If you could get abs from laughing, you’d have a sixpack by the time you walked out of Marvel’s latest addition to their massive cinematic universe, Thor Ragnarok. Who knew the end of the world could be so much fun?
No spoilers in this review, we promise!
Director Taika Waititi pulls out the comedic chops he’s known for in this 130 minute spectacle. After Marvel underwent the critical Battle of Sokovia which left most of Thor’s Avenger co-workers still on Earth, Thor and Bruce Banner/Hulk are last seen both heading rocketing in different directions, Banner in a Quinjet and Thor off to do some searching. In Ragnarock, at least if you’ve seen the trailers, you know that at some point the pair find each other.
Going into the movie, there’s lots of promise of fun jokes. And they come at you a mile a minute from the very beginning. At times, the audience laughed so much we couldn’t hear the next joke that was tee’d up. Humor is a thread in all of the Marvel movies and it is on full display in this installment. Waititi jams in plenty of callbacks, so it is helpful to brush up on the Marvel anthology. Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo work seamlessly off each other in their scenes, and we get a more subtle and refined humor in ones with both Tom Hiddleston reprising his Loki alongside Hemsworth.
Now let’s move on to the cast. The returning characters are all as you know and love them already. Some of these characters don’t get the full development treatment, which is crucial to a movie but isn’t as missed with how much else is going on. The new additions, Hela (Cate Blanchett), Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi) and Skurge (Karl Urban) are all memorable. Valkyrie probably gets one of the best introductions in a Marvel film to date and every time Goldblum appears on screen it is a pure joy. But real talk, when isn’t Goldblum a joy? Korg will probably become your next favorite. Hela also falls in to the lack of development trap, but Blanchett pulls out some of her most icy and penetrating skills yet. Think of her role in the entire movie as that split second scary version of Galadriel.
There was apprehension when Marvel first revealed the logo for the movie, dredging up concerns about style. There’s no fear to be had here as the team has pulled in a solid vision for the world(s) visited. There’s influence from each corner of the MCU and fans will be able to recognize what is influenced by Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers.
There are plenty of little surprises and winks to the greater canon that will delight even the fandom gatekeepers. One cameo, other than Stan Lee, really leaves an impression on the audience.
Despite the fun and lightheartedness, the movie still grips with impact. The stakes are raised, and it is an interesting takeaway. We will stay mum on this to not tarnish what happens.
The bottom line is, Thor Ragnarok hits both soul and humor. It never takes itself too seriously, but still ropes in at the right times.
The film will be wide released in North America on November 3.
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