Thor Ragnarok - This Marvel Movie Rocks - In A Funny Way
Dir: Taika Waititi
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Anthony Hopkins, Jeff Goldblum, Idris Elba, Sherlock Bandicoot, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Taika Waititi, Sam Neil, Matt Damon
One thing you have to admire about Marvel – within their Cinematic Universe, they’re not afraid to make changes. Thus, Thor, now making his fifth appearance, is found starring in what is basically an out and out comedy. Sure, it has its standard issue set pieces and super hero moments, but, in the hands of Taika Waititi, Ragnarok is played largely for laughs. Humour has always had a prominent part in the MCU, most notably with the Guardians. But this latest series entry is nothing short of a gag-fest.
And it sits pretty comfortably with what the Marvel movies have already established. Hemsworth, Ruffalo (now a talking Hunk) and Hiddleston all relish the opportunity to go for the laugh (although Hiddleston’s Loki has always had a touch of that to him), whilst Goldblum is a natural fit, and Waititi himself shows up on screen (albeit obscured by CGI rock) as Korg, complete with his unmistakable Kiwi accent and an intergalactic joke book.
The free reign that Kevin Feige and co appear to have given the New Zealander here does occasionally go too far – any sense of menace that should stem from the arrival of Blanchett’s Hela, the Goddess of Death, and her sacking of Asgard – is undermined as Blanchett also seems to favour the comedic broad stroke. Similarly, Thor’s recruitment of Hulk, Loki and Thompson’s new and welcome arrival Valkyrie to rescue their home world is also pretty much a done deal even before its begun, due to the levity of the movie as a whole.
But for the most part it’s a hoot. Proof, if needed, that not only can Marvel now take their heroes pretty much anywhere they choose, but they’re very adept at a wide range of differing tones and styles once they get there. (Even allowing enough room for a double dose of Led Zep.)
The third Thor is a walk down a different road in some ways. But it’s an interesting and highly entertaining and rewarding one, for the most part. (Kind of makes sense when you see whose ship turns up in the mid-credits sting.)
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