So there is some internal disagreement about Thor: Ragnarok - some of our team weren't too enthralled with it, and others think it's one of the best movies Marvel's made to date. I would probably put myself in the latter category - I loved the hell out of nearly every decision made in the movie, how wildly different it was from previous Thor films, and how it just seemed to be bursting at the seams with ideas and creativity.
However, I'm still a nitpicky nerd loser who can't help but walk away from the film asking myself a lot of questions about plot elements that didn't quite seem to make sense...
In the beginning of the film, Thor confronts Surtur to figure out what's going on with all of this Ragnarok business and how he can stop it. Surtur (who's VERY chatty for a being made of nothing but flame and malice) explains that all he has to do is dip his crown in the Eternal Flame of Asgard (kept hidden in Odin's Vault) and that would allow him the power to bring Ragnarok to Asgard, thus destroying the kingdom once and for all. Thor doesn't want this to happen - so he knocks Surtur's crown off of his head and...places it AS CLOSE TO THE ETERNAL FLAME OF ASGARD AS POSSIBLE.
Of course, this pays off in the end, once Thor decides he DOES want Surtur to destroy Asgard - and accomplishing that is VERY convenient, thanks to how insanely close Thor left Surtur's crown to the other thing it needed to bring about the apocalypse. But if Thor's intention was to make this whole "apocalypse" thing LESS likely, maybe he should have kept the two items a lot more separated? Like, by just leaving Surtur's crown with Surtur in another realm, super far away from the Eternal Flame? Obviously, it's not THAT hard to break into Asgard (the supposedly impenetrable kingdom has been penetrated in....literally every single Thor movie), but it would still be smarter than what Thor DID end up doing.
Almost as soon as Thor and Loki reach Midgard, Loki is stolen away by a sparky-portal - leading Thor to the residence of Dr. Stephen Strange, who is in charge of the New York City Sanctum Sanctorum (they're in cities around the world! Basically Planet Hollywood for wizards). As one of the main protectors of Earth against mystical threats (it's unclear if Dr. Strange is Sorcerer Supreme yet, but we can assume he's at least watching over New York for the moment), Strange saw Loki and knew of his dangerous deeds, so put him in an indefinite falling dimension for half an hour (from which Loki was unable to escape on his own). Which begs the question - WHY HASN'T THE SORCERER SUPREME BEEN DOING THIS THE ENTIRE TIME?!
We know that there WAS a Sorcerer Supreme (RIP Tilda Swinton) watching over the Earth for a very, very long time - and she was definitely watching over things for the past decade or so, which throws pretty much every major event in the MCU into question. Why didn't the Ancient One disappear Loki the LAST time he popped up on Earth, wielding one of the Infinity Stones? Why didn't she do anything about those pesky Dark Elves in Thor: The Dark World? Why didn't she bother to deal with that alien flower left behind by Ego that nearly destroyed all life?!
If sorcerers have some kind of magical threat radar, WHY HAS SO MUCH SHIT GOTTEN THROUGH?!
One thing that's hammered home repeatedly (lil Thor reference, wink wink) is that Hela's powers increase as she gets closer to Asgard. When she's actually standing IN Asgard, she's at her most powerful and dangerous - so why is her plan to LEAVE Asgard, where her powers will be diminished?! And why is her plan so dependent on the Bifrost?!
Alright, so even a less-powerful Hela is still intimidating from what we've seen - but if her plan is to individually transport herself and members of her skeleton army to other realms using the Bifrost, that's a major complication. The Bifrost only seems possible of transporting small groups at a time, so it would take a whole bunch of trips to get her whole skeleton army to another land. And even once they arrive, they'll probably get their asses handed to them pretty easily. The skeleton army got wrecked horribly by a small group of (admittedly superpowered) heroes - but hell, Skurge's dual-wielding assault rifles wiped out at least 30 or so. If your supernatural army of undead warriors can't handle a guy with two guns, I don't think you're gonna have a lot of luck against FROST GIANTS.
