Villains done justice
But we do learn more about Loki. A character who’s been sitting on the fence between good and evil since his failed invasion of earth, the God of Mischief shows us a warmer side in Thor: Ragnarok. We get a sense of his affection towards the people of Asgard, which broadens our sympathy and understanding for what is perhaps Marvel’s best anti-hero.
And then there's Hela, the imperious Goddess of Death played by Cate Blanchett who deserves an award for her performance. She brings so much life to the character, clearly enjoying the exaggeration of the role, and steals every scene she’s in...too bad there aren't that many.
New life but eventual death?
With Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel have polished the formula for entertaining and fun superhero films. This isn’t Logan or The Dark Knight and it doesn’t try to be, staying true instead to 'traditional' superheroism and the values the genre is known for.
On the other hand, it may sound the death knell for superhero movies. As reinvigorated as it is, it's also clear that there's not much else room to manoeuvre within the franchise or the genre. Even saving the world gets tired when it happens too many times. So in a sense, Ragnarok’s wrath mirrors the situation the superhero genre finds itself in. Death - or a major makeover - is nigh, and it’s up to Marvel to give it the majestic send-off it deserves.