Marvel

MCU Chronological Viewing Part Three: Thor, Avengers, and Iron Man 3

Aaaaand we’re back! I’ve been making some steady progress on my MCU checklist and I have another round up to share with you today. If you are new to this series, you can see the original post here, Part One here, and Part Two here. I was especially excited for this leg of the race as it meant I got to watch two movies featuring my second husband, Chris Hemsworth. And like a bad, bad wife, I had never seen the original Thor. Gasp. But all that has been remedied now, and I am happy to report that this section fared much better in my mind that Part Two. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on Thor, The Avengers, and Iron Man 3.

Thor

The Basics: Released in 2011 by Paramount, Thor stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, and Anthony Hopkins. It appears to be the last of the MCU not fully distributed by Disney, which may account for some of the low budge aspects to the film. As of this posting, Thor is available to rent on Amazon for $3.99

Important Plot Points: Though this is the first of the Thor movies, it is not really a creation story like many of the others in that Thor didn’t undergo any kind of transformation. He has always been the God of Thunder. In the beginning of the film, Thor is an egotistical ass who is about to take over the throne of Asgard from his father Odin. Odin doesn’t like that Thor wages an ill-advised battle without consulting him, and so Odin casts Thor out and sends him to Earth, along with taking away his hammer. On Earth, Thor meets Jane (Portman) an astrophysicist and they of course, fall in love. Back on Asgard, Loki realizes that he was born a Frost Giant and is not actually his father’s biological son. Thor’s friends start to think that Loki might have had something to do with Thor being cast down to Earth. Loki sets up a plot to have both his father and Thor killed. Thor battles the Destroyer, the giant metal robot guy Loki sent to kill him, with the help of his friends from Asgard. Back on his home planet, Thor battles Loki, who ends up falling off the broken Bifrost bridge (meaning Loki has fallen off into the ethers, and Thor can no longer travel to Earth). Coulson is also involved in this movie, as SHIELD is investigating the site of Thor’s hammer crash-landing on Earth. We also meet Barton for the first time.

End Credits Scene: Fury is showing Jane’s mentor, Erik Selvig, the Tesseract and explaining some of its dangers and powers. We see that Loki is actually possessing Selvig.

My Reaction: I didn’t hate this one as much as I thought I would. Based on how much I don’t like some of the other earlier films, I thought I would have more issues with this film, but overall, it was okay. It is very surface level in terms of character development, and I could have used another 20-30 minutes exploring Thor’s transformation from narcissistic asshole to worthy hero. I also think there should have been more development in terms of the relationship between Thor and Jane. While I love Natalie Portman, and I am all about showing a woman astrophysicist, I found Jane to mostly be annoying. In particular, I hated how giggly she was every time she was in Thor’s presence. I mean, I totally get being overcome by the gorgeousness that is Chris Hemsworth, but I was not a fan of the scatter-brained schoolgirl traits this educated, intelligent woman displayed. One of my favorite parts of the movie was seeing the beginning of the relationship between Thor and Loki, since it is so central to the MCU as a whole. I am very interested to see what happens to them in Infinity War, especially since we left off on such a high note at the end of Ragnarok.

My Rating: 7.5 out of 10, not the kind of movie I’m going to watch again and again, but it was better than I expected it to be.

The Avengers

The Basics: Produced  by Paramount and distributed by Disney, The Avengers was released in 2012. The film stars pretty much everyone from the original individual films, with the major change/addition of Mark Ruffalo as Hulk. As of this posting, Avengers is available to rent on Amazon for $3.99.