Odin lays a whole lot on his two wayward sons when they come across him in Norway - one, they have a sister in Odin's firstborn daughter, Hela, with whom he conquered the Nine Realms. Two, he had imprisoned her for being too aggressive or ambitious or something, says the guy who took over nine separate planets and gave himself a golden throne room. And three, she would be automatically released from her thousands-of-years-long prison sentence when he died....and then he dies and turns into golden dust.
As he said, Hela appears in a portal right behind Thor and Loki and proceeds to make a big mess of their lives - destroying Mjolnir and inadvertently sending the two to the garbage planet of Sakaar.
But why did Hela's prison portal open THERE - in Norway? Presumably the "prison" was setup in Asgard, so wouldn't it make more sense for it to open up there? And if Hela has some level of control over this portal, wouldn't she direct it to open up in Asgard (where her powers are at their highest)? There's really no REASON for Hela to want to pop out in Norway - Odin's dead, so she's not gonna get revenge on him, and she has no actual personal beef with Thor and Loki (who she's never met).
Did Odin just set up her prison to open up right behind him when he died?! That seems like a particularly bad idea - since, under normal circumstances, Odin would have died in Asgard - and Hela would have been released in a place where she would be OP as hell. If Odin had control over where the portal would open, why wouldn't he make it some place remote and hard to leave....LIKE SAKAAR?
The only real discontented individuals we see in the film are the gladiators of the Grandmaster's arena - Korg, Miek, Thor, and a few others - the regular civilians of Sakaar never seem THAT unhappy with the current state of affairs (after all, the planet would still be a "garbage planet" no matter who was actually running things). Hell, the only glimpses we DO see if the Sakaar civilians show them just being extremely psyched about the big gladiatorial fights (and the Hulk, in particular). We never see Grandmaster do anything too horrible to the civilians en masse (he melts one guy, but that's it) that would suggest a massive authoritarian rule that needed to be overthrown by the common folk - just a few (obviously) upset "prisoners with jobs" who wanted out.
Who actually wanted a revolution again this goofy Elder of the Universe whose main deal was putting on entertaining fights, appearing as a giant hologram, and having sex in spaceships? It didn't even seem like he ruled with any kind of iron fist - civilians looked pretty much like they could do as they please, with chaos and anarchy being the way of the world outside of the Grandmaster's palace. There was no real sense of a police state presence - just Jeff Goldblum in fun makeup giving us Hulk fights. Honestly, I would take that as my leader any day of the week.
This is one of those things where the answer is "just go with it, dude" but - c'mon - how did Hulk get a Quinjet (aka a regular-ish jet definitely not meant for space travel) to a faraway planet? Even with the explanation of Sakaar being a dumping ground for the galaxy's trash (via a system of wormholes all dumping there), that means Hulk somehow flew the Quinjet into space and then found a wormhole and flew through it?
Even for a movie about the actual god of thunder partnering with a green rage monster to fight the goddess of death in space, this stretches believability.
My goodness. After the wildly unimaginative films Thor (Thor gets stuck in the desert with Natalie Portman) and Thor: The Dark World (Thor and Natalie Portman fight the blandest villains imaginable), we've got a movie brimming with life and humor and weirdness at every turn. Loki was on-point (his repeated failed attempts at scheming against Thor - and Thor's anticipation of them - were delightful), we've finally got the PERFECT cinematic Hulk (who gets angry like a toddler and tries to beat up a 300 ft. tall fire demon), a worthy co-star for Thor to play off of (Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie is incredible), and possibly the funniest comedic relief in any MCU film to date in Korg ("Piss off, ghost!").
And, of course, it's largely thanks to director Taika Waititi, who brought a lot of humor and strangeness to the film, but also a lot of heart and genuine storytelling skill. If you've seen Hunt for the Wilderpeople or Boy or What We Do In the Shadows, you'll understand the link between those films and the sudden breath of life in the Thor series. Even though it's not a perfect film, it's a delightful blast brimming with energy. And now I'm ACTUALLY EXCITED FOR MORE THOR.
Although I would definitely take a Korg & Miek buddy film, if anyone's planning on making that. Just a thought.