Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Movie Title: Thor: Ragnarok

Year Released: 2017

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 2h 10min

Genre: Superhero, Action, Comedy

Director: Taika Waititi

Writer: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, Christopher L. Yost

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins, Taika Waititi

Review: Imprisoned on the other side of the universe by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), the mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor's quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela (Cate Blanchett) from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.

After Thor and Thor: The Dark World underwhelmed in relation to other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), something fundamentally changed in Thor: Ragnarok: They made Thor funny! Who would have thunk it? This film's two predecessors carried a much darker tone and something needed to be done to salvage both the character and the franchise. Enter Taika Waititi, who has found massive comedic success with films like What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Waititi put his own comical spin on the third movie in the Thor franchise and the result could not have been better.

Thor and his mischievous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are imprisoned by the Grandmaster, who is played by Jeff Goldblum. In this instance, Goldblum is his typical Goldblum-y self (fans of his will know exactly what this means) except this time he has blue makeup and wields a staff that turns his foes into a puddle of goo. Other standout additions include the snarky Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and a large rock-like friend named Korg (Taika Waititi) who says something hilarious every time he opens his mouth. Have no fear, not everything is sunshine and rainbows. All of you doom and gloomers out there will be thrilled to know that our ragtag group of goofballs have to go head to head with Hela, the Goddess of Death. Hela doesn't have a kind, forgiving bone in her body and she has vengeance on her mind as she returns to Asgard to meet up with Thor and Loki. Did I also mention there's a giant fire demon who unleashes literal hell on Asgard? That guy is in desperate need of a hug. This film brilliantly balances a breath of fresh comedy with all of the intense action that we've been accustomed to from Thor. The old characters are improved, the new characters are fantastic additions, and the adventure that ensues is one wild and fun ride. I can't recommend this film enough, and I think it's a must-see for all fans of the God of Thunder and the MCU!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Thor's "friend from work" line about the Hulk was suggested to Chris Hemsworth by a Make-A-Wish child who paid a visit to the set on the day the scene was filmed.


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