FILM REVIEW: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

HO00003980

Thor Ragnarok is in cinemas now.
Film tickets purchased by author.
Words by Stefan Bradley.

Thor: Ragnarok was everything I expected and wanted based on the trailers, its high-profile cast and director, and all the other pre-release hype. It’s funny, it’s exciting, the cast of characters are memorable, and it places the last two Thor movies in a new category where they will be seen as bland and dark in comparison (especially The Dark World).

The story sees Thor (Chris Hemsworth) trapped on a strange planet called Sakaar, which he and his allies must escape so he can stop the impending Ragarok, which is a series of events leading to the end of his homeland Asgard, which is also under attack from the evil Hela who claims the throne.

Acclaimed New Zealand director Taika Waititi has left his mark on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, making a Thor movie that may be even funnier than Guardians of the Galaxy. Waititi himself plays a character, the hilarious soft-spoken bulky rock creature with a Kiwi accent and great one-liners.

Another great casting choice was Cate Blanchett as Hela, the Goddess of Death and main antagonist. She demands fear and respect in every scene, and may be the most memorable Marvel villain since Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, who is also in this movie. Marvel has been notorious for forgettable villains in this universe, and fans get to watch the best two in Ragnarok.

There’s a third villain in the Grandmaster played by Jeff Godblum, who treats life like a fun game, who seems charming but also quite willing to do horrible things to those below him for his amusement. Tessa Thompson plays Valkyrie, a bounty hunter and big drinker, and has many aspects to her character. The Grandmaster and Valkyrie are responsible for setting up a fight with Thor and and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

Chris Hemsworth seems to personally benefit from the newfound humour injected into his character, and thus the portrayal and the movie itself is far more fun. Hulk appears to have been more disconnected than ever from his normal form Bruce Banner, and this is the first time we see him talk full sentences.

Thor: Ragnarok is a superhero film about family, loyalty and tribalism. All the usual superhero action set pieces are here along with terrific special effects, humour and a pumping 80s synth score.

If you’re sick of superhero movies in general, this probably won’t change your mind, but despite being the 17th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and in a climate of several competing superhero movies releases every year, Thor: Ragnarok manages to stand out and feel new.

This will probably be one of the most entertaining cinema experiences of the year, and comes highly recommended.