“Thor: Ragnarok” stars Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, and Anthony Hopkins. Released on November 3, 2017, the film has Thor teaming up with the Hulk to prevent the goddess of death from destroying Asgard.
The film is directed by Taika Waititi, who also directed films such as Eagle vs Shark, What We Do in the Shadows, and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. It is the third film in the Thor franchise and the seventeenth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the Thor movies weren’t as memorable as the other films in the MCU, that doesn’t prevent it from including at least one more movie featuring the God of Thunder himself. The inclusion of Taika Waititi as the director definitely raised my level of curiosity since he’s mostly known for directing low-budget comedies. The only film I’ve seen from him was What We Do in the Shadows, which I thought was pretty interesting, by the way. So far, this latest Thor film has been met with strong responses, claiming it to be the best of the trilogy, but how good is it remains as the main question.
The story takes place two years after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, where Thor (Hemsworth) continues his cosmic quest to search for the powerful objects known as the Infinity Stones. However, his journey comes screeching to a halt when Hela (Blanchett), the goddess of death, threatens to destroy Asgard. To make matters worse, Hela destroys Thor’s mighty hammer like it was glass and banishes him to an alien gladiator planet. There, he must rely on his inner self to escape and save his home with the help of former Avenger, the Hulk (Ruffalo). Now, here’s something that I would like to talk about, and that’s Thor. Throughout his adventures, he’s been using his hammer, Mjolnir, to bash his enemies like they were nothing. Here, we see him attempting to overcome this deadly threat without his trusty weapon. I really appreciate what Waititi is trying to do for this film because it allows Thor to search for other solutions to accomplish his mission instead of always relying on just one (by one, I mean his hammer). It really helps in further developing the character. Chris Hemsworth once again did a remarkable job at portraying Thor. Compared to his performance in the first two Thor movies, it looks like that he’s having tons of fun playing the character in this. It felt a little off-putting at times, but for those who wanted a light-hearted version of the God of Thunder, it’s a nice change. Mark Ruffalo was also very entertaining as Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk. The film really did show that Banner has been the Hulk for a long time since the Battle of Sokovia in Age of Ultron, but that doesn’t mean that the big green guy hasn’t lost its touch when it comes to his sense of humor. Cate Blanchett as Hela has its good moments here and there, but in the end, she’s portraying another typical Marvel villain that doesn’t offer anything special into the mix. The other two supporting actors that I enjoyed a lot were Hiddleston and Goldblum as Loki and the Grandmaster, respectively. Loki has come a long way since his debut in the first Thor movie, and his form of development in Ragnarok is definitely worth watching, in my opinion. As for the overall film itself, I can see why that a lot of people liked this one more than Thor 1 and Thor 2. The way I see it, the first two Thor movies have a more epic and sometimes dark tone for their “Marvel-esque” portrayals of Norse mythology. In Ragnarok, however, Waititi decided to go for a light-hearted and comedic tone like Guardians of the Galaxy (minus the talking tree and the talking raccoon). The balance between humor and drama is very crucial when it comes to films like this, but Waititi was able to maintain that type of balance with the results being both rewarding and, at times, uneven. I really liked the comedic moments from Thor and the Hulk, although there were a couple of scenes that felt a bit too goofy for people who are very strict on comedy. Waititi also never lost sight on making the story and the action sequences fun, exciting, and visually astounding. The storytelling isn’t going to win any awards or anything, but it definitely offers some surprising messages in the third act. Not only was the tone in Ragnarok a big change in the Thor trilogy, but the musical score got a solid update as well thanks to Mark Mothersbaugh. The music does its job at displaying the film’s cosmic and adventurous tone without feeling out-of-place, and it sounds impressive as heck.
Overall, “Thor: Ragnarok” took what made Guardians of the Galaxy a hit and applied them to here, resulting in an action-packed (as well as hilarious) cosmic ride that serves as a remarkable improvement over its predecessors. The performances were very entertaining, the visuals and the action were top-notch and thrilling, and the humor was a blast to witness despite a couple of goofy moments. Once again, it might not impress those who have grown tired of the MCU’s use of humor, but I think it will dazzle people who are looking for a much lighter version of the main character as well as those who are into fun and high-spirited superhero movies. Your move, Justice League.