Cert: 12A Runtime: 130 mins Director: Taika Waititi Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddelston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Jeff Goldblum and Anthony Hopkins
I don’t hang with the Avengers anymore. It all got too corporate.
The Thor franchise isn’t everyone’s favourite in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.For me I like it, Kenneth Branagh’s original was pure Shakespearean and Alan Taylor’s grew on me the more I watched it. Now a man I admire and respect Taika Waititi attempts to tackle the God of Thunder. From Eagle vs Shark to What We Do in the Shadows to Hunt for the Wilderpeople he keeps impressing me. He has a specific style and vision, not the type of director you’d expect for Disney. It seems like a worthwhile punt, the first trailer I saw I knew it was a Taika movie. What sweetened the pot for me was Jeff Goldblum, he is my Lord and Savior. So what is Thor: Ragnarok about? Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor’s quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela (Cate Blanchett) from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilisation.
For the first ten minutes with a tie-in that I hated Thor: Ragnarok didn’t start too well for me. It actually boiled my blood this specific tie-in. Once the contractual obligations are out of the way Ragnarok was great fun. Taika Waititi made a film that you’d expect from him. He keeps the aesthetic of Thor and injects it with his colourful pallet. Such vivid characters and landscapes, gone are the dark tones of the previous two. One scene in particular that I loved was the battle with the flying horses. It was beautiful, the slow motion made it look like a giant painting, utterly breathtaking. For what could have been a three hour run-time, the film flows so well and it summarises nicely. No pointless moments or conversations. The second act does last a lot longer than you’d expect but you never get bored. That third act was juicy, it broke the Marvel blueprint this made it interesting because it wasn’t as conventional. You do question whether Thor: Ragnarok has a lot of improvisation? it fits to Waitit’s style but it comes across unclear. The score with the synthesizer is very 80’s but the 80’s style we expected doesn’t exist. My only hope now is that Taika Waititi doesn’t become a Studio whore, he needs the artistic freedom to do what he wants.
Thor: Ragnarok’s cast is nothing but stellar. Chris Hemsworth doesn’t really ooze out as a comedian, but damn he has good comedic timing and he is actually funny. His balance between action and comedy is just right. Tom Hiddelston does take a step back here, normally he stands out in most of his Marvel ventures but here he is a lot more tame. It’s always great to see Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins reprising their roles even for a short while. The advancement of Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk is a big stand out here. He is more of a character now and the CGI really gives him more life. Cate Blanchett’s Hela was a good villain, she isn’t as prominent through the film (it was a waste of talent in that sense) but she has some great moments. It goes the same way for my Lord and Savior Jeff Goldblum, when he is on screen he is just hilarious. Tessa Thompson was a great action heroin throughout, for a secondary character she has a story and some skills. Thor: Ragnarok is a breath of fresh air to this over crowded comic book movie phenomenon. ANUS ANUS ANUS.