zak’s review published on Letterboxd:
"I know what you're thinking: how did this happen? Well, it's a long story..."
Dir- Taika Waititi
Notice how many times I'll mention Taika Waititi through this review, for one, this is HIS film, and another thing, HIS film just changed the game for the modern superhero/sci-fi era in cinema and just killed almost every trope associated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe without fault.
Ever since Taika Waititi was announced as the director for the upcoming Thor film, I was relieved. The Thor series lets just say, are at the weaker end of the MCU spectrum, but with films such as Boy, What we do in the Shadows and the critically acclaimed Two Cars, One Night, I had so much faith in him and his creative vision.
Come April 2017, and the first teaser is released. The earth-shatteringly magnificent yet outside the box teaser, which gave us a taste of what's to come, absolutely stunning action set pieces, wonderful locations and incredible characters. Not forgetting Led Zepp, that was the signature touch, and truly the icing on the cake to this audaciously bold motion picture.
What I'm trying to say is, I am so glad I kept the faith in Taika, as what he's gone and done here is absolutely sensational, in terms of the MCU and Comic Book films in general.
Now that's out of the way, this film is absolutely magnificent. Nothing but universal praise for everyone involved, whether that be Taika's direction and excellent improvisation, or the performances and deliverance on comedy and emotional moments.
The narrative for the most part is rather straight forward, Thor's gone back to Asgard to hunt the Infinity Stones down, where he gets captured by Surtur, a disposable yet bad-ass villian voiced excellently by Mr Krabs himself, Clancy Brown. And from there, the trailer speaks for itself.
For the record, since Avengers (2012), I've hated Thor as a character. I think he's lacklustre, and incredibly annoying. But what Taika and Chris Hemsworth collabaratively do here is make Thor one of the best Avengers to grace the silver screen, by giving him purpose, and incredible comedy to emphasise how important his character actually is to the MCU as a whole.
Hemsworth is awesome as Thor here, and he still hasn't lost that annoying element to his character, but the way his character is written in the third installment makes that element all the more bearable, and gives more depth to his character. Goldblum does his thing, and Ruffalo, Thompson, Urban and Hiddleston are all brilliant, but Cate Blanchett, Taika Waititi and surprisingly Idris Elba all steal the show.
Cate was a perfect choice for Hela, she embodies this sinister, grim and gritty persona so well, and the way she portrays such a crucial character is just brilliant. After Loki, Hela is definetly one of the best Marvel villians, played by such an incredible talent. Blanchett commands the screen everytime without fault, and truly wears that antler crown like a damn tiara.
Taika, as well as directing, takes on the role of Korg, a kronan who befriends Thor. Korg is amazing, Waititi said he took inspiration from soft speaking Maori bouncers, which is evident to see as such a hulking rock statue speaks softer than silk. In every scene he's in, he steals it, whether that be because of his humor, his overall personality or hysterically funny voice, he's just magnificent.
In such a minute, small role, Idris Elba is wonderful as Heimdall. There's not much I can say about his overall performance as it would be delving into spoiler territory, but what I can say is that Idris Elba has never been better since his Luther days, he's bad-ass, and delivers superbly here.
The sound design and score are all brilliant, with Mark Mothersbaugh's synth, 80s video game discoteque sounds still echoing in my ears. There was times where the green screen was a bit shoddy, but I let that slide, as I had so much unrelentless fun with this film.
Hysterically funny, full of heart and never lets go of the true conflict dividing the characters, beautifully shot and excellently directed, Thor: Ragnarok owns.
From its performances, to the wonderful score, to the extra surprising cameos, to the call backs to Taika's previous works, to the vibrant, sumptious colours and magnificent set design, it's all so rich and ravishing.
Take every moment in, and immerse yourself into the incredible world of Sakaar, and the perishing world of Asgard.
Waititi weaves his signiture comedy and filmmaking choices through the regular MCU formula, and transforms it into a thought-provoking, outstanding piece of cinema.
Watch out Snyder and co, Taika just changed the game.