Monday, November 6, 2017

[Review] Thor: Ragnarok

Dropping in as the third solo Thor installment and the I lost count addition to Avengers universe, Thor: Ragnarok is a wildly warping adventure of cosmic revelry.

Suiting up again in the role he was born to play, Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, and this time around, the God of Thunder finds himself stranded on the other side of the universe without the help of his trusty and powerful hammer. From there, Thor encounters old faces and new on his crazy journey back to Asgard, as he attempts to save his kingdom from mass destruction.

First of all, this film is all over the place. But I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way. As long as you can get down with all the dimension-transporting, an incredibly loopy tone, and the film's ever-quirky sense of humor, you're in for a mega fun time. Director Taika Waititi, who has a bunch of indie and international gems under his belt (including What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople), makes an impressive leap to blockbuster fare -- his signature eccentricities come through in the film's spunky and colorful visuals as well as the kooky characters. Jeff Goldblum shows up as an amusingly flamboyant persona called Grandmaster, while Waititi himself voices a rocky fellow named Korg (this guy rules), who's one of the film's biggest sources of comedy. The script is stuffed with witty exchanges, hilarious one-liners, and tons of slapstick with gut-busting timing.

Along the way, this jamboree blasts through trippy, psychedelic, fantastical, godly and mythological worlds, as if a mighty set of hands squeezed elements from Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Star Trek, and Lord of the Rings and pounded them together into a frenzied fever dream. Speaking of Lord of the Rings, a couple of alums show up here, including Karl Urban and Cate Blanchett -- who superbly plays Thor's long lost evil sister Hela. Also great is Tessa Thompson (Creed) as a warrior with a significant past.

This film doesn't exactly subvert the Marvel formula, but it does what people love about these movies really, really well -- and without taking itself too seriously. Simply put - Thor: Ragnarok is a smash.

* 8.5/10 *

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1 comment:

  1. fandango - I saw this film at the Beckenham Odeon in London. The beginning of this film was as impactful as the bullet-time opening of Swordfish. So that set the movie off at with very high expectation indeed. Hela's part in the story was as expected, and nothing changed from the trailers. She's very powerful, and also very single-minded. Hulk's treatment in the film was in two parts - when he was the Hulk, he was a star, but when he was not hulk, he was a bit part player. I'm not sure I liked how his role was handled in the film, but I suppose anymore exposure of the Hulk, would have taken the shine off Thor himself. So maybe its understandable. I personally felt that more could have been made of the Hulk's character. What did make the film stand out though was the comedy. It was very unexpected, and also brilliantly done! Along the way, Thor meets a minor gladiator, who turns out to be the funniest guy ever! You'll have to see for yourself, but his deadpan delivery turns the film almost into a comedy, every time he's on the screen! The battle scenes were good, but not to the level of LOTR, for scope and spectacle. I enjoyed it, but I feel that it fell just a little bit short of the standard that Wonder Woman delivered. But it did set up the forthcoming space-based Marvel films very well (Black Panther was not referenced).
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