I’ve been to see Thor: Ragnarok, so that you don’t have to . . . .
Just kidding. Of course, you’re going to.
But here are nine brief points that stood out to me, one for each of the Nine Realms.
1. The title credits for Marvel now only feature scenes from the movies.
It’s interesting to see how large the cinematic universe has grown (and potentially how far it’s strayed from its comics roots) now that they have enough material to fill the title credits at the start of each Marvel film. It’s good to see how they’ve grown, but it still felt a little sad to me. I count them as separate anyway, so I guess it’s just further evidence of that.
2. Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie kicks ass!
What else can I say? This isn’t your ’70s era Valkyrie, but then, this isn’t the ’70s either. Tessa Thompson was a stand-out presence in Westworld and Selma (amongst other films), so her appearance in Thor: Ragnarok and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a breath of fresh air. I’m totally on board with following her path and seeing what comes next for this bold new vision of the Valkyrie.
3. There’s a subtle homage to the 1997 Aussie film classic, The Castle.
No one else seems to have spotted it yet (not that I’ve seen), but there’s a brief reference to Aussie cinematic classic, The Castle, by Rachel House’s character Topaz. If you haven’t already seen The Castle then I highly recommend checking it out (ideally before seeing Thor: Ragnarok, if you can).
4. Other than that it’s a celebration of all things Kiwi.
There’s some wonderful Kiwi actors on display throughout Thor: Ragnarok, including the aforementioned Rachel House, Karl Urban, Sam Neill and director Taika Waititi (who also plays a special role of his own). Each one gets some great moments (especially Karl Urban’s Skurge), and there’s a touch of Waititi’s roots which lends to the unique charm of this film.
5. There are some great cameos by some very familiar faces.
I’ve already mentioned one of them in an earlier point, but there are some great (and quite surprising) cameos beyond the obligatory Stan Lee one that we get with each new Marvel feature. I don’t want to spoil anything, but keep your eyes peeled and prepare for some laughs. ‘Nuff said.
6. Stan Lee’s cameo is quite possibly the best one yet. It also serves a purpose.
We do, of course, get another Stan Lee cameo, but this one actually serves to drive the story forward (well, kinda). As usual, Stan turns on his endearing charm to steal the scene, making it one of my favourite cameos to date. It’s almost enough to make you forget this is really Jack’s film . . . almost. Fortunately the rest of the film is such a visual love letter to Jack that you’re kept very much on course.
7. Taika Waititi gives Thor its own audio-visual identity in much the same way as James Gunn did with GotG.
The MCU has become a symbol of quality and distinction, but it was Guardians of the Galaxy that really broke the mold to establish a unique audio-visual identity for the film and its characters. A lot of that comes down to James Gunn’s personal vision (shame we never got to see Edgar Wright’s full take on Ant-Man), but this is the first time it’s really been applied to one of the MCU mainstays. Taika Waititi (as anyone who’s seen him being interviewed can attest) is most definitely his own man, and this is most definitely his film (when it’s not Jack’s, that is).
NOW IT’S SPOILER TIME … YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Turn back now if you’re faint of heart … or just don’t want things spoiled.
Seriously, just stop reading if you have to …
No one will judge. You can come back later.
Still here? Well, okay then …
8. The stage is set for the Straczynski version of Thor and Asgard next.
I’m not going to tell you what happens or how we get there, but there’s a major shift in the status quo that sets us up for elements of the J. Michael Straczynski version of Thor and Asgard going forward. We’ll see how that plays out, but I assume it will involve touching on some of the Fraction elements as well. Hopefully they have the sense to give Fear Itself a wide berth or just steal the title and spin gold from it.Continued below
9. Cate Blanchett’s Hela pretty much ensures we won’t see another Marvel character in the MCU.
She’s not a Marvel character per se (well, she wasn’t), but the revelations about Hela seem to suggest we won’t be seeing Angela on film anytime soon … especially since Angela was, at one time, the Queen of Hel herself. I won’t say anymore here, but if we do substitute one for the other then Cate Blachett may have a far bigger (and more interesting) role in the films to come.
There’s plenty more to be seen (and plenty more I noticed) but, if you had to pick nine things, what stood out most to you?