Released 26th October
Seen 8th November
Directed by Taika Waititi
Written by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost
Produced by Marvel Entertainment & Walt Disney Pictures
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston & Cate Blanchett
Every Marvel film since the start of the MCU has had a very specific format. When you break it down to its core component they all have this “World is ending, main character only one who can stop it” narrative and all you have to do is change the name of the character and possibly the severity of the threat, but they all have that same basic idea. For Marvel to really take a risk and break out of that strict mould would take a lot. Thor: Ragnarok might not break that mould, but it’s worn the edges of it down considerably and that’s enough of a welcome change for me.
Thor: Ragnarok is, obviously, the story of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) coming home to Asgard where he soon finds that Loki (Played by Tom Hiddleston) is alive and well and before you yell spoilers, he’s on the poster and in all the trailers so, not really spoiling anything. Anyway, after an unfortunate event happens, the goddess Hela (Played by Cate Blanchett) comes to wreak some havoc. She, unfortunately, doesn’t get to really kick Thor and Loki’s asses because they end up being pulled into some mystical world where Thor is forced to battle Hulk (Played by Mark Ruffalo) and other hijinks… also, Thor now has the image of Hulk’s penis burned into his brain forever, so there’s that.
Yes, there is a scene in this film where Hulk’s penis is actually mentioned, we even see Hulk’s ass and by that piece of information alone you should now know that this film does not take itself seriously at all and I absolutely love it for that. Marvel seems to have this knack for remembering “Wait, we’re making Comic Book Films… we can have fun with this”, something their main competition seems to repeatedly forget. This film might be Marvel having the most fun it’s had in a while, just letting everyone go wild and embracing the insanity of the situation. Let’s be blunt, this movie contains a scene where a six-foot-and-change muscular Australian with a really strange accent is fighting the Jolly Green Giant in a tunic, we’re allowed to laugh at the insanity of it all. In this case, the movie is laughing with us and letting the actors just devour the set in gigantic bites while they’re also laughing at just how mental everything is.
Do I even need to praise Marvel’s casting choices? They’re always so good and besides the usual gang that we all know is in this movie we have Cate Blanchett as a pretty goddamn amazing villain who just commands the screen the second she appears, we have Jeff Goldblum at his Jeff Goldblum-iest to a level of pure Jeff Goldblum we haven’t seen in quite a while, we have Tessa Thompson playing the role of Valkyrie and she is just a delight and probably puts more alcohol through her in this film than a funnel at a college frat party. There isn’t a weak spot in the cast and they all bounce off each other with impossibly perfect timing to make every joke land just right. There’s actually a scene where I’m convinced that Tom Hiddleston was just cracking in the middle of a take, I’m stunned there’s any film of them not laughing because it’s clear they’re all just having more fun than one probably should have when making a movie.
The fight sequences are awesome, especially anywhere they use Immigrant Song by Led Zepplin. Those sequences are jaw-dropping in how awesome they are and unapologetic in just being a spectacle, they will slow down the entire film just to make sure you bask in how over the top they’re taking everything. Every battle sequence is something to behold, they put their all into creating these gigantic fight setpieces that just work so wonderfully in context and can go between being dramatic to hilarious in a matter of seconds. Any film that can sneak in the song Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka, a reference to the tunnel scene from that same film all while laying important exposition out is a film that understands exactly what it’s trying to be. The only downside to this is that there are times when a joke will cut off a serious moment and while the joke might get a good laugh out of the audience, it might’ve been nice to let some of the serious implications of this movie linger just a little longer than they do.
I genuinely hope that Marvel take director Taika Waititi up on his offer to do a Black Widow movie because I would trust this man to make it amazing and give her the kind of movie she deserves, one that’s as badass and just plain fun as Thor: Ragnarok is because this movie is up there with some of the most intensely enjoyable movies that Marvel has come out with.
Oh, also, there are 2 post credit scenes. The first one is actually relevant to the overarching MCU plot and you probably should stick around for it because it’ll undoubtedly factor into future MCU plotlines, the second one is just a funny scene that puts a little cap on one of the plotlines from the movie which you can skip if you want, but I’d still suggest sticking around for it.