Was Loki underutilized in Thor Ragnarok

Thor 3 - Day of Decision Criticism

Rating: 4/5

First of all: I hope Kal-El, it is not a problem that I stole your spell from you - I just find it extremely appropriate and it describes my situation very precisely.

A look into the past
in the October 2014 hit Marvel back: After DC published its plans for the next films in the summer, Marvel organized a big spectacle and released phase 3. Of course, two films stood out very clearly: Captain America - Civil War and Avengers - Infinity War. New characters such as Doctor Strange and Black Panther were also spectacular for the fans. But the secret favorite at that moment was Thor - Ragnarok. An epic intro, a brilliant logo and words from Feige that made people sit up and take notice: Thor 3 was supposed to change the MCU as Captain America - Winter Solider did a few months earlier this year. The hypetrain was started, borrowings from northern mythology and a greater focus on the 9 worlds indicated that one would learn from the mistakes of Thor 2.
In the following months However, a lot changed: Avengers - Age of Ultron had a hard time fighting with several negative voices - the rather funny Ant-Man had become the winner of the fans. Spider-Man could be won - they wanted to use him as a funny character and build him up as the next superstar. Inhumans was canceled and Hulk? The makers let all dreams burst after the legal situation was explained - the right Hulk film after the end of Avengers 2 would not appear.
Fall 2015: It made noise: Ant-Man 2 was announced as a team-up film and the prayers of the fans were answered: Hulk should also get his appearance - as a co-star in Thor 3. Ragnarok became a team-up film and should pick up elements from Planet Hulk. However, the following words made suspicious: "Buddy-Film", "Roadtrip-Movie" and the entire storyline of Planet Hulk in one of the MCU's gamechanging films? Hmmm...
Summer 2016: A lot has happened: Taika Waititi was signed up - a comedy director should film Götterdämmerung? The Thor Vacations clips came out - and were fun. Should Chris Hemsworth, who showed his talent in the comedy field after AoU, become the new thumper? The first pictures appeared: and were colorful! To colorful! Playmobil and Play-Doo - I used these words to describe my displeasure. Thor - Ragnarok had apparently turned out to be a completely different film than expected - this was also borne out by the first trailers.
2017: Hela, Sutur, Walküre, Infinity Stones, Ragnarok - everything was prepared for a serious, dark and shocking MCU film. The end of the world and the end of the gods - with the Nordic bonds this seemed realistic. The trailers also used these elements, but they were colorful, almost B-movie-like, especially the Hulk and the Sakaar setting resembled Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which was no longer so well received by many because of the exaggerated, emotion-destroying humor.
Conclusion: Within a few months it appears that Thor 3 has undergone a change in strategy. Away from the serious end-time film to the humorous buddy movie. My anticipation was clouded, I liked the trailers, but it was to be completely different. I had ordered pizza and got pasta, but I am satisfied after the sighting and can understand the change of course, even understand it after this film. Why? I hope my review makes this clear.

Trailer for Thor 3 - Decision Day

After the almost destruction of the earth by a robot created from an infinity stone, Thor sets out to search for answers. For 2 years he searches for answers, but is plagued by visions and nightmares that bring him a terrifying realization. Ragnarok, the end of the gods and Asgard is imminent and only he can stop it. Because his father Odin behaves strangely, although Asgard shines like never before, but the 9 worlds are in chaos - Thor recognizes Loki's betrayal and together they go to Midgard to look for Odin. This reveals dark secrets and a cruel truth to them - Ragnarok has already started and Hela, the goddess of death, will appear and claim the Thorn for herself. Loki and Thor want to prevent this, but they are dealing with a being of unknown power - Hela destroys Mjölnir and Thor ends up at the other end of the universe on Sakaar, the refuge of things that no longer want.
There he is captured by the crazy grandmaster, enslaved and has to compete in gladiatorial games - where he meets an old friend: the Hulk, arena champion and fan favorite. Can Thor stop him together with him, Loki and the Grandmaster's favorite hunter, Valkyrie, Ragnarok and Hela, or is he on his own, as the 3 are enjoying their new life on Sakaar.

