Ragnarok takes place approximately two years after the evens of Age of Ultron. During this time Thor has been pursing Thanos and the Infinity Stones (his reason for not appearing in Civil War!) and was subsequently captured by the fire Demon Surtur. This is where the Ragnarok movie begins. Surtur tells Thor that his father Odin is no longer on Asgard and predicts that Ragnarok (The destruction of Asgard) is forthcoming by his hands after Surtur unites his crown with the Eternal Flame that burns below Asgard. Upon hearing this Thor defeats Surtur and his minions, captures his crown and in his mind prevents Ragnarok from taking place.
Upon returning to Asgard, Thor finds Loki in charge and his father Odin missing. A rather humorous guest appearance by Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Strange leads Thor and Loki to Odins location in Norway where Odin warns that his first born daughter Hela (The Goddess of Death played by the awesome Cate Blanchett) will return upon his death to wreak havoc on all the realms. Unsurprisingly Odin dies, Hela makes an immediate appearance and all hell breaks loose as Thor and Loki battle it out with their newly discovered sister. This is the battle that you have no doubt seen in the trailer where Thor’s hammer is destroyed by Hela (why Marvel decided to show Mjolnirs destruction in the trailer is beyond me) as Thor watches in disbelief. While attempting to flee to Asgard, Thor and Loki unexpectedly end up on the planet Sakaar as Hela returns home to Asgard to claim her rightful spot as the heir to the throne. Needless to say the Asgardians are not happy to see her and she is more than happy to live up to her Goddess of Death namesake.
On Sakaar Thor is captured by a bounty hunter by the name of Scrapper 142 (played by Tessa Thompson) and eventually turned over to the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) and forced to fight the champion Hulk (so this is where Hulk was during Civil War!) for his freedom. Initially the Hulk does not recognize Thor and the two have quite the battle where they knock each other silly. Hemsworth and Ruffalo share some of the funniest scenes in the movie as Thor attempts to convince Hulk to assist him in getting off of the planet and saving Asgard. Eventually Hulk, Loki and Scrapper 142 agree to assist Thor in an attempt to overthrow Hela. Loki will be Loki though and he attempts to throw Thor a curveball but the Thunder God is well prepared for his traitorous ways. We are treated to a very well done final fight where Thor went through some cosmetic changes but ultimately ended up victorious thanks to a little help from his friends.
Marvel decided to take Thor in a different direction with Ragnarok. This was by far the most comedic movie in the MCU next to Guardians of the Galaxy. To me some parts that were meant to be funny missed the mark, but overall the laughs came when they were supposed to. The fact that Thor actually lost his hammer fairly early in the movie was somewhat disappointing to me because Thor is not Thor without his hammer. He did discover “new” powers that weren’t surprising if you have seen the trailer. On a more personal note, I also didn’t like the fact that fact that his hair was cut short about halfway through the movie. The scene itself was funny, but I feel the same way about his long hair as I do about his hammer. Ragnarok was a welcome edition to the MCU as we continue towards the two part Infinity War movie. Was it better than my personal favorite Winter Soldier? Heck no, but it was better than both Guardians movies if you ask me. As they say the third time is the charm.
You can follow me on twitter at @darthmaul1309