As many people will already know, Thor is one of the many characters from the infamous Marvel Comics franchaise. Over the years due to the success of the Marvel cinematic universe, Thor amoungst many other superheros and characters have grown hugely in popularity with a wide range of fans from a whole new generation. The God of Thunder himself has already featured in the Avengers films - Avengers Assemble (2012) and Avengers Age of Ultron (2015) and has also been in the spotlight in his own films - Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013.)
Now four years on in 2017 we have the release of Thor: Ragnarok, the third installment from Thor. A highly anticipated film to many fans of the marvel films. Ragnarok really had a lot to live up to after the release of many other fantastic feature films from Marvel including the huge action packed Captain America: Civil War and the introduction of Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man and Dr. Strange which all saw great success.
Here's a brief summary of the film: The Goddess of Death - Hela (Cate Blanchett) has found a way to return to Asgard after exile many years ago to claim the throne for herself. After an attempt to stop the villain, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself ending up on Sakkar, which can be likened to a huge landfill site and is ruled by The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) who then sends our beloved God of Thunder to the fighting pits. After then re-uniting with MIA (missing in action) avenger ,The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and an introduction to Asgard's Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) team Thor try to defeat Hela and overthrow her dark reign.
The trailers for this movie appeared to showcase Thor in a whole new light. This was definitey the case. Despite the darkness from Blanchett's Hela, there was a much lighter feel and it provided much more of a comical value in comparison to the previous Thor movies. When approached by people to ask about my opinion on whether the film was a good one or not, I have always answered with the same response every single time. which is, to quote myself "If you loved the Guardians of the Galaxy films then you will really enjoy Ragnarok." I will be very surprised if I am the only person to see huge similarities between these films. Throughout the entire feature there are gags and puns (Mostly filled with amusing, filthy innuendo) thrown at us from all angles. Most of them coming from newly introduced character Korg. A human shaped being made from rubble and rock very similar in appearance to the fantastic four hero 'The Thing'. This brilliant personality was perfectly portrayed by the film's director Taika Waititi. Thus proving no end to his talents. Adding this amount of humour was a brilliant move by the writing team behind the film because it totally works. Everyone in the room including myself and my partner were laughing for around 2 hours.
Lets talk about the cast. Of course we were all excited to see Chris Hemsworth return to our screen once again as the well built blonde haired Asgardian we all know and love. He has always, in my eyes played the character to perfection and is every bit the part of Thor. This time round, again it was awesome to see a much lighter side to Hemsworth's character. We have seen some lighthearted fun with him before but not to the extent that we see in Ragnarok. This film definitely brings out the best of Hemsworth's Thor to date.
Of course we have to also discuss the return of Loki, the adoptive brother of our titular character. It would seem that fans have been waiting to see Loki return for quite some time. We last saw Loki in Thor: The Dark World back in 2013. I for one was rather excited to see the character return as he is my favourite of the Marvel Villains within the MCU . Although technically not a stereotypical villain, Loki does indeed cause havoc wherever he goes. British actor Tom Hiddleston once again puts on a flawless performance to portray our favourite greasy haired trickster. The bond on screen between Hemsworth and Hiddleston really stood out in this film, it was clear to see that they really enjoyed filming scenes together. The actors' brotherly relationship on the big screen were both amusing and somewhat enticing. You would never know from one scene to the next if the two would be friend or foe, pretty much like common sibling rivalry, but on a much larger and more dangerous scale. During one scene the brothers are trying to escape from a dangerous situation on a mission to find a ship to leave sakkar, as the ship hangar is heavily guarded, to gain access Thor and Loki had to think of some sort of diversion. This was when we saw their rather amusing "Help me!" stunt. Help me was basically Thor carrying loki into the hangar shouting "Help! My brother is dying!" as Loki is 'limp' and leaning on his brother. As the guards attempted to help Thor he then launched Loki at them leaving the guards unconscious on