REVIEW: Thor: Ragnarok

Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Chris Luckett

Time after time, I’ve said that Marvel Studios is the new Pixar. It’s not for nothing that right around the time Pixar’s winning streak began faltering, the Marvel Cinematic Universe came into existence. For 16 movies now, Marvel has consistently delivered great movies. How great? Eight of those sixteen got 4-star ratings from yours truly, with another four getting 4½ stars.

Just four movies have been less than great. Captain America: The First Avenger is the Moonraker of the MCU and thus best not mentioned further. And Iron Man 3 was a little too scattershot to really deliver on every front. That just leaves Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming — the two most recent Marvel movies and the first case of back-to-back 3½-star entries in the MCU.

It all comes down to Thor: Ragnarok. Was this recent slip in quality just a blip, a sloppy Ratatouille before the invigorating WALL-E? Or would Marvel go full Pixar, with each continuing entry now feeling like the desperate exhumation of better days?

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REVIEW: Thor: The Dark World

Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Chris Luckett

If there was much that was disappointing about Marvel’s 2011 movie Thor, it was that so much of the grand story was wasted on Earth. The fish-out-of-water scenes of the exiled alien Thor (Chris Hemsworth) adjusting to life in New Mexico were amusing, but the best parts of the movie involved the gorgeously realized Asgard and the almost-Shakespearean family drama.

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REVIEW: RED 2

Photo: Summit Entertainment

Photo: Summit Entertainment

Chris Luckett

The worst James Bond movies feel like the sequence of the scenes could be jumbled around and, as long as the beginning and ending remained unaltered, the movie would function the same. RED 2 suffers a similar fate, with interchangeable action sequences and characters that seem to just be going through the motions required of them by the script. It’s the Quantum of Solace of Bruce Willis movies. Continue reading