Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok ★★★★½

Thor Ragnarok completely took me by surprise. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to Taika Waititi's fìlms I know what to expect not only with his style if comedy, but also with just how relentless his comedy is and how surprisingly natural it all feels. With most MCU movies I'm mostly sure how I feel about them as soon as I left the theatre, but here I was left thinking about it... a lot.

MCU movies have become like a double edged sword for me, it's very rare I come out of one without having fun with them, yet I'm just fatigued with it all. Part of why most of them are competently made is because they all follow a formula, yet afterwards it all feels stagnant and inconsequential. Thor Ragnarok follows that same formula and yet it is is so self aware of what this franchise has turned into and completely pokes fun of it at every turn! Despite being the 17th entry of a film series that I am now ready to see wrap up (which is probably never going to happen) Thor Ragnarok is a refreshingly original experience.

I'm just happy to see a Thor movie that doesn't rely on the whole fish out of water trope that severely weakened the other two Thor movies. There's no forced human relationships, no grounding everything on Earth and focusing a forced romance that doesn't go anywhere. Thor finally has a movie fitting for the performances Chris Hemsworth has dedicated so many years of his life into. The comedy feels organic and actually brings character into a world I previously didn't care about.

The acting is terrific. You don't need me to tell you that Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are perfect as Thor and Loki because you've already seen it, but they still show the same passion they had back when Kenneth Brannagh directed the first film. Both of them are charming to watch, and I've always loved the dynamic between the two. Same goes for Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner and The Hulk, I just cant imagine enyone else playing him at this point.

Cate Blanchett of course is absolutely wonderful as the villain if the film, Hela. I could describe her character in the film, but Cate does it so much better herself in an exposition scene so over the top, it is reminiscent as those epic opening montages from The Lord of The Rings and it comes complete with moving paintings. It really does poke fun at everything that has become a very tired cliché, and that is why it is so much fun to sit through.

This has a very large cast of characters with Jeff Goldblum as the hilarious Grandmaster, Tessa Thopson as Valkyrie, a former Asgardian soldier, and Karl Urban as Scourge to name a few, yet all of them leave at least some kind of impression. Jeff Goldblum in particular gives one of his funniest performances as soon as you see him with that silly blue streak painted on his chin it is impossible to take him seriously. Plus any fan of Taika Waititi's films will instantly recongise Rachel House in this film. Benerdict Cumberbach has a fun little cameo as Tony Stark... erm... I mean Dr. Strange. And of course how can I not mention Korg, who I later realised was voiced by Taika Waititi himself, and he probably outshines everyone in this film. Not only does he direct this movie so well, but he just has a natural timing to his lines that just makes him so hilarious to watch.

The world building, the colour, the CG, everything in this film is immersive and it filled with personality and despite its light hearted nature, it still feels very riveting to watch. I think with any comedy like this, it is an acquired taste and it is just as relentless as Waititi's previous film The Hunt for The Wilderpeople, but it still doesn't abandon telling an engaging story and adding more to the characters.

Thor Ragnarok isn't pre-occupied with setting up sequels, spin offs, the next Avengers movie etc. and because of that I see this film holding up far better than most MCU films do. Taika Waititi is fast becoming my favourite comedic director right now :)

Scott liked these reviews