Important Plot Points: At the beginning of the film, Fury and Co. are dealing with the Tesseract, which is freaking out. It becomes a portal, through which Loki enters Earth and possesses Barton and Selvig, with a few other SHIELD agents as well. The whole SHIELD facility is blown to smithereens. Fury sends Coulson and Natasha Romanoff to assemble the Avengers, who are scattered across the globe. Captain America is the first to join up, and when Coulson meets him he totally fangirls over Cap. Natasha brings in Bruce Banner, Coulson brings in Tony Stark. Cap’s first mission is to take down Loki, who is infiltrating a black tie event in Germany in order to steal some important chemical or something. Cap and Iron Man are able to bring him in, but Selvig and Barton get whatever it is that they need. Nat interrogates Loki. Bruce and Tony bond over being huge engineering nerds. Thor tries to take Loki back to Asgard so he can face justice for the crimes he committed, but the others refuse to let him go. Cap discovers that SHIELD has been attempting to harness the power of the Tesseract to make weapons, which the crew has mixed feelings about. Loki’s team of possessed agents attacks the airship that is acting as SHIELD’s base. Thor and Bruce are sent flying back down to Earth. Coulson is killed during the battle. Fury uses Coulson’s death to bring the remaining team together.The team members descend on New York, where Loki has opened a huge portal in the sky above Stark Tower. Hundreds of crazy robot things come out of the air and wreak havoc on the city. There’s a lot of fighting and destruction, leaving basically the entire city of New York decimated. Nat figures out how to close the portal, but by the time she gets in position to do so, the government has sent a huge missile to New York, figuring it is better to blow up the city than let the aliens continue to invade. Iron Man is able to grab the missile and send it through the portal, barely making it back in time before Nat closes the portal for good. Everyone survives (except for Coulson…but more on that later) and Thor takes both Loki and the Tesseract back to Asgard.

End Credits Scene: This is the first movie with more than one. In the first, we see the Other (Loki’s backer) telling an unknown that challenging the humans on Earth is futile. We then see that the unknown is actually Thanos. In the final credits scene, we see the team sitting around a table at a destroyed restaurant, eating schwarma.

My Reaction: To me, this is the movie that really set the tone for all of the MCU films that follow. It is by far the most complex and interesting in the MCU up until this point, and I think this movie is responsible for a lot of the success enjoyed by the later movies in the universe. This movie has everything you could ever want: action, humor, memorable characters, and awesome effects. It gave us such memorable lines as “He’s adopted” and “I understand that reference”. It has heart, humor, and no shortage of kickass fight scenes. It set the bar that the MCU continues to meet and surpass. This movie makes me like characters I previously didn’t, namely Tony and Bruce. Seeing Tony as part of the Avengers makes him seem more human, and it makes me like him more in Iron Man 3 (more on that in a minute). This is the kind of movie that makes non-Marvel fans become fans.

My Rating: 9 out of 10, it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty damn close.

Iron Man 3

The Basics: Released in 2013 by Disney and Paramount, Iron Man 3 stars the IM regulars, along with Rebecca Hall and Guy Pearce. At the time of this post, Iron Man 3 is available to rent on Amazon for $3.99.