the ground. This really stood out for me as it was a great time to see the two characters working well together as siblings should. Plus I won't lie, it was very amusing and made me chuckle. As I have just spoken about Sakkar lets very quickly react to Jeff Goldblum's character within the film. I was disappointed with The Grandmaster to be honest. Goldblum is a well known Hollywood actor and has played some memorable roles. I feel that they could have utilised him so much more in this role. Although the role at times was intriguing and amusing, there just wasn't enough of the flamboyant Grandmaster. There was a lot of hype based around the casting of Goldblum before filming took place and I kind of feel like saying "what was all the hype about?" maybe it's just me. I don't know. I also can't forget to mention how happy I was to see a cameo appearance of Benedict Cumberbatch's Dr. Stephen Strange. I am a huge fan of Benedict anyway and I loved him playing the role of Dr. Strange in his own standalone film as the sorcerer supreme. I loved that Ragnarok showcased just how much Dr Strange has progressed on his sorcery journey since we last saw his character last year in 2016. It was also quite interesting to see such a difference to Mark Ruffalo's character The Hulk. He was still the somewhat scary green gamma-fuelled monster we are already used to and there were both brilliant fun filled and intense scenes between him and Hemsworth. It was also good to see a little reference to Avengers Assemble. When Loki sees Hulk again for the first time since hulk 'smashed' the god of mischief all those years ago, Loki goes into a comical panic mode. The one thing I found a little hard to get used to was hearing The Hulk speak more frequently with a much wider range of vocabulary and sarcastic comments. This is something we haven't really seen from Bruce Banner's alter ego, usually all we hear is the famous "Hulk Smash!".
There are two more main characters left to mention. Both big female roles. Lets go with Cate Blanchett's Hela first. Firstly can I just say doesn't Blanchett look amazing?! She totally rocked the badass pvc/leather attire with the dark grungy make up and long black hair. Although, I can't help but think that she looks like the lovechild of Gene Simmons and Alice Cooper. But still she looked amazing! Considering Hela was the big bad villain of Ragnarok there really wasn't enough of her. It was great that she too was given some witty lines within her script, and she had a really great back story which I could mention but I don't want to be revealing big spoilers. If you've read the graphic novels then you will understand what I am talking about. As much as I liked Hela,when we did see her unfortunately quite a few of her scenes seemed a little drab. I mean, don't get me wrong there were a couple of big scenes where we see her doing some pretty horrid stuff including slaughtering many Asgardians, awakening a zombie army and riding on a giant black wolf which wasn't boring as such, but I must admit as effective as her hair sweep/horns transformation was as far as CGI effects go, I did get a bit bored of seeing her swipe her hair back and forth between the long black hair and the horn display on her head every few seconds. Lastly a great new addition to the mix. Valkyrie. Valkyries are basically an army of female warriors that are sworn to protect the realm of Asgard and the people that live within it. The Valkyrie we meet is a single warrior played by actress Tessa Thompson. Her role can be likened to the character of Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander - as seen in previous Thor movies and also Marvel's TV Series Agents Of Shield). Valkyrie like Sif is an independent, strong woman but with a bit of a drinking problem. The first time we are introduced to Thompson's character we see her in a drunken state falling off the edge of her grounded ship and into a pile of junk. This is a character that I think will become quite popular within the MCU.
All in all, Thor: Ragnarok was definitely not the film that I has anticipated it would be. It was far better and I really enjoyed it. Some people may think it's a little too cheesy but to be honest I love a good comedy film. Even if you aren't into the superhero style movies you will still love this one. I would definitely state that it is one of the must see films of this year (2017) and it could possibly even be one of the best Marvel movies to date, slowly creeping in behind Captain America: Civil War and Captain America: The Winter Soldier in my opinion. It was just a well rounded piece of art, the soundtrack is awesome, the casting was almost perfect, the story was enticing, plus fellow ladies (and some guys), it was rather good to see the shirtless Thor once more (wink, wink). I believe Marvel's next step up the MCU ladder is the release of Black Panther in early 2018, and then bring on Avengers: Infinity War!
This review is currently on my own review website https://kasimmons8.wixsite.com/therealviewroom