Dan Pendleton’s review published on Letterboxd:
Thor: Ragnarok is an absolute triumph!
I had very high expectations for this film following Taika Waititi’s excellent directorial efforts to date, and the very impressive (and hilarious) trailers. My expectations were not only met, they were surpassed.
I must admit, it took me a few moments to adjust to Taika’s quirky comedy style in a Marvel movie but, once I’d gotten used to that, I was in it for the ride. And what an absolutely thrilling and hilariously funny ride it is! Taika’s style fits perfectly for Thor and I now look back on the previous Thor movies and they pale in comparison.
This movie is beautiful. The colour palette is bright and oozes fun onto the screen, just like it’s come right out of the pages of a 1980’s comic book. It’s candy for the eyes, but really bad candy full of illegal E-numbers: so tasty and makes you hyperactive and you just don’t care.
We all know Chris Hemsworth is perfectly cast as Thor (and gorgeous!) and he continues doing his thing, and Tom Hiddleston continues to make Loki the most intriguing and untrustworthy character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it’s newcomers Cate Blanchett and Jeff Goldblum who steal this movie.
Blanchett is the first female villain in the MCU and she puts all the previous male villains (aside from Loki) to shame. Hela is a genuinely threatening adversary and her presence opens up the complex and dark history of Asgard.
Jeff Goldblum is playing Jeff Goldblum, but that is by no means a bad thing. Every movie should have a Jeff Goldblum, especially a Thor movie directed by Taika Waititi. Goldblum steals every single scene he’s in. I was surprised by how much Goldblum was in this movie, I was expecting a quick cameo, but the more we get of the Grandmaster, the better.
Other newcomers to the franchise, Karl Urban and Tessa Thompson, also do a decent job but it’s Blanchett and Goldblum who steal the limelight and are clearly having so much fun playing their characters.
It’s a shame we didn’t see more of other familiar character from the Thor franchise. Unfortunately, the Warriors Three are disposed of so quickly and there is no time to mourn the loss of some of Thor’s closest allies. Lady Sif’s absence is jarring, but hopefully that means she can return for another Marvel movie; and it feels bizarre having no real closure to Thor and Jane’s relationship (when was this ‘mutual breakup’ supposed to have happened if Thor left straight after Age of Ultron?).
Doctor Strange’s appearance is… um… strange. It’s as though they’re just setting something up for a future movie as it doesn’t really serve any real purpose to the storyline. It does allow for some comedic moments though.
There was an interesting twist at the end of Thor: The Dark World that is quickly resolved at the start of this movie. There’s a potential interesting storyline revolving around Loki leading Asgard in the guise of his father, Odin, but it’s like they just regretted setting up that storyline and wanted to toss it aside as quickly as possible. Although it did enable a fantastic set of cameos.
Was it just me or was the 3D conversion awful? I’m not a big fan of 3D anyways, it’s a shame it’s the only option available when viewing it in IMAX, but the 3D conversion is particularly bad for this. My eyes were often confused about what they were supposed to be focussing on and it was quite uncomfortable at times. I don’t know if it was just the particular screening I was in, but I’m looking forward to revisiting this film in 2D.
Despite that, I had so much fun watching this film. I could have watched it for twice its length. In fact, this film could easily have worked as a two-parter. Don’t get my wrong, the storyline works, keeps you hooked, and is paced really, really well, but it could easily have been two individual films: One about Loki leading Asgard as Odin and Thor and Hulk escaping from Grandmaster’s gladiatorial slavery; and a follow-up focusing on Hela and the Ragnarok. But that’s just me being greedy wanting more Thor!
Thor: Ragnarok is 130 minutes of pure, fast-paced entertainment. Even if you’re not a particular fan of superhero movies, it’s definitely worth a visit for the sheer comedy elements alone. A fantastic movie!
Also, I would travel up the anus with Thor any day! 😜