Why ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Feels Like an Extension of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Why ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Feels Like an Extension of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’
The way Chris Hemsworth portrays the Norse God is like the bumbling 1980s movie heroes Chris Pratt's Peter Quill idolized in his youth.
Photofest ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (left) and ‘Thor: Ragnarok ‘

[Warning: This story contains spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok]

We’re just six months away from the latest team-up of Marvel’s Avengers in Avengers: Infinity War. With that impending release on the horizon, it might seem like the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe film Thor: Ragnarok, the Norse god’s first starring role in four years, would be a bit of a build-up to Infinity War. The marketing for Ragnarok, however, has suggested something much different, weirder, and goofier.

The first teaser for Ragnarok, released in April, featured Thor (Chris Hemsworth), shorn of his blonde locks, thrust into a gladiator-style arena to fight the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), where all he could do was cheer at the sight of his “friend from work.” A movie’s marketing doesn’t always line up with the final product, of course, and that tease could have been one of few lighthearted moments. However, it’s a pleasant surprise that Ragnarok does mostly reflect a cheeky style in the same vein as James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy films, standing as far apart from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as possible.

The setup for Thor: Ragnarok would seem to be as high-stakes as anything in the original Thor, directed by Kenneth Branagh, or Thor: The Dark World. Here, after Thor uncovers his brother Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) scheme to fool Asgard by pretending to be their father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), the two brothers are attacked by the Goddess of Death, Hela (Cate Blanchett), who seeks to take over their home planet as well as all other realms within her grasp. But Thor (and later Loki) finds himself cast out in a strange planet, Sakaar, where he ends up tussling with the Hulk, a frequently inebriated ex-Asgardian called Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) — the hedonistic ruler of Sakaar — all before he can try to save his home.

The sequences on…