MOVIE REVIEW – THOR: RAGNAROK
Warning, spoilers ahead…
Arguably the Thor films have been the weakest entries for the fans. But that opinion may change with Thor: Ragnarok.
A lot has happened to Asgard since the last time Thor (Chris Hemsworth) walked across the rainbow bridge. His brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has masqueraded as Odin (Anthony Hopkins) after casting their father in a retirement home in New York. They later find out their family tree included a lost, older sister named Hela (wonderfully portrayed by Cate Blanchett) whose power as the Goddess of Death proves to be too much for the God of Thunder by destroying his hammer and sending him along with Loki to the other side of the universe. When Thor finds himself imprisoned on the Planet Sakaar he must fight his way back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the prophecy of the destruction of his home world and the end of Asgardian civilization, from occurring. First however, he must face off against the Grandmaster’s (Jeff Goldblum) champion in a gladiatorial contest. This undefeated champion turns out to be none other than fellow Avenger, the incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). The Grandmaster is a deliciously ruthless ruler of Sakaar and Jeff Goldblum, if there were any doubts, is a national treasure.
From the moment the Hulk appears, the film goes full throttle into a Flash Gordon meets This is Spinal Tap rock of age’s adventure that is both exciting and a world of fun. There is something very inspiring and entertaining seeing a God-like character as Thor is, being the proverbial underdog. Thor gets his butt kicked throughout the film including losing an eye in his climatic fight against Hela. You know deep down he’ll survive but there are moments when you worry he won’t. It’s a very human response, even towards a demigod.
Watching the team of Thor and his friend from work, Hulk, a reluctant Loki and a former Valkryie (Tessa Thompson) battle Hela and her minions was a visual delight set to a soundtrack that rivals either Guardians of the Galaxy films. May I add that a free speaking, tantrum carrying and funny Hulk is the best kind of Hulk there is!
Director Taiki Waititi pairs the visuals and music with a comedic flair that fits the characters of Thor and Hulk perfectly. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a wide range of tones that makes it ever evolving and always fresh. A tall order given nine years and well over a dozen films produced. The casting is first rate with the additions of Goldblum, Blanchett, Thompson and Karl Urban as Skruge to go along with the returning Idris Elba as the fearless Heimdall. They look like their kids playing with the greatest toys in the universe and it shows. Bravo!
One more Marvel film, Black Panther which by the way looks amazing, comes out before the epic Avengers: Infinity Wars hits theaters to kick off the summer of 2018.
Directed by: Taiki Waititi
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Tess Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban and Idris Elba
PG-13 130 mins
THOR: RAGNAROK – **** (out of 5 stars)
May the Dork be with you,
The Dork Knight