Directed By: Taika Waititi
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchette, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo, Karl Urban, Idris Elba, Taika Waititi, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jeff Goldblum, Anthony Hopkins
Thor: Ragnarok infused life back into a dying branch of the MCU. After 2013’s overly-dour Dark World, many had lost hope that the franchise could be saved, but this movie proves it still has some juice left in it. In an attempt to put a halt to Ragnarok, Norse Mythology’s version of the apocalypse, Thor, having left Earth, has set out to defeat those who would see it brought on, and in the process, learns that all is not as well on Asgard as he’d been led to believe.
This movie is amazing. It’s funny and dramatic, and everyone involved seems like they’re having the time of their life, particularly Cate Blanchette, who plays Hela, Marvel’s first major female villain. Tessa Thompson shows some skill with accents as the boozy Valkyrie, a scrapper on the planet Sakaar who’s spent the better part of a millennium numbing the pain of being the last of her kind, mainly in part to the first battle against Blanchette’s Hela. Jeff Goldblum shows up and basically plays the same quirky weirdo he usually plays, not that anyone would complain. Director Taika Waititi has a supporting role as Korg, an affable rock creature who acts as spirit animal/camp counselor for the warriors enslaved by Goldblum’s Grandmaster, which includes Thor. Hiddleston’s Loki, the poster boy for all Marvel villains, finally gets started on the emotional arc/redemption storyline fans have been asking for since the first movie. He also gets to show that he do more than just metaphorical mustache twirling. Mark Ruffalo almost expertly pulls off the confusion and constantly being half a step from completely losing it as Bruce Banner, who’s spent the previous two years, since his character flew off at the end of Age of Ultron, Hulked up on Sakaar, where he’s become the Grandmaster’s prized possession and greatest warrior. Karl Urban’s Skurge is somewhat underdeveloped and underused, though the actor makes the most out of what little he’s given to do, and by the end, you do actually kind of care about what happens to him. Benedict Cumberbatch shows up briefly to reprise his role as Dr. Strange, though like with Hopkins, his role is little more than a glorified cameo.
In addition to the decent storyline, the effects are also well done. Comic movies tend to rely heavily on CGI, and this movie was no different. In addition to large, Hulk-heavy sequences, there are also lots of aliens, space travel, and battles. And a ginormous wolf. The opening sequence alone, a huge CGI battle set to Led Zepplin’s Immigrant Song, is worth watching the movie for.
Definitely see this movie. You really don’t even need to be that familiar with the Thor franchise or the MCU to understand most of what’s going on, and they also do a quick catch-up of what led to the movie’s events.
Unfortunately, this movie isn’t available to stream anywhere yet, but it can be rented from Redbox or Netflix home delivery service.