Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

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Marvel’s God of Thunder and this time, he truly is not alone as he faces his most dangerous adversary yet.

Somehow trapped in the annals of Hell, Thor is confronted by the demon Surtur, who vows to start Ragnarok, which can bring an end to Asgard. Thor not only manages to escape but steals Surtur’s skull in order to prevent it from happening. However, that becomes the least of his problems when he learns that he has an older sister, Hela, who has returned with plan to take her rightful place as ruler of Asgard and in the midst of things, banishes both Thor and Loki.

Thor ends up on the planet Sakaar, where he is forced to fight for the game-loving Grandmaster. The Grandmaster offers Thor his freedom if he faces his champion. Thor is stunned to learn that the champion is none other than the Hulk, who has been since in Sakaar since leaving Sokovia. After their fight, Thor and Hulk finally come together and with Loki and the self-exiled Valkyrie, the plan now is to stop Hela as she dominates Asgard with her deathly manners.

After Kenneth Branagh’s original 2011 film brought about a Shakespearean-like tone and Alan Taylor’s slightly darker sequel in 2013, it is now Taiki Waititi’s turn to take on Marvel’s Mighty Thor. Waititi, best known for his comedy series The Flight of the Conchords, brings his brand of humor with beats of comic relief mixed in with the Marvel action tone we all love.

Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor and thanks to Waititi, Hemsworth gets to bring both his serious tone as he prepares for a war he never expected, but adds beats of comic lines that go as far as his opening scene, which sees him in a cage trapped by the demonic Surtur. Tom Hiddleston returns as Loki, who once again proves time and time again why he is the God of Mischief and brings more of an anti-hero rather than the flat-out villain he provided in The Avengers.

Mark Ruffalo spends most of the film in his mo-cap state as The Hulk. In a bold move, Hulk is given more dialogue and while it may seem a bit ridiculous to the eyes of some, for some strange reason, it works out quite well. When we finally see Hulk become Bruce Banner again, it brings even more hilarious results because Banner truly takes the term “fish out of water” to a whole new level. While the character of Valkyrie is normally depicted as a warrior with blonde hair and blue eyes, here she is played by African-American actress Tessa Thompson, who is worthy of breaking the mold with her performance. Jeff Goldblum brings his trademark mannerisms to the role of the Grandmaster and helps bring the comic relief of the film.

Which finally brings us to Cate Blanchett, who plays Hela with a deliciously evil performance. Sporting long dark hair, which can turn into a Maleficent style helmet when she looks like she is fixing her hair. Her scenes with Karl Urban, who is fun and deadly to watch as the executioner Skurge, sets the balance between the serious tone of the plot with the beats of comic relief. Sadly, in the midst of the chaos that plagues Asgard, we lose three dear supporting characters and Idris Elba makes the most of his screen time in his role of Bifrost guardian Heimdall, who now must prove to go above and beyond.

Mark Mothersbaugh’s score really drives the action and emotional tone of the film with an 80’s retro feel while the action is truly some of the best, if not the best in a Thor film. It is even revealed that Thor may be even more powerful than even he believes and when he goes in full thunder mode, it unleashes a barrage of punishment. Both his opening fight and the climactic fight works just right with Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song playing in the background and will have you rooting and perhaps wanting more. The arena fight between Thor and Hulk is exciting to watch too and brings a wonderful nod to an epic scene in The Avengers.

Thor: Ragnarok is an exciting Marvel adventure that sets a balance between comic relief and a dangerous adventure thanks to director Taika Waititi and the performances by the cast.

WFG RATING: A

A Marvel Studios production. Director: Taika Waititi. Producer: Kevin Feige. Writers: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost; based on the comic by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby. Cinematography: Javier Aguirresarobe. Editing: Zene Baker and Joel Negron.

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Idris Elba, Taika Waititi, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Levi, Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Clancy Brown.

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