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Posts Tagged ‘Norse Mythology’

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) — movie review
Today’s review is for the Marvel Studio comic book adaptation of the Thor character story: Ragnarok.  The movie came out last year, but because I rarely go to the theater any more and because I’m too cheap to pay full price for a movie, this review is from my first viewing of the movie which is now on Netflix.  For those not familiar with Norse mythology, “Ragnarok” is supposed to be the end of the universe and the death of the Norse gods.
Thor’s (Thor, the god of thunder, is played by Chris Hemsworth) father Odin (played by Anthony Hopkins) dies and his death frees Thor’s older sister Hela, the goddess of death (played by Cate Blanchett) who seeks to claim the throne of Asgard (the place where the Norse gods live).  Thor and his adopted brother Loki, the god of mischief (played by Tom Hiddleston) are defeated in initial combat with Hela, but manage to escape with their lives.
Thor is captured on a foreign planet by a former Valkyrie (played by Tessa Thompson) and meets and fights the Hulk / Bruce Banner (played by Mark Ruffalo).  Meanwhile, Hela goes to Asgard seeking the throne and her revenge.  Blah, blah, blah.  Most everyone dies fighting the goddess of death (makes sense), but a few escape, led by Heimdall (played by Idris Elba).
Blah, blah, blah.  Thor convinces Hulk and the Valkyrie to join him in fighting Hela.  They escape from where they are imprisoned and go back to Asgard to defeat Hela.  And then we all live happily ever after (kinda / sorta).
In my review of the first Thor movie, (this is the third in the series), I said it was a bit schizophrenic and needed to decide if they were going to have the movie in Asgard or on Earth.  This one is almost exclusively off-Earth – and it is much better for it.
This movie is fun AND funny.  It has the requisite fights and special effects.  The movie runs about two hours, but felt shorter to me.  That’s a good sign.  The movie seems to be an almost immediate lead in to the Avengers: Infinity War movie, and that’s okay.  It’s okay, because (like in Infinity War) almost everyone in Asgard dies and so, whatever happens to bring back everyone in Infinity War II, probably also brings back Asgard and all of the folks who get killed in this one.  I guess we’ll have to see, next year.
The movie tries to inject a bit of philosophy by repeatedly stating it is the people who make the place and not the place which makes the people.  It kind of works, but not really because the vast majority of the Asgardians are slain by Hela and the rest appear to face capture / doom at the closing credits.  Like I said, we’ll see…
Anyway, final recommendation: highly recommended!!  As stated earlier, this movie is both fun and funny, with action, lots of humor and great fights / battles / special effects.  I would say this ranks right up with Iron Man and the Black Panther as among the very best of the Marvel Studio’s comic book / movie adaptations.  It is rated PG-13, so it might be a little too intense for very young (pre-7 years) children.  As for 7 – 13, it’s probably not too intense, but it may get them too excited and have them running around acting crazy trying to imitate the movie.  Just sayin’…
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On This Day In:
2017 For Some
2016 Fragile And Explosive, Provocation And Privacy
2015 Bound Up
2014 Economic Engines
2013 Weren’t You Supposed To Be Reading?
Absent Friends
Where I Stand
2012 Hangin’ With His P’s
Help Save
2011 Six Facets Of Good Leadership

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Well, that’s my excuse anyway.  And I think it’s a good one…
Seriously, I finally got around to seeing the new Thor movie: “Thor: The Dark World“, and I enjoyed it.  Like most comic book movie adaptations it is not great cinema, but it is an enjoyable action flic to keep us interested until the next Avengers movie comes out.  (Actually, the next movie out will be the second Captain America film.)
When reading the Thor comics (as a kid) there were a number of years where they started off just on Earth and then they made a transition to Thor in Asgard which allowed for more epic-heroic story lines.  Thor was almost never a believable character on Earth.  Hello!  How many Earth villains can stand up to a “god”?  But, in Asgard, his character blossomed in my imagination.
The problem in the comics is (was) there weren’t enough known god characters to go around fighting with (let alone against), so a whole slew had to be invented.  This is extended in both Thor movies where not only are there characters which don’t exist in Norse mythology, there are also multiple races (racial in “human” terms that is, not alien) among the Asgardians.  However, once you get past this “politically correct” quirk in the movies it quickly comes down to can they act and carry their roles.  They do, certainly as well as any of the anglo/white “Norse” characters do anyway.
Another “problem” I had with the movie was that the bad guys had power weapons (guns) while the Asgardian’s fight with swords, knives, shields, and, of course, a hammer.  Well, that is, most of the time.  When Asgard is actually invaded, the Asgardians break out the power weapons – in this case multi-barrel anti-aircraft cannons.  All of which looked pretty cool, but left me thinking: “Huh?”
My reaction to the first Thor movie was that it was two movies in one: one on Earth and one in Asgard, and neither was done as well as if they had just done one or the other.  This sequel is a bit of the same, but for some reason it made more sense the in way it was handled in this one, so it wasn’t a negative for me.  I would say it was about 30% Earth and 70% Asgard, which seemed better.
At this point, I’m really starting to tell too much about what happens in the movie and not enough about whether it was any good.  It was.  I enjoyed it.  No, it’s not great cinema (although the special effects are pretty awesome and starting to really look believable), but it is a good, old fashioned, heroes fight bad guys movie.  There is also just enough comedy in the movie to make it “fun”, which is also a big plus to me.  If that is your pleasure (and it certainly is mine), then you’ll enjoy this movie too.  Just don’t wast energy trying to think about it and make too much sense of it.  It’s just a movie…
Highly recommended!
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On This Day In:
2012 Never, Never, Never
2011 Testing 1, 2, 3

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