Forget everything you know about Thor. Thor: Ragnarok strips the character of his friends, his girlfriend, his hair and his hammer. In return, director Taika Waititi provides humour, comic timing and a new band of heroes. Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor. Determined to derail a prophecy about Asgard, Thor forms an unlikely allegiance once again with his mischievous brother Loki played by Tom Hiddleston. But first, Thor needs to escape his involuntary pitstop and prison on the planet Sakaar where he is forced to compete as a gladiator for Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster’s entertainment.
I thoroughly loved the colours, visuals, costumes and music in this film. A lot of the visuals and music reminded me of one of my favourite movies, Tron Legacy. The level of science-fiction has been turned up a notch which is great because in the past, despite Thor being from another planet, the series seemed more fantasy themed. There are also a lot of pop-culture references; my favourites being the small nods to Aussie cult film, The Castle which is one of Taika Waititi’s favourites, and to Gene Wilder’s Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Did you catch them? You may need to watch the film again to catch these references!
I loved the chemistry between Thor and Loki. It is a constant joy I always look forward to whenever the characters are on screen together with their constant but endearing bickering. Despite their love/hate relationship, in Thor: Ragnarok you really feel that Thor and Loki’s relationship has matured and progressed. I also thought the chemistry between Bruce Banner, Hulk and Thor was surprisingly great too. The film really highlights that both Bruce Banner and Hulk played by Mark Ruffalo, are two completely different entities.
More importantly, I love Thor’s character development the most. If you compare his character from the beginning of the Thor films to now, Thor has really grown physically and mentally. A once unyielding troublemaker, Thor has now become a man who is mature and takes responsibility for all his actions and for his people. I daresay that he is now the most developed character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The cast are all superb in this film. I was already a fan of Cate Blanchett because she’s such a talented and versatile actress. Despite Hela being quite intimidating, you really feel her frustration and understand why she’s pissed. I thought the detail of her physically, first appearing messy and then slowly throughout the film being more presentable was a very clever representation of Hela regaining her strength. These visuals along with Cate Blanchett’s acting really combine to create an amazing performance.
Anthony Hopkins is brief but wonderful as Odin and also ‘possessed-by-Loki-Odin’. You can really see the differences when Anthony Hopkins is on screen for both roles and can appreciate how great he is. Jeff Goldblum is hilarious as the Grandmaster. He’s a terrible dictator, but you can’t help but love him as long as he doesn’t force you to battle, zaps you into goo or plays the keyboard. Karl Urban is great as Skurge, despite his decisions and flaws, you really feel his vulnerability. I’m sure there’s more to his story, but what we see is still enough for us to feel for him and connect with his character.
I also have been a fan of Tessa Thompson ever since her Veronica Mars days and she is really killing it in this film. If anything, the Marvel Cinematic Universe need more strong female characters. The standout performance in this film, despite all the cameos, is director Taika Waititi’s character Korg. The many scenes where Korg makes an appearance are some of the funniest in the film and almost steal the show completely.
Despite being hilarious, Thor: Ragnarok is still actioned packed with a solid storyline. It is strong and self-contained enough to be enjoyed on its own, but still has many links to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Everything about Thor: Rangarok is fun, fun and more fun. I could not stop smiling and laughing whilst viewing this film. Filmed in Australia and directed by a New Zealander, I highly recommend seeing Thor: Ragnarok in cinemas, especially to the Aussies and Kiwis as there are lot of in-jokes for us to enjoy. Thanks Taika Waititi and the gang for this homegrown but internationally dominating masterpiece.