Thor: Ragnarok 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
It took about six minutes into THOR: RAGNAROK before I was able to comfortably declare Ragnarok the best of the three Thor films. Granted, the bar was low, but it didn’t take long for director Taika Waititi to make his mark on the franchise. He opens with some jokes that are funnier than anything we’ve seen in a Thor film and then caps off the opening scene with an exciting action sequence that was done better than any previous Thor director had managed to do. But comparing it to Thor films doesn’t quite do the movie justice; THOR: RAGNAROK is a good film no matter what you compare it to. It’s funny, exciting and intense, sometimes all in the same scene.
We pick up with Thor (Hemsworth) as he’s been running around the cosmos searching for Infinity Stones and trying to put order back to the nine realms. His travels eventually lead him back to Asgard, where he finds his thought-dead brother Loki (Hiddleston) has taken the form of their father Odin (Hopkins) and has been ruling Asgard. This sets Thor and Loki to earth, where Odin has come to terms that his time is almost up. But before he dies, he warns his sons that their sister Hela (Blanchett) is going to return to take the throne. And on queue, Hela appears and easily handles Thor and Loki, destroying Thor’s hammer in the process and banishing both of them to the planet of Sakaar, where he gets thrown into a gladiator tournament and faces off against the one and only Incredible Hulk. Eventually, Thor and Hulk team up to return to Asgard to try and defeat Hela and reclaim Asgard.
Much has been made of the humor throughout THOR: RAGNAROK and rightfully so. The humor is so prevalent and consistent that this could easily be considered a comedy. I found myself laughing out loud on numerous occasions, which isn’t really common in an actual comedy let alone a Marvel film. That comedy takes up most of the discussions, but it sometimes overshadows the fact that a lot happens to Thor in THOR: RAGNAROK. So much so that it’s going to be hard to make another Thor standalone movie, at least not one that resembles anything we’ve seen so far. In fact, so much happens to him that I don’t think it would be wrong to say Thor goes through more in Ragnarok than any other character goes through in any other single Marvel movie. I won’t list them all for fear of spoiling the movie, but by now you already know he loses an eye, loses his hammer and gets a haircut. That’s a rough day for anyone.
Aside from the comedy and the changes Thor goes through, the film is exciting. Waititi should get plenty of credit for the comedy, but he should maybe get more credit for the pacing of the film, which kept things moving very quickly, never allowing the audience a chance to get bored. Marvel does so many things exceptionally well, but one thing they sometimes struggle with is pacing, with several of their films suffering from breaks in the action. THOR: RAGNAROK never has that and every scene is either funny or exciting.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: THOR: RAGNAROK looks fantastic on 4K UHD. The heavy dose of CGI means less extremes in terms of color range, but the closeups and live action scenes look wonderful. Pretty much every scene on Sakaar is top notch, highlighting the world’s many colors and overall brightness. When the heroes return to Asgard at the end of the film, the colors seems a bit saturated, mainly because the world at that time is engulfed in smoke. This is only the second live-action Disney film to hit the new format and so will inevitably be compared to GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (click the link to read our 4K review) and I’d have to give the edge to Guardians. But that’s a bit nitpicky because both films look wonderful.
Audio: The Dolby Atmos track isn’t reference quality, but it’s a nice addition to the film and will shake your surround speakers, especially during the arena scenes.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
There are no special features exclusive to the 4K, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film, which includes the following special features:
Commentary with Taika Waititi: Taika is clearly a funny guy and he gives a pretty good commentary. He covers just about everything in the film and does so with a nice sense of humor that keeps the track moving.
Featurettes (45:53): Seven short featurettes are included, covering things from the new characters, the female characters, various locations and even a Marvel recap.
Extended/Deleted Scenes (7:18): Three extended scenes and two deleted scenes, all of which are actually pretty good. Highly recommended.