Movie Review – Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: RagnarokThor: Ragnarok poster

Directed by Taiki Waititi

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Hopkins

Backstory

It’s generally agreed that the Thor films have been the lesser of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  “Good, but not great,” is how I’d put it.  So, when the first trailers for Thor: Ragnarok came about, and it looked like they were trying something different, it was welcome.  Chris Hemsworth has been trying really hard to break into comedy over the past few years, so this latest Thor film was being treated with a lighter touch.  But, the question is, does the new approach pay off?

Plot

When last we left Thor at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, he was journeying across the universe to learn more about the Infinity Stones.  But, he got sidetracked along the way, as he found the Nine Realms of Asgard in chaos and whispers of a pretender on the throne.  Returning home, he finds that his father Odin is missing, and Loki, disguised as Odin, now rules.  It turns out that Odin’s absence has weakened the defenses against Hela, the goddess of death.  Now, with Hela ruling Asgard, and threatening to bring about Ragnarok, the end of all things, Thor is stranded on the distant planet of Sakaar.  Here, fighting in gladiatorial games to survive, Thor must make allies both old and new, and fight his way back to Asgard to prevent Ragnarok.  Can Thor do it?

What I Liked

The lighter tone works for the film.  This is definitely more in line with Guardians of the Galaxy than the other Thor films.  And we’re far enough along now in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to have some great in-jokes and callbacks to the previous films.  A lot of the new characters are great.  Cate Blanchett is spectacular as Hela.  She definitely relishes in being evil.  Jeff Goldblum is very Goldblum as the Grandmaster, the ruler of the Sakaar.  There’s some good brotherly love between Thor and Loki, and it looks like Loki actually sets out on the road to redemption.  And we start getting to know the Hulk as a character, as he actually speaks this time out.   Totally dig the prog-rock inspired, synthesizer-heavy score.  As we saw in the post-credits stinger of Doctor Strange, Doctor Strange shows up and….

What I Didn’t Like

…it’s exactly as gratuitous and pointless as Falcon’s appearance in Ant-Man.  Not that I’m complaining, it just felt like I had to find something to complain about.

Final Verdict

Hands down, Thor: Ragnarok is the best of the Thor films.  Marvel had a great year, and they’re three-for-three in my books.

4 Nibs