Important Plot Points: The movie opens with a flashback to 1999, pre-Iron Man, when Tony Stark is just an egotistical asshole, instead of an egotistical asshole who also saves people. We see him totally dismiss a scientist who wants to work with him, Aldrich Killian, and we see him have a one night stand with another scientist, Maya. Both come back to haunt him in this movie. Back in the present day, Tony is still reeling from the events in New York that took place at the end of The Avengers, namely his near-death experience  delivering the missile into the portal and barely escaping. He is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, has been making countless suits, and starts to have panic attacks. In the meantime, a terrorist named the Mandarin is infiltrating the American airwaves and committing terrible acts against US citizens and soldiers. The government’s response is to paint Rhodey’s War Machine suit red, white, and blue and rename him the Iron Patriot. Aldrich shows up at the Stark offices for a meeting with Pepper, who he knows. Since 1999 Aldrich has turned himself into quite the business man, and he proposes Pepper invest in his latest project, Extremis. Pepper turns him down because of the potential to weaponize the project. Things are strained between Tony and Pepper, since he is working around the clock, and seems to be suffering from some kind of PTSD. Happy, who has become head of security at Stark Industries, decides to follow Aldrich’s bodyguard because he didn’t like the whole meeting between Pepper and Aldrich. While following him, Happy is lead to a meeting between Savin (the bodyguard) and a former soldier, who becomes a human bomb and blows up Graumann’s Chinese Theater, putting Happy in a coma. This blow sends Tony over the edge. He tells a group of reporters, on air, his home address, then goes home and works with Jarvis to figure out who is responsible for the explosion. They uncover a similar incident occurred in Tennessee, so Tony has Jarvis set a flight plan in his newest suit. Maya shows up at Tony’s house to warn him of an attack, which follows shortly after she shows up. Savin and his men descend on Tony’s Malibu home and destroy it. Pepper and Maya survive, mostly because Tony sends one of his suits to cover Pepper. It seems like Tony has died in the attack, but a suit finds him and flies him to Tennessee. Tony crash lands and finds a random workshop to use to fix his suit, where he meets a kid named Harley. Harley takes Tony to the site of the other explosion and then Tony meets up with the victim’s mom, who has a classified file of information prepared for someone else she is supposed to be meeting. Using all kinds of random help, Tony is able to figure out that the two former soldiers who exploded were part of the Extremis program. Meanwhile, Rhodey is hunting the Mandarin, but is led into a trap that allows the Mandarin’s men to steal his suit.  Tony successfully tracks the Mandarin to Miami, but arrives to find that the Mandarin is a front–he is a paid actor who is mostly just a sloppy drunk. He has no idea who is in charge of the operation or where he is. Savin uses the Iron Patriot suit to sneak onto Air Force One, with the full knowledge of the Vice President, to attack the President. He sends the President to Miami in the suit so that he can be strung up and publicly executed. Tony and Rhodey engage in an epic battle with the Extremis soldiers using all of the Iron Man suits Tony has created. Pepper has been captured by Aldrich and dosed with the Extremis serum, and it is she who finishes off the fight. Aldrich admits to being the Mandarin before he is killed. Tony then destroys all of the remaining suits, in an effort to show Pepper he is going to focus on her, and maybe try to get his shit together. He cures Pepper, and has surgery to remove the shrapnel from his heart, meaning he no longer needs to arc reactor to live.

End Credits Scene: We see Banner and Tony sitting together in an office, Banner is sleeping and Tony is recounting the story to him, as if he has been narrating the entire movie to Banner, who has been asleep for most of it.

My Reaction: This is definitely my favorite of the Iron Man movies, who is by no means my favorite of the Avengers. Tony felt like a real person with real problems in this movie, and his interactions with the kid Harley in particular, showed a softness to him that I think was needed. There are some pretty breathtaking moments in this movie, but the one that stands out to me is Tony using the “Barrel of Monkeys” approach to save thirteen people who have been thrown out of Air Force One. The way he manages to save them all is pretty cool looking. That along with the final battle make this one of the better looking Marvel films in terms of the action sequences. I also like how this movie picks up from the Avengers, but also ties into future projects (namely Agents of SHIELD) which will be covered in future posts. I still don’t like Gwenyth Paltrow, but I think this is the last time she appears, so that’s cool. Also, the end credits of this movie are awesome. It’s like a four minute montage of all the highlights of Iron Man, from the first movie to this one. It’s a nice little look back at all that has happened to Tony.

My Rating: 8 out of 10, Iron Man will never be my favorite, but this was the most enjoyable of his movies for me.

Holy moly, that was a long ass post. The deeper we get into the MCU, the more in depth these stories become so the longer these posts are going to be! Up next is Agents of SHIELD, so stay tuned!

 

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MCU Chronological Viewing Part Two: Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man 2

Let’s just say that leg two of the MCU race has not been nearly as enjoyable as part one. (If this is your first time checking in on my Marvel challenge, you should check out my original post here and Part One here.) I had a feeling this was going to be my least favorite section of the challenge, and so far, I was right. But a lot happens that is important to the MCU as a whole, so while I didn’t particularly enjoy these films, I’m glad I watched them. And hopefully I can give you some good notes so you don’t have to suffer like I did! Part Two:

Iron Man 

The Basics: Iron Man was actually the first project in the MCU in terms of release date, though the story of Captain America takes place first in terms of time. Released by Paramount in 2008, Iron Man stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, and Jeff Bridges. At the time of publishing, Iron Man is available on Amazon Prime.

