Directed by Taika Waititi, the third instalment in Marvel’s Thor films, Thor: Ragnarok, sees the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) return after being banished by his long-lost goth sister, Hela (Cate Blanchett). Imprisoned on the planet Sakaar, which is ruled over by camp tyrant Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), Thor is pitted against the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in a gladiatorial contest. But, with the help of his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and a defender of Asgard, Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), his priority is to return home to save it from of the prophesised catastrophe of Ragnarok.
Whoever gave this job to Taika Waititi deserves a medal. Somehow, his out-there comedy style and brave improvisational methods suit this superhero world so well that this third instalment in the Thor franchise quickly took its place as my favourite Marvel film.
Thor has always been my favourite Marvel superhero, but this film could have gone in any direction after the somewhat forgettable second instalment. And with the MCU picking up the pace with its recent ensemble films, this character instalment needed to make an impact. And that, it most definitely did.
Everything about this film is far from the direction that anybody could have ever imagined a Marvel film heading in. But Waititi pulls off his experimental efforts and techno-fantasy stylisation 100%. The MCU has a lot to live up to after this!
For me, Marvel films always succeed over DC films because of two things: the use of good and well-timed humour and a believable and threatening villain. And these are two of the best things about this film.
Cate Blanchett is phenomenal as Hela. Usually, this would be a show-stealing performance, but whilst her character is used brilliantly and she completely fulfils the role, there’s just so many great things about this film that Blanchett isn’t even at the top of the list.
This time, it’s all about Waititi and his Kiwi sense of humour. He completely throws everything we know about superhero films on its head and gives us something fresh, daring, and technicolour induced. With Waititi voicing Korg in his native New Zealand accent, as well, this is a film that will forever make me laugh, more so than most comedies these days.
Although the humour somewhat dumbs down Chris Hemsworth’s performance, everything that comes out of his mouth makes you wet yourself with laughter. And Jeff Goldblum is in his absolute element. I was genuinely quite worried about his inclusion beforehand, but he really helps to make this film what it is.
Thor: Ragnarok isn’t what we’re used to. The choice of director was definitely a risk, but Waititi has proven that there are risks worth taking; you don’t need to stick to what you know or to what is expected to make something successful, you just need to know how to make a film stand out whilst still maintaining the great character developments that the MCU has already set in place.