Much of the action in Thor:Ragnarok has already been given away in the previews: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must fight the evil goddess Hela (Cate Blanchett, looking like Marilyn Manson as designed by Jack Kirby) to defend Asgard, and is defeated, losing both his hammer and his hair. While Heimdall (Idris Elba) leads a resistance to Hela’s occupation, Thor and his brother/rival Loki (Tom Hiddleston) wind up on an alien planet where Thor is enslaved to a gladiator master who’s played by Jeff Goldblum, because why not. And in his first match, Thor must fight The Hulk, “a friend from work”, setting up what might be the greatest mismatched buddy-cop movie of all time.
It’s slightly more complex than this, but Thor: Ragnarok is a very straightforward, ass-kicking movie, and the fight sequences are spectacular, even if they’re obviously CGI. The principals are given a fun supporting cast including Tessa Thompson as the last of the Valkyries and “Korg”, an animated pile of rocks (voiced by Taika Waititi, the movie’s director). And while a lot of the cute touches in this film are on par with other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s also a bit of character growth. Thor has always been a big lunk who is often the comic relief in his own stories, but he is a good deal more intelligent than he has been depicted in previous movies. I liked where Thor was able to see through Loki’s deceptions, at least twice. He is able to do this because as Thor tells him, Loki doesn’t want to be anything other than what he is.
Although if anyone knows about the original Norse myth, the title Ragnarok sort of gives away what could be a major change to the setting. Even so, for the most part, everything works out for everybody. Until the end-credits sequence.