Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok ★★★★½

It took a while, but Marvel finally figured out the formula and they are *nailing* it. With Ant-Man, the Guardians double-header, Doctor Strange, and just recently Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel Studios stopped making movies and started creating events that fill me with genuine euphoria from beginning to end. I want to stand up and cheer when they end. My cheeks always hurt from smiling so much. Again, these aren’t movies. They are rides — smashingly executed and eye-pleasing roller coasters.

Thor: Ragnarok was a fucking hoot. 

The franchise has some new characters that pop. The fiercely commanding and internally conflicted Valkyrie is beautifully embodied by Tessa Thompson (and confirms how much we really need that rumored all-female Marvel movie) and the easygoing charm of Korg is a delightful cross between Groot, Drax and Thing from Fantastic Four, voiced to perfection by director Taika Waititi. 

Cate Blanchett made the most of what she was given — I just wish she wasn’t so isolated from the rest of the cast. Hela was essentially stalling at Asgard while the gang was running around other planets, but the script gave her enough depth for me to feel the weight of her actions. And Jeff Goldblum is absolutely inspired casting. I’m not sure exactly what to make of the Grandmaster, but I hope we see him again in the future, if only to shed a little light on his character. 

And Hemsworth’s new look? God, yes, please. It should be illegal to be this good looking and riotously funny, but I’m happy to report that Waititi puts Hemsworth’s extraordinary talents to excellent use. He finally feels at home with this character.

It looks like Pixar and A24 aren’t the only studios delivering unprecedented successes. Marvel Studios has found the Midas touch as well.

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