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Posted November 28, 2017 by Becky Hall in Comics
 
 

Comic Book Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok (Spoiler Free)

©Marvel Studios/ Disney

 

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

 Director: Taika Waititi

I walked out of Thor: Ragnarok feeling a little bit like I’d just woken up from an intense fever dream. In quite a diversion from the previous two Thor films, Thor 3 is a crazy rollercoaster ride filled with vivid colour and the kind of humour that is so typical of Taika Waititi’s style. I saw the trailers, I read the reviews, I’ve seen some of his previous work, and somehow I still wasn’t expecting this.

©Marvel Studios/ Disney

If it were any other director, I would wonder if perhaps they were trying to jump on the Guardians of the Galaxy bandwagon, given how successful both movies have been in the box office. However, far from feeling like a GotG knock off, Thor; Ragnarok oozes individuality and a sense of humour that has been missing from Thor’s previous outings in favour of gravitas. It is a shame that Hemsworth hasn’t been allowed to play with the character as much as he has in this movie, but he more than makes up for it. Hemsworth clearly has a whale of a time playing with Thor’s sense of humour, and while I was concerned when I saw this in the trailers, in the context of the film it actually really works. As always, Hiddleston shines opposite Hemsworth, and has similarly lost a little of the levity with which he has prveiously portrayed the character. It is difficult to imagine any two actors who could portray Thor and Loki with the same vivid chemistry, and once more, I thank Sarah Halley Finn for her superb casting choices.

©Marvel Studios/ Disney

I don’t want to go into too much detail about the villain of the piece, for fear of inadvertently spoiling the plot, but Cate Blanchett, at 48 years old, kicks some serious ass, looks goddamn amazing/terrifying doing it, and does a stirling job of silencing anyone who says that an older woman has no place in Hollywood except as an old maid type character. I am 100% here for women slaying stereotypes.

©Marvel Studios/ Disney

I think a large part of what makes this movie fantastic are the side characters. Thor, Loki, and Hela obviously make up the core trio, but Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Skurge (Karl Urban), The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum at his Goldblummiest) and of course the Incredible Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) are all excellent additions to the cast. Urban and Thompson especially, for me, stole the show. Skurge’s journey was a familiar character arc, but Urban played him with a surprising amount of both humour and nuance that made him impossible to disregard, even if his arc does not quite fit the one he was given in the comics. As for Thompson… I just really hope this is not the last time we see Valkyrie. She was prickly, bad tempered, funny, and clearly struggling with her past, I would dearly love to see Thompson given room to stretch in the character, and for that she needs to be in more MCU films. Marvel – make it happen.

The MCU films have begun to deviate from the generic superhero film and now range quite widely in genre. From Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which took the form of a political action thriller, through Ant-Man which was written as a heist movie, to Thor 3 which was much more of a sci-fi action comedy. But it’s not a stretch to say that Thor: Ragnarok is the best MCU movie to date; a superb cast led by a imaginative and eccentric director deliver a film that is colourful, entertaining and hilariously quirky. A real joy to watch.

Superhero rating: 8/10

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