“Thor: Ragnarok” is the third movie about the hammer-wielding Norse superhero. It’s also the 17th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since all of this foolishness got underway a decade ago, with the first “Iron Man” movie.

I know all of this not because I’m a fan. Far from it. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I approach these movies with a mixture of resignation and dread.

No, I know all of this because my son is 10 years old and he loves these movies. I regard it as my fatherly responsibility to pump him full of Skittles, put 3D glasses on him and sit at his side while the movie does its thing.

More often than not, this is a gigantic fucking chore. I don’t play video games, and these movies function as though you’re trapped inside of one for over two hours. There’s also lots of explosions, ham-fistedness and scenery-chewing YELLING YELLING YELLING by actors who should know better.

“Thor: Ragnarok,” has all of that, and fans of these movies will be pleased with what they get with this one. I am, however, pleasantly surprised to report that I thought the movie wasn’t half bad either, and I would rank it just below “Doctor Strange” as one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s better efforts.

Yes, it’s loud and stupid and makes you wonder what trauma our culture is subconsciously working out by watching massacre after massacre play out, bloodless though they may be. But I found myself engaged throughout, and my mind did not wander even once to one of the mental happy places which I have established, and to which I escape in order to tune out for two hours more effectively.

The plot, as it were, is not worth going into, and if you must know certain key plot points before you can in good conscience see this movie, you can always go here and pore over the details to your heart’s content. But honestly, nothing happens that you wouldn’t expect.

Luckily, “Thor: Ragnarok” is really not about the story. It’s about eye candy, epic action sequences and battle scenes that are accompanied by the sound of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” which works spectacularly well.

Cate Blanchett should also be singled out for her excellent performance as Hele, goddess of death. She acts circles around every other person in the movie, and even made me forget that Jeff Goldblum was in it, normally an automatic dealbreaker for me.

“Thor: Ragnarok” provides everything that fans like to see in these movies, and you’re one of them, you won’t be disappointed. And if, like me, you’re seeing it out of some sense of paternal obligation, or have otherwise been dragged to it due to circumstances beyond your control, be aware that as these movies go, this is one of the better ones, and you won’t think of the word “suffering” even once.

7.0 Not half bad

“Thor: Ragnarok” provides everything that fans like to see in these movies, and you’re one of them, you won’t be disappointed.

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About Author

Daniel Bukszpan is a freelance writer with over 20 years’ experience. He has written for such publications as Fortune, CNBC and The Daily Beast. He is the author of “The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal,” published in 2003 by Barnes and Noble and “The Encyclopedia of New Wave,” published in 2012 by Sterling Publishing.

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