Despite what most people think, I have actually reasonably enjoyed Thor so far. Well, the second movie was distinctly MEH, but the first film has always held a little soft spot for me. As a side note, I shall definitely get around to reviewing the entire MCU soon so you shall hear my thoughts on those, which may help put things in perspective. Anyway, back to the task at hand with the third film with the Norse God of Thunder, Thor Ragnarok.
Chris Hemsworth once again plays Thor Odinson and has been on a quest to discover the meaning of his vision in Avengers 2, seeking the super-Macguffin Infinity Stones. He has been a little unsuccessful, but manages to learn a few things about the end of Asgard(AKA Ragnarok), his father (Anthony Hopkins) and the goddess of death, Hela, played by Cate Blanchett. Then, in the blink of an eye, he loses his hammer, meets the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) and then he is suddenly a gladiator against old buddy Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Can Thor get out of the mess he is in and save the day?
The film begins by getting some of the baggage out of the way pretty quickly. I see this as a pretty smart move by the creative team, led by director Taika Waititi, since the previous films may have been reasonably enjoyable but were not universally liked. The change in tone is noticeable instantly and personally, I found it so jarring I was a little unsettled for twenty minutes. I didn’t think I was even going to enjoy the film. However, I definitely warmed to it and was loving the film by the end. That’s because the characters, both new and old, are so brilliantly written. They are believable, funny and actually very endearing at times. The real standouts are Ruffalo as Banner/Hulk, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Waititi himself as Korg is absolutely incredible. Hulk and Korg are the funniest parts of the film and will have you rolling with laughter. They go to places with the humour that is really quite bold and I am shocked they can get away with all of it. On the other hand, Valkyrie has a very beautiful story coupled with super badassery and she will have a huge future in the MCU as it goes forward.
The story is about as complex as any Marvel movie but it throws in some interesting turns that keep you intrigued throughout. Hela is above average as well compared to other villains like the “amazing” Malekith from the last Thor film. She is given a remarkable amount of explanation, time and time again and it does become a little dull after a time but Blanchett does a great job keeping it being completely monotonous. The film has a great pace for the most part but does skip over some emotional moments early on, perhaps this is why it didn’t sit well with me at the start. You aren’t going to be thinking about that though because you will be having time at the cinema.
Waititi has given Thor a kick up the backside that is sorely needed for the most part. This film is more fun than most of the typical cinema experiences, but perhaps it does suffer a little for it. Still, this is a different Marvel movie and one you should see, especially if you have been a bit tired of superhero films of old. Get watching!