Thor Ragnarok: Review (non-spoilers)

Let me just start off by making two points before giving my thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok. The first is that I wasn’t a fan at all of the previous two Thor movies. In fact I’m not really a big fan of  Thor as a character in general prior to this film, I didn’t feel like his presence was missed in Captain America: Civil War. The second point is there’s been some controversy since it was revealed that Thor: Ragnarok received 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. There are claims of reviewers being biased towards Marvel and criticism of the film itself for following a safe Marvel formula as it has been described as a ‘fun’ film. Personally I have no bias, I love both DC and Marvel and try not to get caught up in the whole light vs dark debates when it comes to the tone of the films. Whether a director wants their film to be more light and funny or more dark and serious is no issue with me. Just do it right, and in this case director Taika Waiti does a great job with a mix of both with Thor: Ragnarok which I feel isn’t only just an enjoyable film but the best Thor film to date.

Chris Hemsworth is back as Thor ‘The God of Thunder, Tom Hiddleston returns as his brother Loki and Mark Ruffalo plays both the Hulk/Bruce Banner. This is why the majority of the humour and fun of Thor: Ragnarok works for me because of this great cast. Chris Hemsworth to me puts in his best performance to date as Thor. If you were to replace him with another actor I’m not sure you will get the same results as I feel there aren’t too many actors that could pull off some of these lines. As for Tom Hiddlestone… well he’s just awesome as Loki. Hiddleston does a great job at showing the inner conflicts of Loki, someone who loves to put himself first but at the same time is faced with a dilemma as his brother and home are in grave danger. Loki’s role in this film provides for a lot of twists and turns that you may not see coming. Hulk is a great addition to the movie as it doesn’t feel like he wasn’t just shoved into the film last minute for marketing reasons. It makes sense why he’s involved and the fight scenes between him and Thor provide for a very entertaining spectacle. New additions to the cast such as Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Jeff Goldblum (The Grandmaster), Cate Blanchett (Hela) and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange provide for a much welcome surprise to the film without going into the details of their roles.

The story of Thor: Ragnarok was engaging enough to keep my interests throughout the 210 minutes of the film. If you didn’t know Ragnarok means the end of Asgard (not a spoiler) and the majority of the film is spent on how Thor with the help of others can try save Asgard and its people. Thor spends much of his time trying to build his own team trying to get the likes of the Hulk and Loki to fight alongside him. In case you didn’t know Loki has a track record of betraying Thor and being being a hard person to work with. So it was interesting to see the constant conflict between the two. Would Thor eventually get his brother to fight alongside him or will it be the same old double crossing Loki? I won’t spoil that for you. So I guess you could say that the stakes are pretty high in this film also with a very credible main villain of Hela whose main aim is to take over as the Queen of Asgard. By the end of the film it may not end as you expected which was a surprise to me and lets just say there are things that occurred during this film that will change not only the character of Thor but also Asgard forever.

The score of the film is nothing to shout about sadly, if you enjoyed what you heard from the trailers its really more of the same. This more electronic rock type of score fits the theme of the film as well as the look of the film. But other than that I can’t really see myself listening to the soundtrack of Thor Ragnarok in my spare time.

Overall Thor: Ragnarok provides for a great experience and easily the best instalment of the Thor franchise so far. Maybe on a second viewing I could argue that it’s actually Marvel’s best release so far this year as I definitely found it more entertaining than Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2. I would need to watch Spider-Man: Homcoming again but there isn’t much that splits the two films in quality. Is it one of the best comic book film ever? Of course it isn’t but the director and the cast deserve a lot of praise for giving a new lease of life to a franchise that previously lacked direction and didn’t really get it’s feet off the ground. I didn’t think I’d be saying this but I can’t wait to see what’s next for this franchise. I guess it really was third time’s the charm for me when it comes to Thor.

P.S. Stay for both the after credit scenes especially the first one 😉

8/10

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