I wanted more from Thor: Ragnarok. Perhaps that was foolish of me.

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About the Author

Chris Evangelista is a staff writer for /Film. He's contributed to CutPrintFilm,, Nerdist, Mashable, and more. Follow him on Twitter @cevangelista413 or email him at