Thor: Ragnarok

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins, Karl Urban, Jeff Goldblum, Idris Elba, Taika Waititi, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Directed By: Taika Waititi

Plot: Thor (Hemsworth) has been traveling the universe trying to answer questions he has about a recurring dream, which is Ragnarok, or the end of life on Asgard. He learns the truth from his father (Hopkins), and that he has a sister named Hela (Blanchett) who is the Goddess of Death. After briefly fighting her, Thor and Loki (Hiddleston) wind up on a distant planet, where THor is made to fight other champions. One of whom is very familiar to Thor, and should be astrong ally in his fight against Hela.

What Works: If you had asked me at the beginning of 2017 what the funniest film of the year would be, I would never have picked Thor: Ragnarok. Never. However, I haven’t laughed as hard, or as many times as I did in a film this year. This is unexpectedly the funniest film of the year. And in a very very good way. Sure, you could be a stick in the mud and lament the change in tone from Thor: The Dark World, but let’s all just admit that film wasn’t great, and they needed to revitalize the solo Thor movies. This does so in such magnificent fashion, and actually grows Thor as a character. He becomes much more multifaceted through this film, and is way more of an interesting character than he’s ever been. The film also does a lot to flesh out Hulk, while bringing Loki and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) to the fold for the Infinity War fight. And maybe even Korg? God, I’d love to see Korg become a recurring Marvel character throughout the franchise. He’s the Groot for this series. Korg isn’t in the previews at all, so me acknowledging him is a spoiler, but I have to… because he’s just that fucking great. This film never slows down. It’s expertly paced. Taika Waititi, who directed the brilliant Hunt For THe Wilderpeople, has proven here that he’s very much a director to watch. He’s a home run champion right now, and I can’t wait to see what he’s got cooked up next. He really understands this world and these characters, and figured out how to turn Thor into the most likeable character in the MCU. This film does for Thor what Winter Soldier did for Captain America. I don’t know where Infinity War will leave us, but another solo Thor film directed by Waititi is now a must on my list. I could literally go on on here. I was impressed by Hemsworth’s comedic timing. I thought the jokes worked, and the film still managed to balance well in more serious moments. I thought Hopkins really brought some gravitas to Odin, as well as having a few funny moments himself. Hiddleston has really started to flesh out Loki even more, turning him from villain to anti-hero. Thompson was a great addition as Valkyrie. Blanchett created a real villain with purpose. Urban took a minor supporting character and gave him weight. Elba took a minor supporting character and also gave him weight. The film looks gorgeous. The score is incredible. I loved everything about this film. It might actually be my favorite MCU film.

What Doesn’t Work: Now, while I won’t hold it against the film, I will say that if this film has any problems… its that it doesn’t work as a stand alone film. For some, this is a problem. I feel like you can’t just come into Thor Ragnarok without having already seen a handful of MCU films. Both Avengers films are heavily referenced, as are the first two Thor movies. That’s at least 4 films you’d need to see in order to really understand and enjoy the film, and I’d tag on Doctor Strange too because he does appear in the film. I can see people not quite getting everything if they’re coming in cold, or somewhat cold.

Final Word; One of the best films of the year. Easily the funniest film of the year. Possibly the best MCU film to date. Definitely the best Thor movie so far. It deserves all the hype and all the praise it’s getting. I’m so happy I saw this in theatres.

Final Grade: A

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