Thor: Ragnarock- Fun Enough

 

 

Thor: Ragnarok I feel, is the most standardized Marvel movie. Thor: Ragnarok has good special effects, nice action set pieces, fleshed out characters and a story that is engaging. In turn, it also has all the minute elements that drive me crazy about Marvel movies in general.

Thor: Ragnarok starts off with Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) dying. Odin tells Thor that Hela: Goddess of Death (Cate Blanchett) has been released. In an ensuing fight, Hela banishes Thor and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to the other end of the universe in a planet where Thor has to win an arena battle and travel back to Asgard before Hela takes control of the land and the people.

Thor: Ragnarok meets the minimum requirements of what you would expect from a Marvel movie. It has fun action sequences, character-building elements, and storytelling that is easy to follow and engaging. Ultimately, those are the main elements that make a good Marvel movie and that makes Thor: Ragnarock a success.

The Positives of Thor: Ragnarock

The bits that are the most fun are far and away the scenes where Thor is banished and has to fight in an arena to gain freedom. His opponent is a surprising one which I will leave you, the viewer to find out (even though they spoil it in the trailer). This creates interesting an funny dynamic between the characters both in and out of the battle.

The action sequences are also well choreographed as you would expect. This time, Thor: Ragnarok decides to take its influences of action sequences through previous entities of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, specifically Doctor Strange when there are action sequences occurring through interdimensional time travel. Blanchett gets action sequences reminiscent of the infamous Kill Bill action sequences 1 person against the 99 extras.The climactic battle sequence was also well chreographed.

Finally (For the good aspects at least), I would like to praise Thor: Ragnarock for making a story that is easy to understand particularly being the third installment of the franchise. You don’t have to know what happens in the first two to know what is going on in this one. Normally, it takes me awhile before I understand what is going on in a franchise if I start halfway in. It makes it easier for not only me to enjoy it, but for newer viewers as well.

Now comes what I think the sucky part of Thor Ragnarock. Unfortunately, it is what a lot of what I think a lot Marvel movies suffer from which is the ill-placed gags that don’t usually work.

The Annoying Gags of Thor: Ragnarock

Thor: Ragnarok, unfortunately, does not move as smoothly as I would have expected from a Marvel movie and that is because of the jarring tone. Thor: Ragnarock aims to have the mix the humor of Deadpool while trying to be as serious as Captain America: Civil War. Doctor Strange manages to balance the tons better than in Thor Ragnarock

This is mainly due to the ill-placed and predictable gags that Thor: Ragnarock possesses. You just know that when a villain is monologing there is going to be an ill-placed gag and when there a climactic scene, you guessed it, is an incoming gag. Marvel has to dilute the gravitas and disrupt the film’s momentum to insert a smarmy joke. It is like a compulsion. There are times when it is funny but most of the time, it really isn’t.

Nevertheless, the humor is an element of the movie, but the main elements of the movie (action, characters, storytelling) Thor: Ragnarok gets right. Unfortunately, I don’t see a point of difference in Thor Ragnarock with the recent Marvel entries like Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 or Doctor Strange, but by no means is it a bad movie. It is entertaining to watch, easy to follow and never felt too long. ⭐⭐⭐1/2

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Dr. Strange Review

 

doctor-strange-poster

Written by Nelson Cumming

Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch has brought his a-game (as he usually does) in Dr. Strange and he is not the only one. There are other actors and filmmakers who also try to trump him. Some of them succeeded, but the thing that works about Dr. Strange is that it wasn’t every person for themselves. It was a movie where everyone working on it were a unit with the goal to make something great and they passed the bar.

Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a masterful neurosurgeon who, after a car accident, loses full usage of his hands. He travels to Nepal hoping that women will restore his hands. That woman is Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) who knows how to restore his hands through spiritual and mental healing. She can also conjure magic and travel to different dimensions. After a terrible first impression from Dr.Strange, Ancient One reluctantly agrees to teach him the art of her powers. Little does Dr. Strange know that he is being trained to help stop an evil power set to destroy reality.

A Contribution Is A Contribution No Matter How Small

It’s just so great to see a huge blockbuster movie that didn’t clash due to egos (well, except for Cumberbatch’s character of course). I could tell that despite all the money that was poured into Dr. Strange, everyone knew their roles, their artistic freedoms, and limitations and used their tools effectively. Watching it, it felt like the whole was better than the sum of its parts.

Let me elaborate. Tilda Swinton plays a supporting role as Ancient One. She balances her character out with toughness, humility, fairness and a pinch of humor. She plays as the mentor of Dr. Strange. Swinton know that all she can do is support and she does it. The scriptwriters made her the wise person who always knew what to say. While that worked for the most part, she kept pontificating scenes with the philosophical one-liners during important and poignant scenes. I believe any movie should be a show-me medium instead of a tell-me medium. The great thing is that Swinton was so good that it barely mattered.

If movies are a show me medium then the special effects more than help that viewpoint. Every dollar spent on special effects is on the screen. They had no limits in that department and it shows. As Doctor Strange delves into various places and dimensions, the special effects are there to reflect that. They are colorful, psychedelic, abstract and vibrant. There are moments in those scenes that were directly inspired from Inception but boy was it beautiful. It’s a movie where you can put it on Imax because the visuals are so colourful and easy to look at.

Oh and I seem to have forgotten someone… oh yeah Benedict Cumberbatch. That guy was made for the role. Cumberbatch looks like him and knows how to speak fluently and with high-order language (he is the guy who plays the title character in Sherlock after all). I don’t know if this was intentional but I noticed he reduced the tremors in his hands as the movie went on. If that was intentional, that was some awesome, minute, fine-tuned detail.

Just watching this movie was a pleasure, especially the visual effects. Doctor Strange just felt vibrant and full of life and has an interesting story that you don’t hear too often (except maybe in the sci-fi genre). It is one of those blockbusters that is guaranteed to make at least $700 million. I just know it. In a month call me out if I am somehow wrong. It’s another success in the Marvel Catalogue ****1/4