Mini-Review: Thor: Ragnarok

Thor - Ragnarok Poster
Released: November 3, 2017

Story: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is out to find his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), and stop the coming of Ragnarok, the total destruction of Asgard by his long lost sister Hela the Goddess of Death (Cate Blanchett). Thor seeks help from some old and new friends, including his mischievous step-brother Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, who has been ruling Asgard under the guise of their father for two years (okay, he’s more an enemy than friend). Thor will lose much along the way, but he must ban together the team of unlikely heroes if he hopes to save his home and people. Oh, and Jeff Goldblum also stars in this movie as Jeff Goldblum with strange hair and eccentric clothes.

Thoughts: The Thor series shoots for comedy rather than Shakespearean drama this time out. Director Taika Waititi (probably best known for being a director and writer for the TV series Flight of the Conchords), the three screenwriters, and the entire cast excel at giving the audience plenty to find funny with many genuine laugh out loud moments, so much so that it undercuts the drama. Too bad since the more serious bits of Ragnarok are actually some of the best. The overabundance of comedy also made the moments of surprise comedy predictable and left the film with what felt like very small stakes. That’s quite an achievement when the movie a. Is the last film in a trilogy and b. Is called Thor: Ragnarok. Throw in a two-time Oscar winning actress who has a barely developed villain character with hardly anything interesting to do and a nice but pointless cameo by Benedict Cumberbatch and you have a fun but fairly shallow film that’s worth seeing but maybe could’ve packed a stronger emotional punch.

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Mini-Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians 2

Release: May 5, 2017

Story: The Guardians of the Galaxy (played by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Baustista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper) are on the run from a race of gold-skinned, uptight aliens; the Ravagers, led by the blue-skinned Yondu (Michael Rooker); and Gamora’s vengeful sister, Nebula (Karen Gillan). They bump into Peter’s long lost father, a powerful celestial being known as Ego (Kurt Russel). With Ego is his assistant Mantis, a childlike empath played by Pom Klementieff. Ego wants Peter (the leader of the Guardians, played by Pratt) to join him on the planet he created to help accomplish the immortal Ego’s life purpose, but Peter and Gamora (Saldana) are suspicious of Ego’s intentions.

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Mini-Review Monday: Ant-Man

Ant-ManRelease: July 17, 2015

Story: Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), one of the best thieves out there, is recruited by former superhero Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to break into Pym’s company (which Hank no longer owns) to steel a suit that allows the wearer to shrink and gain super strength. This suit was devised and created by our villain and former Pym protegee Darren Cross (played by Corey Stoll). Cross is a mad man who has terrible purposes for the future and mass production of his new suit (called Yellow Jacket). Pym, knowing this would happen if his shrinking technology got into the wrong hands, wants to steel the suit from Cross and destroy all the data relating to it. Hence the need for a new Ant-Man. Hank and Scott will have help from Hank’s daughter, Hope (played by Evangeline Lilly), who is undercover as Cross assistant; some of Scott’s eccentric and bumbling friends and fellow thieves; and many, many, many ants. With a heated relationship between Hank and Hope (who haven’t been on good terms since her mother’s mysterious death), Scott’s reluctance to go back to a life of crime when he only wants to go legitimate and be a part of the life of his young daughter (who is living with Scott’s ex-wife and her new cop husband), and what appears to be an impossible heist with terrible world changing consequences should they fail, can this rag-tag team of small heroes rise to the challenge and do big things?
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