Important Plot Points: Much as the first Captain America takes us through the “creation” process for Cap, Iron Man follows much the same trajectory. The main difference is that Tony Stark creates his own superhero persona as he sees it as his only way out of a pretty dire situation (kidnapped by terrorists). Stark learns that his business partner (Bridges) has been selling weapons to terrorists, and the final showdown is between Iron Man and the guy who has basically been like a father to him. We do meet Agent Coulson in this film, and it’s our first introduction to SHIELD, which has not established its acronym yet.

End Credits Scene: After Tony admits to being Iron Man in the final scene of the movie, Nick Fury shows up at his house and tells Tony he wants to talk to him about the Avengers Initiative.

My Reaction: This was not my first time seeing Iron Man, though it has been years since I’ve watched it. I remember liking it before, but I did not love it on this re-watch. The beginning of the movie is hard to watch given the current political climate. Seeing Tony being captured by terrorists, and then learning his company has been providing said terrorists with weapons–weapons that we see are used to kill innocent people–is disturbing to say the least. I also am not a huge fan of Gwyneth Paltrow, and though many like the couple together, I found the way they constantly talked over each other to be grating. Also, it’s amazing how far we have come with graphics and tech in just the nine years between this film and Thor Ragnarok. It looks dated, which is a shame because many of the other movies have held up better.

Rating: 7 out of 10, I’m meh about the whole thing.

The Incredible Hulk

The Basics: Released by Universal just one month after Iron Man in 2008, Incredible Hulk stars Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, and William Hurt (with a random appearance by Ty Burrell). As of this posting, Incredible Hulk is available on HBO Now.

Important Plot Points: Again, like Iron Man and Captain America, this movie takes us through the creation of the Incredible Hulk. And I seriously think that is the only important part of it. Bruce Banner takes some experimental drugs and turns in a huge, green monster.

End Credits Scene: Important note if you are watching on HBO Now–the end credits scene is before the credits, not after. But the scene entails Tony Stark approaching Hulk’s former boss about the Avengers.

My Reaction: Okay. Lots of thoughts here. I pretty close to hated watching this movie for many reasons, but the main one is that because none of these actors appear in later films, it feels completely disconnected from the MCU. It also is, so far, the only movie released by Universal, which is odd and may account for why it feels disjointed. I found it hard to connect with Edward Norton’s Hulk because in my mind, Mark Ruffalo is the Hulk I know and love. I also can’t stand Ed Norton, so there’s that. I couldn’t help but notice that all of the problems in this movie stem back to narcissistic male egos. First, with General Ross, who “creates” Hulk in the first place, and then with Blonsky, who pushes the limits of the power so far he turns himself into a monster. People die because this particular group of men are egomaniacs. Eff that. Hated the plot. Didn’t like the actors. The best thing I can say about it is that it’s short.

Rating: 4 out of 10, and I feel like I’m being generous.

Iron Man 2

The Basics: The main players from the original cast return for Iron Man 2, released in 2010 by Paramount. The film stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, and Scarlett Johansson. As of this posting, the movie is available to rent from Amazon for $3.99.

Important Plot Points: The US government is trying to get a hold of the plans for the Iron Man suit so they can create an army of super soldiers (which is the same basic premise as the Hulk movie, which we all know turned out great). A crazy Russian named Ivan (Mickey Rourke) is able to replicate the suit, despite Tony’s insistence that it’s impossible. Turns out, Ivan’s dad used to work for Howard Stark and Howard got him deported. So he’s pissed about that. Tony’s weapons rival hires Ivan and Ivan becomes the typical Russian bad guy and creates a whole army of robots–no operator necessary–and sets them loose on the Stark version of the World’s Fair. In order to help Tony defeat the robots, Rhodes dons one of the prototype Iron Man suits and becomes War Machine for the first time (though he is not referred to as War Machine during the movie). It’s important to note that between Iron Man and Iron Man 2, Don Cheadle takes over the role from Terrence Howard, and is Rhodey from this point on. In addition to battling robots, Tony is dealing with a problem with his arc reactor–he needs it to stay alive, but the palladium in the reactor is poisoning him. He solves this problem when he finds secret plans from his dad for the creation of a new element, which of course, he is able to replicate and save himself. We also meet Natasha Romanoff for this first time in this film. She is posing undercover as Pepper’s assistant, though she is working for SHIELD and attempting to keep an eye on Tony. Her identity is revealed before the end of the movie. In the final scene, Nick Fury tells Tony he is too volatile to be a part of the Avengers, so they’re only going to use him as a consultant from now on.

End Credits Scene: Agent Coulson and his team find Thor’s hammer in the New Mexico desert, which is of course the lead in to the next film on the list, Thor.

My Reaction: I liked this one better than the first. I’m always down with girl power, so I was happy to see Natasha, and happy to see Pepper take charge of Stark Industries. I still am not a huge Tony Stark fan. I really don’t know why. I love sarcasm, so he should be one of my favorites, but the rich, entitled, arrogance is a little too much for me. I think I like him better as part of the Avengers, so maybe that is why I struggle with his individual films. I did think the fight scenes in the early part of this one were lacking, but the robot battle was alright in the end. It was overall, just alright. I did enjoy the fact that this movie is more than just an origin story. I realize that we need those to lay the foundation for the MCU, but there are a lot of similarities in all these creation plots and it was nice to see something more original.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10, an improvement over the first, but not by much.

 

I am looking forward to the next branch of the challenge as I get to see my second husband, Chris Hemsworth, multiple times. I should have the next section completed soon so keep an eye out for Part Three!


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MCU Chronological Viewing Part One: Captain America: The First Avenger and Agent Carter

Well Marvel friends, my MCU Chronological Viewing Challenge is well under way. If you missed my mission and checklist, you might want to check out this post first, and maybe it will inspire you to start the challenge for yourself! If not, that’s totally fine, because I will be updating you on the finer points of each of my viewings as I go. Today is part one, which consists of Captain America: The First Avenger and both seasons of Agent Carter. I’m mostly going to share my opinions and reactions, but I’ll also make sure to point out any major plot points, and most importantly, any connections to the upcoming Avenger: Infinity War. Let’s do this!

Captain America: The First Avenger

The Basics: Released in 2011, this is not the first movie made in the MCU, but it is the earliest in terms of a chronological story. The film was made by Paramount Studios and stars Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Stanley Tucci, and Hugo Weaving. At the time of publishing this post, Captain America: The First Avenger is available to rent on Amazon Prime for $3.99.

Important Plot Points: This film details the “creation” of Captain America. We follow Steve Rogers on his journey from scrawny military wannabe to ripped AF American hero. Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) aka Tony Stark’s dad plays a role in the creation of Cap, and we also get to see some of Howard’s other crazy inventions and playboy shenanigans that all greatly resemble the later interactions we have with Tony. Basically, like father like son. This is also the first glimpse we get of the Tesseract, which in this film is the fuel for the main weapon Cap and friends are trying to diffuse. We will see the Tesseract again in several other MCU offerings.

End Credits Scene: Nick Fury comes to chat with Steve after he has woken up from his frozen coma and realizes he is now living sixty years in the future.

My Reactions: This was not my first time seeing this movie, and I enjoyed it just as much this time as I did in earlier viewings. Captain America is easy to love, plain and simple. He’s a good guy who always takes others into consideration. And the main plot of this movie is all about him fighting pseudo Nazis, and well, that’s always a good thing. It doesn’t hurt that Chris Evans is beautiful. It also doesn’t hurt that he is surrounded by a supporting cast that rocks. Stanley Tucci is one of my favorites, Hayley Atwell (more on her in a second) is a complete badass, and  the villains are appropriately creepy and ruthless and terrible.

Rating: 9 out of 10, I will definitely watch this one again.

