Thor: Ragnarok does have a plot involving Thor’s battle with his long sister and Goddess of Death Hela, his stranding on the alien planet Sakaar, and being forced by Jeff Goldblum to fight in gladiator battles against the Hulk. However, I’m not going to summarize it because despite the world-shaking events depicted in the film, the story isn’t really that important. Instead, this film is all about the fun. Unlike the Guardians of the Galaxy films which bordered on outright comedy, Ragnarok is essentially the film that fully confirms that Marvel just doesn’t care what any of us think anymore. It has everything from Thor fighting a dragon to rock-aliens with New Zealand accents to Loki being Loki to jokes about Jeff Goldblum having orgies with hot aliens.
Unlike Guardians though, this film is not really an outright comedy where the characters are constantly cracking jokes, even if Hemsworth mostly drops his ye olde Norse accent in favor of more snark. This is simply a film that throws some of the weirdest shit in the MCU at you and doesn’t bat an eye at it at all. It really says a lot that the franchise has been around long enough that it can throw together this crazy mis-mash of superhero, science-fiction, fantasy, and comedy elements in the same film and it actually all gels shockingly well. The delivery of everything is simply so dry and matter-of-fact that after a while Doctor Strange randomly appearing out of nowhere and Asgardians mowing each other down with AK-47s and Cate Blanchett doing a whole film as evil Galadriel actually seems normal.
And that’s why this film is both such a fun ride and a huge milestone for the MCU- it’s simply beyond the point of caring. This movie has no pretense of being anything other than what it is, which is just a fun, wacky ride. Director Taika Waititi has already shown that he understands what makes a great comedy with gems like What We Do in the Shadows, and with Ragnarok he has shown that he also gets what makes a great fun, action-packed adventure film too. Not every MCU film needs to be Guardians-esque comedy, but I think that “fuck it” spirit is also the key to truly making it into a great franchise.
So if you’re in a fuck-it mood too, go see Thor: Ragnarok this weekend. It’s weird, it’s wacky, and it doesn’t give a shit what you think about it. But above all, it’s simply a movie that not afraid to have fun and embrace what it is. I wish more Marvel films (and, indeed, action/adventure films in general) had the same desire to experiment and get a little freaky.