Well, it’s been about four months so it’s time for Marvel Studios to release another movie. This time Thor is back for his third solo feature film: Thor: Ragnarok. Directed by Taika Waititi once again staring Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, it’s another super action, over-the-top comic book movie with all the right moving parts to make one epic ride of pure fun.
We last saw Thor in Avengers: Age of Ultron when he left in search of the rumored Infinity Stones. He hasn’t had much luck in his quest as he bounces between realms. With nowhere else really to go, he heads back to Asgard, where he find Loki has replaced his father, Odin, as king in disguise. The brothers then go off in search of their father on Earth. Once they find him with some magical help, the brothers learn that Odin’s time is coming to an end, and that his passing will allow Hela, The Goddess of Death, to escape from a prison she was sealed in long ago. Once she escapes she makes it her life’s goal to destroy Asgard and everything in her wake.
Due to plot Thor and Loki get lost in the Bifrost and find themselves on Sakaar, a garbage planet surrounded by wormholes. Valkyrie, another lost Asgardian, captures Thor and takes him before the Grandmaster, who imprisons him and forces him to compete in the Contest of Champions, facing off against his old friend the Hulk in gladiatorial combat. Soon Thor, Hulk, Valkyrie and Loki all team up and must get back to Asgard to defeat Hela before she causes the fabled end of days, Ragnarok.
Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins have done these roles so many times now it like watching great actors put on a second skin. They know these characters inside and out at this point. There are some great moments with Hemsworth and Hiddleston as brothers showing just how much they do care about one another even if they can’t stand to be in the same room for very long without fighting. Even in their fourth movie together they can still find the time to make their characters stronger.
A newcomer to the franchise is Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie. She is great! She’s a super tough badass from a legendary force of female fighters who were killed defending Asgard from Hela long ago. So needless to say, she has a bone to pick with Hela. Thompson works well with the group of heroes and it’s really great to see Thor have some hero-worship towards her. He’s heard stories of the Valkyries so to see and meet one is a fan moment for him.
Jeff Goldblum plays the Grandmaster, brother to Benicio del Toro’s The Collector from Guardians of the Galaxy. The Grandmaster is just as strange as you would think and Goldblum does exactly what you would expect from him. He’s strange, offbeat and funny. He’s not in the movie much, but he is memorable for sure. Just as is Karl Urban as Skurge The Executioner. Urban is great in the movie. He’s hilarious, strong and a nice addition to the movie as a whole. He looks great and is very comic appropriate. He’s a character that’s been around for quite awhile in the comic so it was nice to see him get the live-action treatment.
But who steals the movie from everyone I’ve already mentioned is two-time Oscar winner, Cate Blanchett as Hela. She could be one of Marvel’s best villains to date. She is amazing. Coming in hot and never once letting up, Blanchett knows exactly what kind of movie she’s in and she brings her A-game. From her look, line delivery and every move she makes she is working this role to perfection. She is an absolute treasure in the movie and a perfectly worthy villain to fight the god of thunder. The movie may be about Thor, but she’s all you’re going to remember.
The movie is way funnier than any other Marvel movie before it. Marvel has never been a company to shy away from comedy in the films, but here it’s very apparent they’re leaning way hard on humor. They know Thor is a goofy premise to begin with, so add the humor and the rest will follow organically. And here is a perfect use of it. Having Taika Waititi at the helm of this ship was just perfection. He seems to understand what the world of Thor is and how it should be executed. He knows his comedy and really knows how to make it work around the massive machine that is Disney/Marvel.
Another shining example of the film is the unseen character of the music, the massive retro synthesized score, which was composed by Mark Motherbaugh. Not only is his is IMDB list extremely long for movies he has scored, he also has had a forty-year career in music as lead singer and keyboardist of the new wave band Devo. So when it comes to retro synth-pop he knows his stuff. The music is bold and new to the Marvel Universe of films. It’s nice to see even in a huge franchise like this that there is still some wiggle room to try new things and be creative.
Overall Thor: Ragnarok is just great. From start to finish it’s an amazing wild action-filled ride with our favorite god of thunder. Yet again, another great comic movie from Marvel.