Before reading this review, we suggest you cue The Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin to get you in the mood.
Thor: Ragnarok opens with Thor in massive chains in the clutches of a big bad guy. Right from the start it is made apparent that this film is slightly different from other superhero Marvel movies in that there is an almost unusual amount of humour. Granted, most of Marvels recent hits have had humour, but with Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy blazing the way, this Thor movie has upped the humour quotient. Thankfully, it does not slide into stupid immature humour. Although some slapstick is involved, it fits the movie well, even if some is unexpected, and makes it an even more fun ride than was expected. Keep an eye out for the Willy Wonka reference.
Favourites Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Odin (Sir Anthony Hopkins) and Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) return, as we have all seen on the previews. Taking up the role of the Really Big Bad is Cate Blanchett as Hela, Odins firstborn, the Goddess of Death; someone whom neither Thor nor Loki had heard of previously, and who provides some interesting family dynamics and history. Hela puts Asgard itself at risk, for the legends of Ragnarok are beginning to come to pass. This movie is not focussed on Earth but instead Asgard, even though several key scenes take place on both Earth and another planet which is run by the Grandmaster, played brilliantly by Jeff Goldblum reprising the role that was last seen in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol.2.
Speaking of well-known faces in this film, there are a few more of note, including Karl Urban as Asgardian Skurge and Idris Elba as Heimdall. Take note of a little play in the early part of the film that is portraying Loki’s assumed death from the previous movie Thor: The Dark World (2013). Portraying ‘Loki’ is none other than Matt Damon, who is no stranger to playing a Loki (Dogma, 1999). Alongside is Sam Neill as ‘Odin’, and the ‘other brother’ Luke Hemsworth as his brothers ‘Thor’. It only lasts a couple of minutes, but it does remind us where Thor last saw Loki. Also, when on Earth, Thor is accosted for a photo by two ‘college girls’, one of whom is Chris Hemsworth’s second cousin Taylor Hemsworth from Melbourne. Lastly, yes, Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) does make an appearance quizzing Thor.
Overall we found this movie to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience, one that actually bears several viewings. You are carried through some amazing and unusual fight sequences. These include a rather legendary one with Thor and the Incredible Hulk (as he is called in the film), as well as spectacular fighting with Hela and… well anyone else.
The now infamous scene with Mjolnir (Thors Hammer) and Hela, changed from early previews of a New York alleyway to later ones in a field. It’s overall a very powerful scene and involves Thor, Loki, and Odin before Hela makes her appearance. The director Taika Waititi stated he moved the important scene so a more serene location so the audience can focus on the emotions involved.
There is a lot in this movie and the pace does not leave you wanting at any point. It is definitely a favourite Marvel movie in the series. It leads in beautifully to the next movie, Avengers: Infinity War, and includes two bonus scenes during the credits, so be sure to sit through them all.