'Thor: Ragnarok' Reviews Suggest We've Reached Peak Marvel Cinematic Universe

'Thor: Ragnarok' Reviews Suggest We've Reached Peak Marvel Cinematic Universe

Oct 19, 2017

No longer limited by the confines of social media postings, critics are unleashing their full reviews of Thor: Ragnarok today and the buzz continues to be very strong. Could this be the best-reviewed entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet? Is it at least the funniest? Current champion in the former is still the initial installment, 2008's Iron Man, with its 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Within a few hours of the review embargo being lifted, Ragnarok sits at a very impressive 98%! But things could change by the time the movie's released on November 3 and more formal reactions have been published. For now, here's a breakdown of the first wave of praise and criticisms with the latest MCU blockbuster:

Is this the best Marvel movie yet?

"It just might – might! – be the greatest Marvel movie." - David Jenkins, Little White Lies

"It’s not even a question that Thor: Ragnarok is the best of the Thor movies and it’s certainly up there as far as the best in the MCU." - Mike Ryan, Uproxx


Is this the funniest Marvel movie yet?

"Unquestionably [the] funniest big-screen Marvel adventure...it's a triumph." - Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

"Thor: Ragnarok is the funniest Marvel movie to date. In fact, it may be the funniest superhero movie ever...the whole thing will make you absolutely giddy." - Germain Lussier, io9

"Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed this hard during another Marvel movie and there are a lot of funny moments in other Marvel movies." - Ryan

"Marvel’s funniest superhero movie...Thor: Ragnarok never goes too long before landing another fresh punchline." - Eric Kohn, IndieWire

"Funnier than all other Marvel movies to date and has a specific tone that might throw off some fans." - Kyle Anderson, Nerdist


Is Cate Blanchett the best MCU villain so far?

"She adds a delicious sense of scene-chewing malevolence to the mix. Hela is an incredibly powerful villain, capable of separating Thor from his hammer — but she also takes obvious, compelling delight in being as evil as she can at any given moment...given Ragnarok’s overall tone, it plays as a celebration, as if Hela is intentionally trying to one-up every villain in the universe." - Bryan Bishop, The Verge

"Blanchett walks away with the movie; verbally, she plays like Dame Diana Rigg channeling both Joan Crawford and Eve Arden, and her physical slink (in one of Marvel Comics’ most wonderfully baroque costumes) calls to mind the sexy evil robot from Metropolis." - Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

"Blanchett faces her own gladiatorial battle: with the curse of the squandered Marvel villains. She wins by dint of blazing charisma but she is underused, reduced to oozing malignantly around Asgard and spearing victims." - Kevin Harley, Total Film 

"She’s underutilized for the duration of the movie; Waititi falls short of giving this first-rate actress anything substantial to do with the role. It’s no secret that Marvel has a long-running villain problem, and rather than solving it, Waititi finds another tangent." - Kohn

"Surely, there have to be other ways to play female evil than just 'threat-threat-punchline,' 'threat-threat-punchline.' - Nashawaty

"If there’s a weak link in the line-up it’s Blanchett’s Hela. While undeniably striking as Alice Cooper’s stroppy sister, she’s one-note." - James Dyer, Empire


How awesome is Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie? 

"[She's] "wonderfully rambunctious" - Kohn

"It’s clear in every scene she’s in that she’s the biggest badass in the room, even standing next to the massive Hemsworth, and the digital behemoth that is Hulk." - Anderson

"She shines with an over-the-top ‘80s action hero swagger in each and every scene...Ragnarok is at its best when Valkyrie is on the screen." - Lussier

"The stand-out supporting player isn’t any of the fellas, but Tessa Thompson as a Valkyrie...the Marvel universe needs to see more of her. She’s a star." - Nashawaty

"[She's] a warrior, serving up an impressive side of emotion with her meaty action scenes. Her hard drinking and scrapper lifestyle make her more relatable and fun than, may the sisterhood forgive me, the goody two-shoes Wonder Woman." - Rachel Weber, Total Film

"[She's] the film's key scene-stealer." - Eric Eisenberg, Cinema Blend


Who else steals the movie? 

"Goldblum is actually the best thing about the movie, since he openly mocks the film’s underlying silliness." - Peter Debruge, Variety

"Waititi just lets Goldblum go full Goldblum and it’s everything you expect it to be and more." - Ryan

"Doing some of the best 'hand acting' since Jurassic Park, Goldblum is mesmeric in every single scene he’s in and when he’s not on screen, you will find yourself wishing he were." - Linda Marric, Hey U Guys

"Urban looks like he’s having a blast, and he really makes one of Marvel’s most over-the-top character designs work for him." - Matt Singer, ScreenCrush

"You’d happily watch a feature length spin-off focusing on every single side player. We’ll be first in line for the Korg movie." - Jenkins


How is Chris Hemsworth as Thor this time around?

"This is top to bottom Hemsworth’s movie, and in his fifth time playing Thor, is at his very peak." - Anderson

"The relatively laidback angle on all the murderous spree-ing gives Chris Hemsworth a chance to find the comic groove beneath the title character's beefcake godliness. He does it expertly, and the self-mocking humor is all the more welcome given Thor's essential blandness." - Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

"This time, he’s in on the joke, his overconfidence leading the way as if he’s absorbed some degree of Iron Man’s charisma and filtered it through his own theatricality." - Kohn


How about Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk?

"Ruffalo delights equally as Bruce Banner: an inspired straight man in too-tight trousers." - Dyer

"Hulk, as performed by Mark Ruffalo with a great vocal Lou Ferrigno impersonation, is the most comic-book Hulk of any Marvel movie to date." - Luke Y. Thompson, Wizard


How is the action? 

"Waititi's handling of action is just fine, perhaps better than that of the Russo brothers, who fatally succumbed to the temptations of stutter-vision." - Thompson

"[Ragnarok] feels a little light on action, even with the centerpiece Hulk versus Thor sequence." - Singer

"Marvel has delivered something that isn’t an action movie leavened with humour, but a full-bore comedy using blockbuster spectacle as a backdrop for gags." - Dyer


Are there any other problems?

"There’s only one problem with the film being so funny and such a spectacle, though: The laughter and grandeur overshadows almost everything else." - Lussier

"The disjointed first act rushes its emotional beats." - Kelli Weston, The Skinny

"Ragnarok’s story is an aimless mess." - Nashawaty

"It does have its drawbacks, particularly when it comes to the more serious drama the narrative offers." - Eisenberg

"When the film shifts gears into traditional Marvel mode, it prompts a twinge of regret, because no fight sequence can live up to the eccentricity that runs through the rest of the film." - Bishop


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