Thor: Ragnarok (Movie Review)
Directed by Taika Waititi and starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, and Mark Ruffalo. Thor Ragnarok is the third installment in the Thor series and another entry for the MCU.
Right from the start of the movie you get a complete change of tone with the Thor series. Aside from it being far more funny than its predecessors it also focuses on Thor more which if you're making a movie about Thor then it's quite essential. First thing is first, the plot. The story for Ragnarok is has a few juggling pieces, like Hela, Thors sister who arrives to claim the throne of Asgard. Thor trying to make his way back home to Asgard with the help of Hulk/Bruce Banner and Valkyrie. A lot of the story elements work when they're the focus like Valkyrie being reluctant to join Thor in the saving of Asgard. Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie is a wonderful surprise, she is strong and capable and truly owns that character. During a lot of the action scenes you believe Thompson is this bad a** warrior who can beat you up.
The greatest thing that the Thor films introduced into the MCU was the character of Loki brilliantly played by Tom Hiddleston. This time around you truly get the 'God of Mischief' who isn't good or bad but something in between. In previous films the character of Loki was a straight villain with no qualities of good. We saw a small taste of this Loki in Thor 2 but only for a few scenes before "dying". Hiddleston doesn't miss a beat in this film as he is the best he has been with the comedic timing and coming off more likable than just charismatic which is what fans of the character have attached themselves to when he returned for the Avengers film. Hiddleston brings the charm and history of that version but with more heart and more fun than ever before. Loki by far has been the MCU's greatest creation thus far. The dynamic between him and Thor only sheds light on their bond and love/hate for one another while also kicking butt. We're ready for a standalone Loki film.
Thor, the hero of the film and the God of Thunder finally comes to life after many attempts at giving this hero some legs to run on. It's no secret people love Chris Hemsworth, it's no secret that Hemsworth's comedic timing is impeccable but for the last 2 Thor films the character has been lackluster in his own films, if anything Loki was the more interesting character to track in both films (including Avengers). Director Taika Waititi finally lets Hemsworth make Thor an interesting character and one who should feel odd and have funny moments. Thor is more likable and has a more clear vision of who he is, the latter films never had you sure what kind of arc the character would fall on but with the opening scene we know he's a traveler, always on a mission and no time wasted. This is the Thor fans and critics have been waiting for, a character that stand out from the usual stoic heroes he associates himself with. Chris Hemsworth knocks it out of the park giving lighter and funny dialogue that only engages you more and keeps you asking for more. The action is great and as always he can bring the seriousness to a scene when needed. Now lets talk about Hulk, Mark Ruffalo gives the best performance as Hulk yet. We get a good portion of the film with just Hulk before Bruce Banner even appears, the Hulk finally stands out and fits in the Thor universe in space and on different planets. A lot of the fun comes from the interaction between Hulk and Thor with many jokes and funny moments. Yes there are a lot of funny moments in this film.
Overall, the film is fun, with great action sequences and funny moments, dialogue and physical comedy that work and don't hinder much of the film. The story could be better with a better use of Cate Blanchett's Hela but Taika Waititi and company deliver a different and successful entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The acting from all actors are great and believable as their characters with Tessa Thompson as the breakout star.