Agent Carter

The Basics: The first episode of Agent Carter premiered in January of 2015. Despite critical acclaim, the show only lasted two seasons and is comprised of just 18 episodes. The series finale aired in May of 2016. The show was filmed in Los Angeles and released by ABC. It stars Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy, Enver Gjokaj, and Chad Michael Murray. As of this posting, both seasons are available on Hulu.

Important Plot Points: In terms of the big picture of the MCU, I don’t think there are tons of important events. Season one of the show follows Agent Peggy Carter as she tries to clear Howard Stark’s name as he has been falsely accused of treason. Season two sees Peggy taking down a villain who has created a dangerous substance called Zero Matter. As far as I can see, neither of these plot points really tie in to anything we see in the later movies and shows, but of course, that could change as I watch more movies. I will update this post if anything comes up in the future that relates back to the plots of Agent Carter.

My Reaction: I fucking love this show. If you have been listening to the podcast, you know that I have very strong feelings about this show being cancelled so early on. It needs to come back, and if Disney/ABC are smart, they will reboot this show for their new streaming network, whenever that actually comes to fruition. There is so much to love about this show, from the kickass female lead, to the costumes, to the music, to the fact that both main villains are females. Seriously. Everyone should watch this show. I really, really hope that there is some kind of revival of Agent Carter, especially because the series finale ended on a total cliffhanger. Go watch Agent Carter, and then go tell Disney to get their shit together and bring it back.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10, highly recommend and I will watch it again!

 

This whole experience started off with a bang! I loved both of these offerings, and it was just the right way to kick off this challenge. Not going to lie, the next section of the checklist is going to be the hardest for me to get through, so I’m glad I was able to start off with a movie and a show that I loved. Stay tuned for more!


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Marvel Cinematic Universe Chronological Checklist

Guys, I am about to embark on a crazy adventure. Like I literally might be insane for attempting this challenge I am presenting myself with. But after seeing this most amazing trailer on the face of the Earth, I couldn’t resist…

Ugh, soooooooo good!

So, before Avengers: Infinity War drops in May, I am going to watch every film and TV show in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (from here on out referred to as the MCU). This is a daunting task, not going to lie, which is why I am starting this week and giving myself plenty of time to get it done. While I have seen several of the movies, I have not seen them all (Incredible Hulk, ew) and I have watched exactly zero episodes of any the MCU TV shows. So it’s a lot to take on, but I’m going to do it.

In order to keep myself on track, I created this checklist, mostly so I can stare at Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans while I attempt this madness. I compiled this list based on a bunch of other lists I found online that put everything in chronological order (mainly this one here from Cnet). Really my main goal with this whole project is to go into Avengers: Infinity War with a thorough understanding of the entire Marvel world. Because right now, it’s shaky at best, and so many things happen in the movies that I don’t understand. I want to have a firm grasp on the background and everything that has happened leading up to this point.

I will be blogging about my endeavors throughout this journey, and will definitely be tweeting and Instagraming as I make progress. I would love for you to follow along with me! And if you would like to join me in my crazy-dom, I am including a printable version of the checklist I am using for you! I differentiated the movies and TV shows with different colors so if you want to do just the movies, you can skip the TV shows easily. If you can’t commit to this list (which I would assume means you have a life, unlike me) then stick around the blog as I will be summing up the major plot points for you along the way. Click on the link below to download your own printable copy and definitely tweet at me and let me know how it’s going!

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL CHECKLIST

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Thor Ragnarok Might Just Be My New Favorite Marvel Movie

After a somewhat heated discussion with Brianna on last week’s podcast about the awesomeness that is Thor Ragnarok, I decided to take some action. Brianna seemed to think the movie was overrated, particularly because Thor is not a witty humor/fun music kind of superhero. I couldn’t fully disagree because I didn’t have enough background knowledge, but I have since completed my research.

