Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok ★★★★½

If the first one is the serious one, and the second is the terrible one, this is the fun one. In fact, I'm bumping this up a 1/2 star because it is so damn entertaining, inspiring fits of laughter pretty much continuously from post-brawl scene through to the end. Taika Waititi injects just the right amount of self-referential kitsch into Thor's ordinary world, which, considering the film obliterates the patriarchy and nobility rule, never strains credulity. Thor remains the moral and empathetic center, and Chris Hemsworth takes advantage to narrow the gap between him and MVP Robert Downey Jr. almost to neck and neck. Cate Blanchett makes sure Hela's presence is felt throughout, even as her character could so easily have been reduced to filler in lesser hands. Even Loki is rejuvenated, after having been thoroughly exhausted and wasted in The Dark World, and Hiddleston dives headfirst into a milieu that feels right up the trickster's alley. By the end of the film Thor and co., which includes a comic side of Mark Ruffalo I never knew existed and desperately want more of, grow into the family of irreverent crime fighting misfits James Gunn never quite pulled off with Guardians, and I don't doubt Waititi will put those characters to much better use in Love And Thunder.