Ragnarok and humor? Is the?
Even if the plot sounds serious and suitable for Götterdämmerung, without spoiling, one can say that Thor 3 borrows from a comedy and is not stingy with humor and causes a lot of laughs. But why can I be satisfied with it even though I wanted something completely different? On the one hand, this is due to the settings: Thor 3 has 2 different storylines, which move back and forth in parallel and which are clearly different from each other.
Asgard is the center of the actual action: Ragnarok. Dark secrets, a bitter truth and a brilliant villain - Thor 3 doesn't promise too little and actually relies on more serious tones in this twist of the hand. I can say without spoiling that the end of the gods has truly begun and the kill count may be bigger than ever before. Many will not be impressed by this, on the other hand, it is exactly what was promised. Asgard is then also the setting for the Nordic mythology borrowings and Waititi manages to depict this world, which we have known since 2010, in a more multifaceted way than ever before.
Sakaar is the center of the Planet Hulk storyline and yes, it gets colorful, funny and occasionally even exaggerated. You just have to get involved with this storyline and accept what it is - Thor in a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. And yes, it works, because the Grandmaster alone makes a lot of things self-explanatory, because as eccentric as this figure is depicted, a self-created cosmos is also exaggerated. The MCU connoisseur immediately feels reminded of his brother, the Collector, who was also shrill and bizarre. The colorful look of the interior and clothing simply fits the grandmaster, who has built his own utopia according to his ideas. The arena fights are colorful, dominated by green, and then it is the Hulk who, through his newfound ability to speak, with childlike argumentation manages to attract a lot of laughs.
Why humor at all? This is easy to describe because "never change a winning team". Humor and Oneliner have been the hallmarks of the MCU since 2008. Why change a formula that produced the largest cohesive film universe and the most successful film series of all time? In addition, the criticism of Thor 2 is known, the film is in many circles as one of the weakest MCU films, Thor has not yet had his success apart from the Avengers. Marvel tries to do something different and therefore brings the character into a new environment and changes the style. This works because Waititi understands his sense of humor. Awesome how he puts the previous actions (and the associated criticism) of the Thor films with a few jokes at the panger and breaks away from them - anyone who has seen the film understands what I mean. Waititi shows a feeling for the MCU, implements well-known funny scenes 1: 1, lets Easter eggs rain, makes fun of previous film mistakes or repetitions. Although the humor is sometimes too forced, sometimes even too infantile, you still have to be really humorless or go to the basement to laugh if you don't find large parts of the humor funny. But can humor be present during Ragnarok? After IIT", a horror movie laughed a few days ago, I have to say very clearly: why not? By dividing the settings, the seriousness and the humor are largely separated. Death and emotions find their place, there are emotional, touching ones apart from the situation comedy Moments, the dynamics of the Thor and Loki brothers are shown again and again ingeniously between poignant and silly. In addition, a large part of the humor comes from the characters.

First and foremost, of course Thor at the center of the plot and Chris Hemsworth is allowed to show his comedic talent. Thor is fun in this movie, especially because the character finally reaches his limits and reveals powers that we only knew from comics so far. The change between emotions and fun can often go too fast, but the plot leaves little time for rest due to the many story elements and characters - in the film it is revealed, however, that a few days pass. Thor is too often clumsy to me, but this is also due to the interaction with Hulk and the unusual placement in a world that the god of thunder does not know and understand. Many will be bothered when Thor jokes too many jokes, despite all the dangers and threats posed by Ragnarok. But is this the fault of Thor 3 or is it the character itself. Looking back, it has to be said that nothing has changed. Let us remember the fight against the ice giants, Thor's jerkiness on earth and his sayings about the dangers. He is immortal, his opponents are mostly inferior to him and he is perfectly aware of this. The opening sequence pays homage to the first fight scene from Thor 1 - arrogant, arrogant and knowing that he cannot lose. Thor is a god, immortal and eager to fight - a phenomenon we also know from characters like Wonder Woman or Aquaman and which is why Superman did not work for some in BvS. Thor always showed fear, anger and emotions when it came to his family or the unknown - exactly this is also used in Thor 3 and therefore the humor is nothing new and due to the new setting, weak opponents, Hulk, Hela and Loki the constant change is understandable and the "funny" Thor is nothing new.
Hela is the villain of the film as the goddess of death and is played by Cate Blanchett. Without spoiling, I can say that she is really badass, is responsible for many a wow factor and that her actions are absolutely understandable. Although such a great actress like Blanchett is by no means challenged, it is fun to play her in an unfamiliar role. Marvel has created a great villain, everything else would go too much into spoiler territory, nevertheless the common MCU viewer will shake their head again and be annoyed that they did not go one step further.
Hulk and Bruce Banner are this time more than the supporting characters in an Avengers film and are an integral part of the plot. Both make for a lot of laughs, which is also self-explanatory: here the Hulk, who is a toddler despite his strength and size inside, there Banner, who as a scientist has to live with living in a world he does not know and understands. The dualism has never been so pronounced as in this film and it will be interesting to see how it will continue.
The Valkyrie played by Tessa Thompson is then the secret star of the film with a history that is tragic and ingenious at the same time. Through her presence she puts so many male actors in the shade and her characterization is completely understandable through the plot.
The Grandmaster is then simply Jeff Goldblum, who plays himself. He and his entire world provide the humor, just like Korgwho is amiable and funny at the same time. His appearance will probably be the most criticized, as he actually only serves for sayings and humor.