First, I watched Thor: The Dark World. And by watched it, I mean I left in on in the background while I was getting ready to go out because the fifteen minutes or so I actually watched of it was boring AF. Sorry Natalie Portman, I love you, but Jane is a flat character and I was so not into it. Then I rewatched Avengers Age of Ultron, which I had not seen since I saw it in the theater. And while I have always paid attention to and appreciated Thor (you so pretty), he was never my favorite Avenger, because hello all the eye candy. But this time, I paid close attention to Thor, and I think Ultron is the set up for Thor Ragnarok. Thor is much more sarcastic and witty with the Avengers than he is in his standalone films. And at this point we all know that audiences like their superhero action flicks with a dash of humor (thanks Guardians of the Galaxy!). So when you watch the Avengers and Ragnarok back to back, Thor makes sense. His character has evolved since the original Thor movies, and since the evolution has brought us hilarity, I’m okay with it.

I went to see Thor Ragnarok in theaters for a second time to complete my study and prepare my final arguments. And guess what? It was just as funny and entertaining the second time around. I literally saw this movie twice within eight days, and I liked it just as much the second time as I did the first. So here is my dissertation on the cinematic masterpiece that is Thor Ragnarok.

Chris Hemsworth. This is the most obvious piece of evidence in support of this film, so let’s just start here. Chris Hemsworth is possibly the most good-looking man ever to have been in a movie (sorry Richard Madden, I still love you endlessly, and you’ll always be my Prince Charming). Thor has always been hot, but in Ragnarok, he is beyond. The muscles, the haircut, the war paint. It is all working for me. Like soooooo working for me. Yum.

Also, everyone else in the movie. Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, and Tessa Thompson are the notable newcomers, and they join an already stellar crew that, along with Hemsworth, includes Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins, Mark Ruffalo, and Benedict Cumberbatch. These Marvel films are killing it with the casting and everyone was fabulous.

The music. The soundtrack for this film is on point. The music is always a highlight in Guardians, and I loved that they brought the same sensibility into Thor. The rock/80’s vibe worked with this movie because of the settings, and it was rocking.

Girl Power. Tessa Thompson as the alcoholic badass warrior trying to escape her past is effing awesome as Valkyrie. But as much as I loved her, Cate Blanchett was absolutely phenomenal as Hela, the Goddess of Death and Thor’s long lost sister. First of all, Cate looks like she is 25, which is just not fair. And on top of that, she is ferocious and fierce and terrifying and I loved every minute of her performance. I love having a female villain and she nailed it.

The settings/backgrounds/graphics, etc. Sakaar, the new planet Thor ends up on, is super cool looking visually. I loved the costumes, the colors, the vibe, the characters, everything. The bright colors of Sakaar and the Bifrost Bridge really work with the humor and soundtrack of the film.

I laughed my ass off. Both times I saw this movie, I was laughing out loud at multiple points. As funny as I found it the first time, it was the fact that I found it equally as funny the second time that impressed me. A lot of times with action type movies, the humor is a one and done, and doesn’t hold up after multiple viewings. This is so not the case with Thor Ragnarok.

Brilliant fight scenes. The final battle was by far my favorite, but all of the fight scenes were very well done. There was something really visually appealing about watching a battle on a rainbow bridge, so that was the standout for me, but as usual with Disney and Marvel, the fight choreography was beautiful (not as good as Wonder Woman, but that’s to be expected).

Brotherly love. As someone who has not really seen the previous Thor films, my experience with Loki is limited to the Avengers, but one of my all-time favorite lines from the brothers is Thor’s quip in the first Avengers about Loki being adopted. Even though Loki had some moments of bad little brother in the film, it was cool to see Thor and Loki fighting on the same side. I guess all it takes to bring brothers together is a psycho sister.

Did I mention Chris Hemsworth? Seriously. So so pretty.

In conclusion, while Guardians of the Galaxy is always going to be up there as one of my favorite Marvel movies, I think that all together, Thor Ragnarok might have it beat (by just a little bit). I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, and guess what, I would consider seeing it in the theater again. I didn’t even see The Force Awakens in the theater three times, so that should tell you something. Even if you take the gorgeous man out of Thor (but please don’t ever do that), I think the other fantastic elements would make it a movie worth watching.

Have you seen Thor Ragnarok yet? What did you think?

 

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