Thor: Ragnarok ★★½

The first "Thor" was a pretty decent fish out of water story and "The Dark World" was a mediocre sequel to that, but with a bland villain and too rooted in connection to our world. Where the third Thor movie succeed the most is in almost completely (save for one scene, which had an added bonus of Benedict Cumberbatch) distancing itself from Earth and diving deep into the convention of space fantasy. This brings "Thor Ragnarok" closer to "Guardians of the Galaxy" in tone, and seeing as that is the most flawless of Marvel sub-series to date, this proves to be a good idea.

"Thor: Ragnarok" is bright, colorful and funny. It's filled with characters that are a delight to watch (old friends Heimdall, Loki and Hulk, and some new faces: Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie, Karl Urban's Skurge and of course Cate Blanchett as the villainess of the story) and have great chemistry together. It's also not as brainless as the trailers give impression and do touch upon some serious themes of friendship, leadership and responsibility. It also smuggles some positive message about immigrants, making the extensive usage of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" feel less of a coincidence (and convenience, as this is not the first time I heard it accompany fight scenes in movies).

Of special note is the music: a YouTube video by Every Frame a Painting once described the problem with bland and forgettable music in Marvel films, so it's with great pleasure for me to admit "Thor: Ragnarok" has some good score. I'm not saying about aforementioned "Immigrant Song" or the still bland orchestral default music heard when we're in Asgard (including the obligatory Choir Boy Solo in a poignant death scene, Nostalgia Critic even put it on number 5 of his 10 Worst Cliches list). But in most scenes on the Trash Planet we can hear some awesome 80s synth pop score akin to "Stranger Things", "Mass Effect" or "Far Cry: Blood Dragon". Obviously Marvel figured out the convention of "Guardians" is the best way to go for a space fantasy character of Thor. Evidently these movies were made back to back, seeing as Jeff Goldblum, a major character here, was first seen in the first "Guardians" and then appeared in the end credits of Vol. 2.

To sum up, I liked it a lot more than "The Dark World" and maybe even more than the first "Thor".

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