In our review of the Thor: Ragnarok trailer last month, we expected the movie to change the mediocre tag attached to the earlier two Thor films, Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013) and that is exactly what the third Thor movie appears to have done.
New Zealand director Taika Waititi has definitely delivered in terms of well-choreographed fight sequences, awesome digital effects, and grand sets, but why Thor: Ragnarok is being looked at as the best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise yet, is because of the humor element in it – and in abundance at that.
When the action gets tense and too hot to handle, get the audiences reenergized with a dose of laughter! Waititi’s approach to this simple formula, from start to finish, has worked wonders for this Thor film.
Chris Hemsworth reprises his role as Thor along with Tom Hiddleston as his likable brother Loki, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange.
New cast members Cate Blanchett has more than impressed as the villain; Jeff Goldblum as the quirky Grandmaster and the leader of planet Sakaar is a pure delight, and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie is as good an addition as anybody else.
A bald Karl Urban has done good as Skurge, the Asgard denizen and Idris Elba as the warrior Heimdall has done justice to the role.
That said, Hemsworth’s God of Thunder is the binding factor in the film and Waititi has done exceptionally well to bring out some of the best comedy and well-timed humor from the hammer-wielding hunk.
Thor has defeated his captor, the fire-breathing demon Surtur, and claimed his crown believing that he has saved Asgard from destruction by the prophesized Ragnarok. He returns to Asgard and with the help of his adopted brother Loki finds their dying father Odin on Earth, in Norway.
Before Odin dies he explains that his death would ensure Hela’s escape from captivity, and true enough she appears as soon as he dies. Once a leader of the Asgard armies and conqueror of the Nine Realms, Hela was imprisoned when her villainous ambitions became evident.
She destroys Mjolnir, the hammer of the God of Thunder, and thwarts the attempt of Thor and Loki to flee by chasing them into space and imminent death.
Thor somehow finds himself on the garbage planet Sakaar where he is captured by Scrapper 142, a bounty hunter who forces him to become a gladiator for the Grandmaster, the planet’s ruler.
Thor has no option but to fight his longtime friend, the Hulk, a demand of the Grandmaster he cannot avoid if he has to make good his escape. And fight he does, almost winning it but the Grandmaster fixes a Hulk victory.
Meanwhile, back on Asgard Hela destroys the planet’s army as well as the Warriors Three. She plans to use the Bifröst Bridge to expand the Asgard Empire. For help, she resurrects the dead, recruits Fenris Wolf, a former ally, and makes Skurge her executioner. However, Heimdall puts paid to her plans by running away with the sword that controls Bifröst to hide with the rest of the Asgardians.
Back on Sakaar, Thor is trying to get a reluctant Hulk and an equally reluctant Scrapper 142 to help him save Asgard, but they refuse. Thor finds a way to escape the palace and reaches the Quinjet in which Hulk was transported to Sakaar. Hulk follows him to the craft and transforms into his human version Bruce Banner with the help of a Natasha Romanoff recording.
Meanwhile, Loki and 142 join forces and together with Banner they escape through a wormhole to arrive at Asgard where Hela’s forces are raining hell on the Asgardians.
The climax sees Banner transforming back to the Hulk and together with 142 fights Fenris Wolf, Skurge, and the resurrected warriors. Thor is left to fight the main villain Hela.
Loki and the escaped warriors from the Grandmaster’s planet arrive on Asgard to join forces with Thor. A remorseful Skurge allows the Asgardians to escape onboard their large ship. Thor, the Hulk, and 142 distract Hela while Loki uses the opportunity to throw Surtur’s crown into the Eternal Flame and Sukur is reborn. He destroys Asgard, apparently killing Hela in the process.
Thor, his companions, and the remaining Asgardians escape on the Grandmaster’s ship and Thor is crowned king of Asgard which he decides to rebuild on planet Earth.
Metacritic: According Metacritic’s rating, the film has scored 73 out of 100, based on 46 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews”
Rotten Tomatoes: Rotten Tomatoes has given the film an approval rating of 93% based on 235 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10.“Exciting, funny, and above all fun, Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful cosmic adventure that sets a new standard for its franchise—and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” is the website’s critical consensus.
The Wrap: “Both the banter and the fighting, it should be noted, are excellent, so whether you go to superhero movies for the glossy escapism or the pulse-pounding action, you’ll get your large soda’s worth,” writes Alonso Duralde of The Wrap.
The Hollywood Reporter: “With Taika Waititi at the helm, the clash-of-worlds CGI extravaganza blasts free of the previous installment’s leaden Dark World. Giant fire monsters in stygian underworlds notwithstanding, even the story’s central bad guys are silly fun, hammed to the hilt by Cate Blanchett and Jeff Goldblum.”
Screen daily: Screen Daily’s Tim Grierson gives his nod saying the movie is “a grinningly goofy comic-book movie that reverberates with boyish delight.”
Variety: Peter Debruge of Variety says, rather ironically, “Thor: Ragnarok is easily the best of the three Thor movies – or maybe I just think so because its screenwriters and I finally seem to agree on one thing: The Thor movies are preposterous.”
Daily Telegraph: According to the Daily Telegraph, Thor: Ragnarok is one of the Marvel Studios’ “best films to date… funny, charming, dazzling [and] gorgeously designed.”
The Guardian: Steve Rose of The Guardian says, “the most fleshed-out performance of Hulk we’ve yet had in this Marvel universe.”
Characters | Cast
- Thor (Chris Hemsworth)
- Hela (Cate Blanchett)
- Loki (Tom Hiddleston)
- Heimdall (Idris Elba)
- Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum)
- Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson)
- Skurge (Karl Urban)
- Bruce Banner | Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)
- Odin (Anthony Hopkins)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Comedy, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Directed by: Taika Waititi
Written by: Eric Pearson
Runtime: 130 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney