Thor Odinson (Chris Hemsworth) tries to stop the end of the world in Thor: Ragnarok, a conflicted mess of a film that showcases some of the best that Marvel Studios has to offer along with some of their cringiest.
If you’ve seen the trailers, you have the main gist of it all — Hela (Cate Blanchett), the goddess of death, has come to take her place on the throne of Asgard after Odin’s death releases her from the prison his life-force created.
As Odin’s firstborn, she is the strongest of his children, and she makes her mark within moments by destroying Mjolnir and sending Thor and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) into retreat. As the brothers attempt to teleport back to their homeworld with the help of the Bifröst Bridge, Hela follows them and send them off course.
Hela appears in Asgard, where her claim to the throne hits deaf ears — that’s what happens when an entire era’s history is wiped away or covered up. Viewed as an invading force, Asgard’s army tries to hold her at bay but fails miserably.
House meets Inception meets Iron Man in a special effects bonanza that sorts out Stephen Strange’s mystical origin story for the silver screen as he goes from world-renowned surgeon to universally known sorcerer.
As one of the Avengers most powerful members, Dr. Strange exists in the comics as Earth’s protector against threats that transcend the physical. Wielding the Eye of Agamotto, Strange basically has a limitless array of powers at his disposal to go along with his masterful intellect.
In his cinematic debut, Strange is more or less the same character — changes were made to make him fit in line with the impending Infinity War. We’re introduced to the character at the height of his arrogance as he pokes fun at public health care, sorts through a drawer full of high-end watches to fit his tux for a speaking engagement, and handpicks his next surgery case.
A strange x-ray keeps his attention too long while he speeds along a coastal cliff in his Lamborghini. He sideswipes another vehicle which sends him spinning through the air and down the face of the cliff until the car face plants into a watery ditch. Strange wakes up in a public hospital with his hands stitched up and filled with pins. He doesn’t need a second opinion to tell him he will never perform another surgery again.
The decision to split the Hobbit into three films — its page length shorter than any of the books in the Lord of the Rings series which were also adapted into film by director Peter Jackson — may have piqued the interest of many of the book’s fans who wanted more, more, more.
Not only would Bilbo Baggins and his crew of dwarves get more screen time, it would also keep important plot points from falling to the cutting room floor, which was a common complaint regarding the LoTR film trilogy.
After seeing The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in 48 frames per second, I can say with confidence that I’d rather have one good movie than two mediocre films.
Where one two-hour movie might not have done this novel justice, Jackson’s frustrating penchant for incorporating too many shots of smiling characters, scenes that wear out their welcome by lingering too long, and an overabundance of sweeping wide shots go to the other extreme.