Well, the god of thunder is back, sporting a new hairdo and sans his magic hammer, so now Thor must discover what he is without it, his “journey through the desert” if you will. You may be thinking this sounds like the first movie, where he lost Mjolnir and journeyed through an actual desert, but trust me it’s very different.
The plot of Thor: Ragnarok is set roughly two years after “The Battle of Sokovia”, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been off searching for infinity stones since then, (explaining why he wasn’t in civil war) and has had himself imprisoned by the fire demon Surtur (google him, I’ll wait). The fire demon taunts Thor by telling him that the 9 realms have gone to shit because Odin isn’t in Asgard, and now he plans to wreck the place as a result. But wait, it turns out his capture was all a ruse by Thor to prevent Ragnarok, cue the Led Zeppelin and an awesome fight scene.
Thor returns to Asgard to find Loki (Tom Hiddleston) running about in Odin’s y-fronts, and proceeds to hit him until he agrees to help find their father. Turns out that Odin (devoid of any understanding of irony) is in Norway. He explains that he is dying, and that his death will allow Hela (Cate Blanchett), the firstborn daughter he never mentioned (who just so happens to be the goddess of death), to escape from the prison she was sealed in long ago for being too much of a bitch. Jesus, this family needs a Viking version of Jeremy Kyle.
I think the writers finally understand that the concept of a superhero based off of Viking mythology, who sports a magic hammer, has an adoptive ice giant brother and is technically an alien is, in fact, a silly thing. So rather than make another dark and serious action movie (*cough, Thor Dark World, * cough) they’d rather revel in ridiculous fun and by Odin’s pendulous bollocks do they manage that. There is a constant stream of humour running through Thor: Ragnarok, from the witty banter between the characters, to the strange, but oddly welcome slapstick that is present.
The cast have done a fantastic job bringing the characters to life and giving them personalities, while Hemsworth has had several movies now to establish Thor as a character, he never fails to achieve something new each time we see him. It feels like with each movie Thor grows and changes as a person and that is due in no small part to Hemsworth as an actor. The supporting cast members are also fantastic, Tom Hiddleston as the trickster god Loki is a joy to watch, equal parts, funny and devious but with a hint of melancholy. I’ve heard some people complain that Loki is in too many of the movies as a villain, but I feel like with Thor, the character of Loki avoids becoming stale because we are witnessing him grow each time we see him, he isn’t simply a villain, but he’s not quite a hero either.(Hero or villain, we can all agree he’s fabulous!)
I know, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to mention him either, but rest assured Jeff Goldblum is a fabulously hammy treasure. Each scene The Grandmaster is in he steals the spotlight, from the moment he introduces himself he had me laughing, without saying a word he can completely change the tone of a scene from sombre to hilarious. Even though he is responsible for pitting slaves against each other in a gladiator pit for the amusement of the masses, he sees himself as someone who creates jobs, and he has you rooting for him.(Does this look like the face of mercy?)
The sound team for this movie all need a raise, the music was some of the best I have ever experienced from a marvel movie, I would go as far to say it’s the best I’ve experience from a movie full stop. And I don’t simply mean the songs that were used, but let me tell you there are few things as awesome as watching the god of thunder fire lightning bolts from his hands as the immigrant song plays. I’m talking about the 80’s styled synth-pop they mixed with 8-bit videogame music to create a cacophony of awesome, that will hurl you back to your childhood faster than a DeLorean powered by The Flash.
I also think that the cinematography was the best it has ever been, maybe not in the marvel franchise overall but certainly in the Thor movies. The contrast between the mundane scenes on earth and the colourful, vibrant scenes on Asgard and Sakaar is amazing, the use of colour reaffirms the idea that these worlds are alien.
In this humble reviewers opinion, this is one of the best Marvel movies to date, a great story filled with fun characters, awesome action scenes and topped off with a great sense of humour. Thor Ragnarok will have you laughing, head banging to classic rock music and googling the nearest Viking church.
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