Thor: Ragnarok Film Review – ★★★★
In the age of Disney’s monumental slate of Marvel movies, a talking point often arises; does the ‘directed by’ really mean anything? Jon Favreau for Iron Man 2 and Joss Wheddon for Avengers: Age of Ultron, for example, seemed to have been victims of Disney putting their heavy hand on the creative process. And ultimately we receive a worse movie because of it. Step up Taika Waititi, director of Thor: Ragnarok.
Waititi has been steadily gaining a serious reputation in recent years with the likes of Hunt for Wilderpeople and the hilarious What We Do in the Shadows. And this time, Disney gave him a budget as well as the final cut for Ragnarok. This essentially means he not only shot the film, he also got to choose the final product we see on screen. And no faux suspension building here, Thor: Ragnarok is one hell of a ride.
Following on from lacklustre Thor: The Dark World, we find our handsome hero imprisoned on the other side of the universe fighting in a deadly gladiatorial contest against his fellow Avenger, Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). *Spoiler*: they both survive and, along with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, soon find themselves on a quest to prevent the all-powerful Hela (Cate Blanchett) from destroying Thor’s home world and the Asgardian civilization.
Many believed that the only place to go was up with the latest Thor. Not only has that been achieved, Ragnarok soars in a gloriously vibrant adventure that puts comedy front and centre. Put simply, Thor: Ragnarok is a genuinely funny movie with a whole bunch of characters that for the most part get their moment to shine. You do get addition or two of characters that feels a tad forced but the newly introduced characters easily outweigh this with special mention to Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie and Taika Waititi’s Korg.
But this doesn’t mean you won’t get the large set pieces and CG action fest that normally accompanies the superhero genre too. It’s just so much more than hero vs villain where villain bests hero and then hero does soul searching until they’re able to defeat said villain. Marvel have been victim of this in the past and while I’m aware that’s a genre troupe, that’s not all that’s offered up in Ragnarok. You don’t receive obvious plants to build up upcoming movies or plain as day set ups for later down the Marvel Universe payoffs. Yes, it has characters that we’ve seen before in other movies, but as a self-contained movie, it simply works.
We do, however, need to talk about the CG. As it’s set in mythical lands, we all know that green screen and visual effects will be used throughout. But we do get clunky green screen at points, and not just when battles are taking place. During a conversation on clifftop the green screen is very evident. This may be a small gripe, but it does contribute to removing us from the fantasy of the world that’s being created.
All in all, though, Thor: Ragnarok shines from start to finish. We’ll see a more dark world (get it!?) in other parts of the Marvel Comic Universe, so for now I’m down for basking in the light-hearted glow that Thor: Ragnarok gives us.
RELEASE DATE:Friday 27th October 2017