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Early THOR: RAGNAROK Reviews Praise Marvel’s Funniest Movie Yet

The first Thor: Ragnarok reviews hit the internet today, and the early consensus? Marvel has a big winner on its hands. Because as of this writing, the movie has a perfect score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s amazing for any film, but it totally blows the first two Thor films out of the water. The original from 2011 is at 77%, and 2013’s Dark World has an underwhelming 66%. But what exactly do critics like about the new movie so much? And what qualms do they have with it? (Because it can’t be perfect, right?)

To answer those questions we rounded up some of the best write-ups from around the web, and they paint a picture of a hilarious movie that might actually have been too amusing at times. So we’re bringing them all to you in today’s episode of Nerdist News.

We’re kicking things off with our very own Kyle Anderson, who thinks the funniest movie in the MCU finally gave Chris Hemsworth a Thor movie worthy of his talents:

“Visually, the movie definitely stuns, with more of those Jack Kirby-inspired cityscapes and spaceships, and this is aided greatly by a prog-rock synth score by the great Mark Mothersbaugh. I could definitely spend a lot more time NOT on Earth in these Marvel movies and be completely fine with it, which we’ll certainly get more of in Avengers: Infinity War, if reports are to be believed.”

Sheri Linden at The Hollywood Reporter thought the film’s focus on not taking itself too seriously really separated it from Dark World:
“With Taika Waititi at the helm, the clash-of-worlds CGI extravaganza blasts free of the previous installment’s leaden Dark World. Giant fire monsters in stygian underworlds notwithstanding, even the story’s central bad guys are silly fun, hammed to the hilt by Cate Blanchett and Jeff Goldblum.”

The Guardian‘s Steve Rose says its an “entertaining but frankly inconsequential Marvel” movie:
“It’s what you’d call a ‘romp’ – and one whose lurid 1980s-retro stylings bring it closer to the Guardians of the Galaxy end of the spectrum, though its spiritual forebears would also include Mike Hodges’ Flash Gordon, He-Man, and the Masters of the Universe, and possibly Red Dwarf. Comic-book movies have spent a long time striving to be taken as serious, grownup entertainment but Thor: Ragnarok is almost an admission that you can’t play this material straight.”

Brock Wilbur at Polygon thinks the movie has has raised the bar for the MCU:
“There are bad-ass women, monsters, hilarious jokes, and an appreciated space-punk soundtrack by Mark Mothersbaugh. Not to mention that Doctor Strange is better here than in his own origin adventure movie. Ragnarok sets the new standard by which the entire MCU will have to adhere to, including the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. Rangarok is an intense space opera that genuinely cares about every character having a journey and doesn’t waste a second of screen time on anything artificial.

This could be the funniest superhero movie ever made, according to Gizmodo‘s Germain Lussier, but all that humor overshadows everything else:
“There’s only one problem with the film being so funny and such a spectacle, though: The laughter and grandeur overshadows almost everything else. Ragnarok is missing the emotional core that has elevated many other Marvel films. The jokes and set pieces come at you so often that there’s barely a moment for you to feel anything else. Luckily—and unlike so many other films that try the same thing—Thor: Ragnarok is so good it manages to work anyway.”

Chris Nashawaty at Entertainment Weekly says this is a great comedy more than a superhero movie, one that suffers from an uninspiring plot:
“What neither Hemsworth nor his director can overcome, though, is Ragnarok’s meandering and narcoleptic story. It’s the sort of rote, paint-by-numbers slog (occasionally broken up by numbing, pro forma smashy-smashy smackdowns) that makes so many Marvel movies feel like Xeroxes of other Marvel movies.”

The Verge‘s Bryan Bishop thinks director Taika Waititi has managed to capture what a Marvel movie can really be:
“Thor: Ragnarok is (Waititi’s) first Hollywood feature, but what he’s done with Ragnarok doesn’t just boil down to adding new characters or throwing in extra comedy. Instead, it’s an enthusiastic, hilarious reboot of the idea of what a Marvel movie can actually be, resulting in an effervescent, delightfully self-aware ride that was the most fun I’d had in a superhero movie in years.”

Alonso Duralde at The Wrap thought two of the biggest names to join in the fun might have stolen the film with their performances:
“Both Blanchett and Goldblum take full advantage of their Special Guest Villain status to go gloriously over the top. Goldblum’s trademark brand of stammering deadpan fits perfectly into this scenario, while Blanchett walks away with the movie.”

But as much fun as as the movie was, IGN‘s Jim Vejvoda wrote it missed the real story it should have been telling:
“Who, after all these years and films, is Thor exactly? And what really mattered to him here in this film? Asgard’s very existence being at stake never seems to emotionally register with him as much as it should. He doesn’t have any real arc to speak of here in Ragnarok; there are opportunities to explore some depth between Thor and Hela that the movie deflects in favor of moving on to the next set-piece or gag.”

If the biggest problem with Thor: Ragnarok is that it’s too much fun, we’re not worried about it doing well when it hits theaters on November 2nd.

What are you most looking forward to with the movie? Are you more excited for it after reading the reviews? Enter the arena of our comments section below to share your thoughts.

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Images: Marvel

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