Last night I watched the Thor: Ragnarok bluray and, on second viewing, it remains probably my favourite MCU movie. Part of this is sheer personal bias: I love when superhero stories are a bit weird and silly; Planet Hulk is one of my favourite storylines ever; I've always prefeRred the Chaotic Neutral interpretation of Loki; and, between Hela and Valkyrie its clear that Taika Waititi and I have very similar tastes in... certain regards.
One aspect of the film that I really appreciated the second time around was the bit with Surtur at the beginning. Now, a lot of these movies start with one of these short mini-adventures to let us know the characters have other adventures between movies but this one just felt different, if that makes sense. It seemed clearer here that the unseen or briefly glimpsed adventures are as big and silly and bizarre as the ones that get whole films dedicated to them. This wasn't just hunting down a random Hydra cell, this was a full-on quest across the stars leading to an epic confrontation that we get to see the ending of.
Then there's the mid-film divergence that is Sakaar. Okay, its unfair to call it a divergence because it is highly plot-relevant and without it we'd be missing a whole lot of memes about how Loki fucked Jeff Goldblum (no one refers to that character as the Grandmaster, have you noticed that?) but, again, its a nice view of how varied the life experience of these characters can be.
Frankly, the only downside of it all is we're not going to get a proper Planet Hulk movie. Well, at least not until Mark Ruffalo retires from the role and Disney finds some K-pop kid to play Amadeus Cho and they decide to do a Totally Awesome Hulk: Return to Sakaar movie.
You know something like that is going to happen and twenty years from now I'm going to point at this post and say I bloody called it.
I am glad Jaimie Alexander was unavailable for the filming dates so Sif survives somewhere out there. I'm seasons behind on Agents of SHIELD so I don't know if she's still guest starring on that but I did like that there was another Asgardian who regularly visited Midgard for adventuring purposes.
Oh, how I wish it were practical for the Hulk reveal to have been a surprise. Still, them's the breaks.
I am looking forward to seeing Loki back on Earth. Its taken a while to get the movie version of the character to the Chaotic Neutral version I've adored since Gillen's Journey Into Mystery run and having him interacting with the Avengers again will be interesting, to say the least. I just hope he doesn't revert to villainous Loki any time soon.