Australian Council on Children and the Media

Thor: Ragnarok

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Not recommended under 13; parental guidance recommended 13 to 15 due to violence and disturbing scenes and themes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Thor: Ragnarok
  • a review of Thor: Ragnarok completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 30 October 2017.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to violence, and disturbing scenes and themes.
Children aged 13 to 15 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, and disturbing scenes and themes.
Viewers 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Thor: Ragnarok
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Action violence
Length 130 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his estranged brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are brought together over the loss of their father Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Before his death, Odin warns Thor and Loki that Ragnarok (an epic battle) is upon them. This is led by their sister Hela (Cate Blanchett), who was previously unknown to her brothers.

In an initial battle with Hela, both Thor and Loki are banished to a world called Sakaar. Thor is captured by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) who pits Thor’s fighting ability against the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) for the citizens’ amusement. Post battle, Thor and Hulk become allies - and joined by Loki and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), return to their home of Asgard to take on Hela in an attempt to save the people from her oppressive rule. 

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Gods and superheroes; the supernatural; war; retribution and reprisal

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is violence in this movie, some of it quite intense, including:

  • many battles that include demons, with the use of high powered guns, swords, knives and other weapons.
  • a giant fire demon using a sword
  • a scene where huge guns on a ship shoot a whole group of marauders.
  • Thor gets stuck with a device on his neck which, when remotely activated, sends shocks throughout his body – causing convulsions.
  • many scenes where swords and weapons are graphically shown skewering bodies and body parts.
  • decapitations
  • a man being impaled on a spike
  • an alien being shot with a weapon which slowly burns him like acid – melting him to the ground.
  • Hela strikes out Thor’s eye – leaving a black and bloodied hole.
  • Hela pins Thor’s arm against the floor with a large knife.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

 In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including:

  • aliens, monsters and occult themes. Hela is quite dark and menacing and displays transformative powers. The giant fire demon looks scary and many of the voices of evil characters are quite deep and growling.
  • the death of Thor’s father Odin is unexpected - he transforms into “sparkling energy” and dissipates into the horizon, leaving Thor visibly shaken.
  • a massive dragon that suddenly crashes up through the ground and chases Thor.
  • a skull is seen with its jaw dropping off
  • the marauders wear weird masks with large eyes.
  • a battalion of skeleton warriors and a giant wolf come to life.
  • a family is chased through a forest by growling skeleton-like knights.
  • the giant fire demon destroys Asgard.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also likely to be scared by the above mentioned scenes, particularly the death of Thor’s father Odin.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

The scene in which a family with 2 young children are running through a dark forest with skeleton-like warriors chasing them could be particularly scary for this age group.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also find some of the themes and scenes disturbing

Product placement

Nothing of concern in the film, but the film is part of the marvel franchise, so has associated merchandise

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Thor states, “I love women….actually… sometimes I love women too much…” to imply he’s been with a lot of women.
  • In one scene, it’s mentioned that one of the ships is used “for orgies” and that “no one should touch anything in there”.
  • Unseen to the audience, Hulk walks past Thor naked. Thor looks down and makes a comment like – “Now that’s on my brain – I won’t be able to un-see that for a while”.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some partial nudity, including:

  • Both Thor and Hulk are seen scantily dressed, wearing towels which only cover the bottom half of their bodies.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • The character Valkyrie is often seen drinking and in one scene drunkenly stumbles off a platform into garbage. Both Valkyrie and Thor are seen drinking over-sized vessels of beer and alcohol.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • “piss off”
  • A wormhole in the movie is called “The Devil’s Anus”.

In a nutshell

Thor: Ragnarok is a continuation of the Marvel cinematic universe which is usually about good vs evil. However, the line between good and evil in this movie becomes slightly blurred as Loki (who is usually the antagonist) joins forces with his brother Thor – even if it’s the most logical position to take for survival – younger viewers who are familiar with the series may find this slightly confusing. The movie’s violent and disturbing scenes make it unsuitable for viewers under 13 and parental guidance is recommended for the 13 to 15 age group.

The main messages from this movie are about resilience and fighting for what is right. Thor realises that even without his hammer, he can summon up his own internal strength to defeat evil.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss the real dangers of binge drinking. Thor and Valkyrie are both seen sculling huge amounts of alcohol – and the movie portrays it as “impressive”.

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