Action scenes
I wrote it before, Waititi has dealt with the MCU like few directors before. When it comes to crossovers with other characters, he presents this in a self-explanatory way, where you have to laugh and still understand why it is presented that way. The opening scene is probably the most ingenious Thor fight scene of all time and is already going down in the history of the best MCU scenes, the final fight is tough too. Hela vs. Thor, Hulk vs. Fenriswolf, Hulk vs. Thor, etc. - the fight scenes are breathtaking and spectacular and you can tell that Waititi understood the characters. When Thor fights against Sutur, Drachen, Hela or the Hulk - Marvel fans' hearts open up. Where a Snyder is always celebrated for his painting-like images, you have to take off your hat at Waititi - like Richard's Wagner opera, the ride on the Valkyries is reminiscent of special art, only the familiar melody is missing.

This is where things get critical, because matching the B-movie and 80s look on Sakaar, inspired by Stranger Things, sounds appear that not everyone will like. If these are mixed with topics from Thor 1 and Thor 2, a unique sound is created that sounds epic in places. The synthesizer sounds alone are often annoying and not my taste.
Borrowing from the Guardians of the Galaxy, certain songs shouldn't be missing, especially Led Zeppilns - Immigrant Song, of course. A copy of the GotG success strategy paired with the sounds of the Wonder Woman theme scheme? Or at least calculating when you think of the song lines:

We come from the land of the ice and snow
From the midnight sun, where the hot springs flow
The hammer of the gods
Well drive our ships to new lands
To fight the horde, and sing and cry
Valhalla, I'm coming!

Ragnarok also packed musically - simple and ingenious at the same time.

What needs to be criticized?
As with every Mrvel film, the villain has to be criticized. Even if Hela can partly originate from the usual Marvel pattern, there are some points that really bothered me. Without spoiling it is almost impossible to explain this, one can provocatively ask: why is she the goddess of death at all? Although you can explain it in the course of the film, unfortunately, high hopes were a bit disappointed here. Especially in connection with the countless rumors, which would also spoil too much - just this much: a lot has not come true and Ragnarok feels much more lonely than one would have expected shortly before Infinity War.
Another rehearsal is very clear that you have to get involved with this film. Anyone expecting a difficult, dramatic, world-changing film will be disappointed. Because Ragnarok is and remains humorous and funny. Thor in the world of the Guardians and knocking gods who know that they cannot die. This is exactly the premise of the film and yet it works because the humor clearly emanates from the characters and the situational comedy. Critics may say that Marvel actually wanted to make a Planet Hulk film and yes, the title Ragnarok does not largely fit the pictures shown. But isn't it your own fault? Because even in Norse mythology, Ragnarok is by no means the end and by no means the end of the gods. No, Ragnarok is always a beginning, a new beginning - in order for a new world to arise, the old one has to shatter - and the film fulfills this too. Anyone who expects a dark ending with Ragnarok without a happy ending doesn't know their way around mythology either - the consequences of the Götterdämmerung are all present in the film, but the happy ending still exists, the looseness and the knowledge that fate has not stopped can also bring a new perspective to the film.

You had a year to adjust to this film, Ragnarok was not supposed to become the MCU film that is significantly more DC-like than all the others. Nevertheless, it fulfills its purpose, can break away from well-known Marvel formulas and is pure eye candy. If you have to wait a long time for the pizza you have ordered, sooner or later you will be satisfied with the pasta if you are hungry enough. And so it is with Thor 3 as well - if you get involved in the new setting, the humor and the Marvel-typical story and the joke line known from GotG 2, you can expect one of the best films of the year, a blockbuster that may not be world-changing but clearly shows the influence of the director and is not a typical studio commission. Those who cannot accept this and continue to expect a serious film will not appreciate this film either and should also stay away from the cinema. However, one should then admit that other films are not what one hoped for. Of course you need a pair of fan glasses to see that the pasta didn't taste that bad, but you should also accept that pasta and pizza still have the same cultural background and are not that far away on the menu.

Thor 3 - Day of Decision Assessment