I’ve been excited for Thor ever since we saw his hammer in New Mexico at the end of Iron Man 2. That seems like a lifetime ago, mostly because the MCU has released a load of movies since then, including Chris Hemsworth’s debut as the god of thunder in 2011’s Thor, and the sophomore outing Thor: The Dark World. But if the trailers were anything to go by, Thor: Ragnarok was going to be something different.
But is different good?
The first two installments were pretty (the sequel less so) but it was still pretty enjoyable. Once the first trailer dropped, we knew that Thor was going to be a lot quippier in this film, not necessarily Stark-level but enough to make you think they’re having fun with the role. Quippier isn’t a word but you know what I mean.
It seemed like they were tapping into the comedic brilliance that wfare knew Chris Hemsworth had all along, and now Marvel are capitalising on it. This film took itself less seriously, even though Asgard is literally being consumed by death.
Both of previous films had two different directors at the helm, and, of course, Thor: Ragnarok would have another: Taika Waititi. Those familiar with his work, knows the director is not shy to throw loads of humours dialogue into a film, and encourage improvisation so as to keep the mood loose and collaborative.
He even voices Korg, one of the alien warriors whose random dialogue cuts the tension of any scene, but can be a little bit too forced at times. Still good for a laugh though. That’s Marvel at its finest.
Thor: Ragnarok was such a diversion from its predecessors, especially given that the only interaction with Earth was in the form of a certain Marvel sorcerer whose appearance in this film was foreshadowed in his 2016 film Doctor Strange.
A New Setting
There was a noticeable lack of other Earth bound characters which seemed to be ingrained in the Thor cinematic DNA. But this wasn’t about Earth.
Instead they swapped Earth for a distant planet named Sakaar under the rule of The Grandmaster Jeff Goldblum, yet they kept Thor’s fish out of water storyline and threw in some familiarity in the form of The Incredible Hulk.
The chemistry between them is brilliant, definitely better than the chemistry between Thor and Bruce Banner although that was pretty good too. That, combined with Loki’s mischievous presence meant that this was always going to feel like a Thor film regardless of whether Earth was involved.
Loki was at his anti-heroic best in Thor Ragnarok. I swear we’re destined to never actually know if we’re supposed to like him or not. He brought a load of aliens onto Earth only a few years ago. Maybe that stings a bit. But he’s still Thor’s brother, so there will always be this complicated relationship that was explored quite well in this film.
There are two new notable inclusions, both of whom are kickass women and one of whom is an almost unrecognisable Cate Blanchett who brought villainous Hela, goddess of death, to life is spectacular fashion. She apparently only took the role to please her Marvel-loving kids who said it would be a career boost for her. Did she need one? Either way, great job by her.
Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie is also a name you won’t soon forget, standing toe to toe with the Princes of Asgard and the big green guy. Although I enjoyed the team up, it did often feel like these were two different movies, the one of Sakaar and the one on Asgard, but it does wrap itself up in a neat little bow at the end.
Overall, this was a fun Marvel movie, more in the mould of a Guardians of the Galaxy as opposed to an Iron Man or Captain America. It was very familiar yet a tonal shift in the Thor movies we’ve seen previously, and that’s not a bad thing. Definitely worth your money.
Best moment: “Let’s do ‘Get help’.” Hilarious. Thank me later.
Favourite character: Jeff Goldblum. Because Jeff Goldblum.
Best bit of trivia: Thor’s “friend from work” line about the Hulk was suggested to Chris Hemsworth by a Make-A-Wish child who paid a visit to the set on the day the scene was filmed.
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