Review of 'Thor: Ragnarok'

thor_ragnarok.jpg A whole lot of fun and possibly the best Thor movie yet…

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to Asgard having escaped from the demon Surtur only to find his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), has been sent to earth by Loki (Tom Hiddleston). When Loki and Thor return to earth to find their father they are captured by Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) who eventually agrees to send them to their father who is in Norway. Odin reveals to the brothers that they have a evil and powerful sister, Hela (Cate Blanchett). Odin imprisoned Hela a long time ago but upon his death she will be released. Of course, Odin now promptly dies and Hela returns seeking her revenge. In the ensuring struggle Thor and Loki are sent to the dump planet Sakaar. Here the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) holds tournaments pitting warriors against one another. Thor ends up in the arena facing his friend, the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) who does not seem all that friendly towards him…Will they be able to escape Sakaar and the Grandmaster, return to Asgard, defeat Hela and prevent Ragnarok, the destruction of Asgard?

The action comes thick and fast as do the punchlines in this instalment of the Marvel Avengers franchise. At some times the humour could almost be too much but it actually works quite well and really lightens up what could be a very heavy film (seriously, the destruction of Asgard?). It never gets to the point of complete silliness though it does often come quite close. There are numerous (very amusing) digs about Tony Sark and other Avengers. Indeed, throughout there references to the other films to remind us where this film sits in the series but this is both a blessing and a curse - A blessing in that it gives viewers some sort of continuity but a curse in that new viewers may find things often a bit confusing. It certainly will help to have seen the previous movies if you really want to be able to appreciate everything that happens here.

As far as the cast is concerned, Hemsworth is charismatic as always and Hiddleston suitably duplicitous yet you know (now) he will never be completely bad. Blanchett is wonderfully sinister as Hela but seems to be slightly underutilised here as is, of course, Hopkins who is on the screen for perhaps ten minutes at most (even then this is mostly in flashbacks). It was great to see Cumberbatch making a cameo as the seriously odd Dr Strange with his magical cloak and, amusingly, somewhat damaged house after having been visited by Thor's hammer. The Hulk plays a far more critical role with a quite an odd turn as he has not been Banner for quite some time so is relaxed (?) as the Hulk fighting in the arena and being pampered outside of it. It is interesting to see a Hulk that is not always angry. As for supporting characters, Skurge, played by Karl Urban (from the new Star Trek films), is just trying to survive and who we end up really feeling for. Goldblum, on the other hand, plays a completely one-dimensional character as the Grandmaster but even so this is perfectly suited to the role and very, very funny (stay for the credits as he has a bit of a scene there).

I can only say that it did seem a bit long though considering the amount of story involved and the incredible action sequences, this is perhaps to be expected and I can't see how it really could be much shorter.

Hopefully this is the beginning of some seriously entertaining new films in the Avengers series though something tells me it will get heavy again real soon. The Thor movies have always been more fun than the other Avengers' films but “Ragnarok” takes it to another level. It will be interesting to see where the Thor story-line goes from here…

Summary: Really good. Really fun.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2017-11-09

Directed by: Taika Waititi

Studio: Marvel Entertainment

Year: 2017

Length: 130 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi:

Other reviewed films by Taika Waititi: