By Ryan Keating-Lambert
Thor: Ragnarok is a wonderfully diverse and hilariously camp addition to the Marvel universe.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his godly crew are faced with a new kind of evil when the goddess of death Hela (Cate Blanchett) returns to Asgard to bring on Ragnarok – the end of all things.
In the tradition of Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: Ragnarok stands out from the sometimes monotonous Marvel crowd with its stylised look and it’s laugh-out-loud humour, but it’s even funnier. Director Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople) has injected his trademark Kiwi quirk and hilarious wit into making this interpretation of Thor the best so far, and probably one of the most enjoyable Marvel films in a while.
Waititi’s gift of the gab has finally given Chris Hemsworth a chance to really show off his comedy skills. The actor is absolutely perfect as the ridiculously buff and ridiculously hilarious god of thunder, and gives the most memorable performance of his career so far.
Cate Blanchett brings a much darker but equally funny performance as the elaborately horned and punk rock inspired Hela. The actress has such a presence as the super villain that it may indeed solve Marvel’s female villain problem, or lack thereof them. She’s a memorable menace that’s sure to inspire Halloween costumes for years to come.
Jeff Goldblum also makes a triumphant return to comedy as ‘the Grand Master’ of trash planet Sakaar, and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk takes on a whole new personality here; meaning that he’s actually been given a personality this time round. There’s really a whole variety of wit in every performance here. They’re all enjoyable – good casting.
With its vibrant colour palette, especially on the planet Sakaar which looks like a candy coloured District 9, Ragnarok is never overdoes it, unlike this year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 which was almost too much to handle. Waititi has captured the nostalgic ’80s action movie spirit well here, but also imprinted his own unique comic book vision. The visuals and outstanding production design here is matched only by the fun synth sounds of Mark Motherbaugh’s soundtrack.
Hollywood has put a lot of trust in Waititi and really given him full reign, and rightly so. The director is one of the most promising talents on the scene right now, and those who enjoyed last year’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople will certainly enjoy this. Prepare yourself for some juicy cameos too.
However, those who enjoy a good Marvel movie will also dig this. Ragnarok is full of references to previous outings, not to mention reference to the original Norse mythology for the legend and history buff. There’s nothing particularly deep or profound about this film, but it knows exactly what it is, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Very much looking forward to the blooper reel. These guys must have had a lot of fun.
Be sure to stay for post credits scenes if you want to get ready for Avengers: Infinity War.
Photo: Screen Geek