Tay’s review published on Letterboxd:
i think my favorite thing about Thor: Ragnarok is that everyone's saying and writing and reading Taika Watiti's name.
Watiti's sense of direction is vibrant even beyond the bold visuals. we are always grounded with an established sense of place, no matter where we are. the worlds we jump between have their own histories, but their presents are also completely clear. there's always a sense of urgency, but the film allows itself to breathe. the humor doesn't stop the narrative's momentum by racing to a beat for a punchline. instead, the humor often situates the plot, and at its best, the jokes remind us that the characters are never static.
i've got a guilty soft spot of sorts for Marvel films, but with my love for The Winter Solider and the first Avengers comes an arsenal of gripes (please see: my utter disappointment in Age of Ultron, or my resentment towards Civil War for being a decent Avengers film, but a shit Captain America film.)
i get that superhero films have marks to hit, and i understand the critiques that argue Ragnarok isn't actually all that revolutionary in terms of being a by-the-numbers Marvel film. but as someone who hasn't seen any of the other Thor films, i found Ragnarok to make efficient & effective use of its interpersonal relationships. i felt like i watched Thor and Loki not only fight with one another, but like i also watched them grow. Valkyrie had her own history, and she was never reduced to any single stereotype or trope. perhaps my biggest problem is that it felt like there was a missed opportunity for some really evocative family drama with the introduction & integration of Hela as the villain. Blanchett was fucking insane, though; she was smug and threatening. i just wish that she was more of an antagonist than a villain, if that makes sense. perhaps i wanted more organic or original motivation, which could've been achieved by just a bit more origin exploration and expansion.
but overall???? a fucking blast. a goddamn blast. i love u Taika