Thor: Ragnarok

Year: 2017
Director: Taika Waititi
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo

Written by Sarah Buddery

The staggering achievement of Marvel Studios in creating a cohesive, overlapping, and constantly evolving cinematic universe is something which – pardon the expression – should really be marvelled at. Undoubtedly helped by the wealth of interesting and beloved characters it has in its impressive back catalogue, the signs of growth are more evident than ever in the latest offering, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’.

Helmed by under-the-radar (but soon to be household name) New Zealand director, Taika Waiti, ‘Ragnarok’ is like none of the other 16 movies that preceded it. Fans of the off-kilter and quirky sense of humour in previous directorial films ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ and ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ will know what to expect, and everyone else? Well you’re able to get a full-on Waititi slap in the face and you are going to love it.

The first ‘Thor’ film had a great natural humour to it with its fish-out-of-water narrative, but the disappointing ‘Thor: The Dark World’ took itself far too seriously, suffering from weak villains and a clumsy style. ‘Ragnarok’ is Thor on acid, embracing the weirdness of the character in the best possible way. The Thor of the comics is absolutely nuts, and finally we have a Thor film which feels 100% suited to the character.

The comedy is the strongest it has ever been, and dare it be said that it even challenges ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ in that department. There’s zingers left right and centre, genius cameos and characters, physical comedy and oh so much more. Chris Hemsworth has never been better as the God of Thunder; his comic timing is absolutely impeccable and it is great to see him having so much fun where the character has previously been a little stuffy.

On the whole, the cast is absolutely fab with returning members being better than ever, and the new additions feeling like they have always been there. There is a reason why Loki is everyone’s favourite Marvel villain, and whilst not the main villain of this piece, he has plenty of screentime and Tom Hiddleston is, as always, a delight to watch. As Goddess of Death, Hela, Cate Blanchett is absolutely wonderful, but perhaps doesn’t get as much exposure as she deserves in this film; just one of its minor drawbacks.

Always the highlight of every single film he is in (that is a fact!), Jeff Goldblum chews every single bit of technicolour scenery as The Grand Master, and was clearly having huge amounts of fun. Having impressed in ‘Creed’, Tessa Thompson is wonderful as Valkyrie, and she kicks so much ass. Mercifully there is no romantic subplot (it would’ve felt massively shoehorned in), and it is so great to have another badass female hero, and a female main villain as well, for the first time in the MCU.  

The 80s vibe runs through the gloriously unique soundtrack, with synth seamlessly mixing with a more traditional superhero score. Also used in the trailer, it is so good to hear Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ used, and to amazing effect as well; let’s face it, this song was made to be used in a ‘Thor’ movie! Visually, ‘Ragnarok’ is one of the most arresting Marvel movies so far, with some particularly striking slow-motion wide shots, mostly in the flashback scenes and fight sequences. This technique is used sparingly enough so as not to become annoying, and it shows just how diverse a director Waititi is.

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is madder than a box of frogs and all the better for it. It does suffer from feeling a little disconnected from previous MCU films, but when a film is this much fun, it almost doesn’t matter. With Waititi’s stamp all over it (and the character he voices, Korg, unquestionably stealing the show!), ‘Ragnarok’ feels refreshingly different and is a much needed injection of fun, particularly for those who are feeling the so-called “superhero fatigue” from oversaturation of comic book movies. A strong contender for one of the best MCU films, and arguably the most fun, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is absolutely unmissable!

Sarah’s Rating: 9.0/10

The First ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Reactions Are In!

The first reactions to Taika Waititi’s ‘Thor: Raganarok’ are in and the majority are hailing it as a hit! Whilst the review embargo is yet to be lifted, the social media embargo lifted a few hours ago!

A number of reactions hail MCU newcomer Tessa Thompson, who plays Valkyrie, as the standout in the film, with Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk also getting his fair share of love. Cate Blanchett is also being praised for her role as Hela, with lots of critics admiring her role as the big-bad and that she looks like she had a lot of fun doing it.

As I’d hoped, Waititi is being praised a helluva lot for injecting his style into the MCU and into the character, and whilst it does appear that this third ‘Thor’ film is mostly self-contained, I hope that Waititi’s influence and style for Thor stick as we lead into ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and see Thor team back up with the Avengers, as well as all the other heroes we’ve come across in MCU so far.

A fair number of critics are also hailing it as the best ‘Thor’ film to date!

Below are a selection of early reactions: 

Fresh New ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Trailer From SDCC

When Taika Waititi was announced as the director for the third ‘Thor’ film,  I knew we’d be getting something special. Ever since then I’ve had high hopes that this third instalment of the God of Thunder’s solo outings would bring something new to the table and drastically improve the quality of his solo films, which for me are a couple of the weakest films so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

This new trailer has diminished any niggling doubts I had in the back of my mind completely. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s colourful, and they seem to have taken some risks that will hopefully pay off! Again, some people may feel this trailer shows a bit more than they’d like to see at this stage, but 9 times out of 10 those fears subside once you actually see the film and realise the trailer didn’t show much at all! 

How do you think Thor’s 3rd film is looking? Do you think this brave move brings hope to the future of the MCU?

“Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.”

 

Written by Tom Sheffield

Official Thor: Ragnarok Synopsis Released By Marvel

“In Marvel Studios’ ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!”

Marvel’s synopsis for the third Thor film confirms we’ll see Mark Ruffalo’s Incredible Hulk go head to head with Thor in a intergalactic gladiator arena, an idea straight from the ‘Planet Hulk’ comics. We’ve known for some time that the ‘Planet Hulk’ comics would have some influence in this film, especially since Hulk’s armour went on display at last years San Diego Comic Con. 

The last time we saw Thor, he was enjoying a beer in New York’s Sanctum Santorium with Doctor Strange, who had just agreed to help him find his father on the promise that both he and Loki leave Earth once Odin is found.  We last saw Hulk flying off in a  Quintjet at the end of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, and his whereabouts since then has remained a mystery. Hopefully this film will give us some more details as to how Hulk ended up at the arena and what else he’s been up to.

Cate Blanchett will be playing the role of the “all-powerful new threat” , Hela, who we can assume is the reason why Thor and Loki team up to find their father. Joining Blanchett as new members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are Tessa Thompson, who is playing Asgardian warrior Valkyrie, Jeff Goldblum will make an appearance as Grandmaster, and Karl Urban will portay Skurge, a villain in the film. 

Taika Waititi is in the director’s chair for Thor’s third solo outing, his previous films include ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ and last years  brilliantly heartwarming and hilarious “Hunt for the Wilderpeople“. After the mixed reception of both ‘Thor’ and ‘Thor: The Dark World’, I think Waititi could be the director to deliver us the Thor film we deserve. His directorial style, humour, and passion for the films he makes are a recipe for success and I’m incredibly excited to see the result. 

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is released in UK theatres 27th October 2017