Thor: Ragnarok

A-

Thor is not one of my favorites. It is hard to get excited about the sons of Odin, the king of Asgard and who gets the throne, etc. So I never saw the first two Thor movies, though Thor and his brother Loki had big parts in the first Avengers movie which is one reason I wasn't as crazy about that one. So I had low expectations for this movie, which never hurts. I was glad to get to see it the opening weekend and it was in a pretty big auditorium that was nearly full, so there was a lot of excitement in the audience, which also really helps.

And then there is the movie: they've pretty much taken the key to success of Guardians of the Galaxy which is a great sense of humor and uneasy friendships and applied it here, making the characters more relatable and really helping the movie through some of the exposition and sharpening some of the action scenes. So you get some really offbeat characters, including Jeff Goldblum being a version of himself, plus some Guardians-like characters. It's kind of an action comedy, which works great, but without a lot of comic actors. Maybe it is funnier because I wasn't expecting it to be. A few scenes seemed to show the actors actually cracking up over a particularly good line. The movie is a little over two hours long and it went by pretty quickly. There are still tons of Marvel fighting scenes where the characters throw each other through walls without getting hurt, plus spaceship chases, armies fighting, like you would expect.

With such great actors (Cate Blanchett is the villain, Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, Karl Urban, Anthony Hopkins, and Benedict Cumberbatch) and even Chris Hemsworth now completely at home in his role, it is a shame the characters don't have a lot of depth, but it's a Marvel movie and comic books aren't usually character studies. Still with that kind of talent, it gives a lot of credibility to the whole enterprise and bad actors would take you out of the movie pretty quickly. The plot is a little bit by the numbers, and like the characters, lacks complexity, but because of the humor and visual spectacle, maybe that doesn't matter. The movie is still entertaining, which is ultimately what matters most.