By Jihoon Yang, Contributing Writer
Ragnarok, the end of the world in Norse mythology. Essentially the apocalypse and the rebirth of the world, it sounds like pretty dark stuff. But it’s hard to get that impression with the overindulgence of humor in Thor: Ragnarok. The film is still great fun to watch and definitely bold, but as in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, there are constant barrage of jokes in rather serious scenarios makes it hard for you to take the end of the world seriously.
Ragnarok brings back the familiar duo of Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, and Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, with the addition of the Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo. Despite bringing back three characters that audiences know, the three have undergone some tonal changes to their characters. Thor has become more of a humorous portrayal of the character. While he has definitely had his own share of funny moments in the past, the God of Thunder is less stoic in Ragnarok and more open to making jokes. In a video interview with Collider, Hemsworth revealed that he requested to Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, for a different tone with Thor.
“I called Kevin and I said ‘I’ve got to do something different,’” said Hemsworth in the interview. “‘I’m sort of dying here [with] what I’m doing and I’m so bored of myself. And I feel like I’m not giving enough.’ And I said ‘you’ve got to give me an opportunity to do something different.’ He was incredibly receptive and agree […] It was the most fun I had playing this character.”
His brother on screen, Loki, has also gone through some character changes. Instead of the seething, conquer-the-world villain he was in Avengers, he’s become someone who’s content with enjoying some of the perks of pretending to be Odin (as left off in Thor: The Dark World). He’s not bent on murder or conquest, rather he just wants to be left alone to do his own thing. Even the rampaging, almost animalistic Hulk has been toned down. With the most dialogue he has ever had on screen, Hulk is almost childlike, discontent and upset with how the Earth and the other Avengers view him. Despite the different portrayals of all three characters, the movie has become almost like a road trip between the three of them, offering the closest relationship between them that audiences have ever seen.
Undoubtedly the biggest problem in the film is that it cannot take itself seriously. Both Thor and Asgard make some of the most boldest decisions made so far in any Marvel film. Yet, even in the most serious of moments the film inserts an unnecessary joke or two, making it difficult to take in the end of Asgard as we know it. And this seems to be a common trend in most Marvel films nowadays, which might be viewed as a “safe” approach for executives, but completely ruins what could be epic or dramatic moments in their films. Regardless of its tonal inconsistencies, Thor: Ragnarok is still a fun film to watch and still quite enjoyable.