"Thor: Ragnarok" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
When Marvel realized that "Thor: The Dark World" was a major disappointment, they knew they had to fix something. Fans and critics alike hated the fact that the story and characters were underdeveloped, which basically led to a very boring and drawn-out film. Marvel decided to bring in Taika Waititi, who is known for making dark comedy films. His film, "Thor: Ragnarok" completely changes the tone of the film series, and delivers Thor's best solo outing in this hilarious, action-packed, and witty superhero film.
The film follows our titular protagonist (Chris Hemsworth) as he returns to Asgard to find his brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), still alive after his supposed death in the second film. Now wondering where his mischievous brother sent their father, they go out to look for him, crossing paths with an evil war goddess Hela (Cate Blanchett), who destroy Thor's weapon of choice, Mjollnir.
Now without his famous hammer, Thor is sent to Sakaar, where he is imprisoned and forced to fight the biggest and scariest gladiator on the planet - The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Thor is delighted to find his old buddy after he went missing at the end of the previous Avengers film. Now partnered up with his fellow Avenger, Thor assembles a team, including Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Korg (played by Waititi in addition to directing), to take down Hela and save Asgard for good. However, the team must also face the looming threat of Ragnarok by the evil fire demon Surtur (Clancy Brown).
The third phase in the MCU all have one thing in common - their films are hilarious. With "Doctor Strange" and "Captain America: Civil War" as an exception, every film in this phase leading up to this film has had hilarious plot lines and a great set of witty characters. The tone and vibe of these past three films have all been the same, leading a more fun and entertaining atmosphere. This film is without a doubt one of the funniest and wittiest films in the MCU.
I think this is the best portrayal of Thor Hemsworth has ever done. He has been amazing in the other Marvel films, but it seems like he is having genuine fun filming this entry into the franchise. He has great chemistry with every character in this film, especially Ruffalo, as they have a good budding comedy relationship.
Hela is a great villain. Blanchett plays the role to perfection, and it has a great set-up for the reasons she does what she does in this film. Unlike the previous "Thor" villain, she has a legitimate reason to want to kill the God of Thunder, and she is a more three-dimensional character compared to Malekith in "Thor: The Dark World".
In addition, just like every Marvel film, we are graced with beautiful cinematography and battle scenes. Yet, I think in a way, this film goes above and beyond in many of its settings and action sequences. Take the scene, for example, in the final battle. Hulk lunges at Surtur, preparing to take him down. What we receive is an absolutely fabulous IMAX shot where Surtur fills the whole screen, showing his massive scale against a giant like the Hulk. It is absolutely beautiful and horrifying, and undoubtedly one of the best shots in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I think Marvel did an excellent job casting Waititi to direct this film. He brought everything that was desperately needed for this film series, and then some. He breathed a breath of fresh air into this story, and it was just what Marvel needed to bring Thor back into the spotlight with one of the funniest MCU films.