GOD OF GOOD TIMES
Review by Ray Schillaci
The critical praise being lauded to Marvel’s latest is well deserved. Thor: Ragnarok is a chip off the old block of another Marvel favorite, Guardians of the Galaxy. Ragnarok has its tender moments, plenty of action, and loads of laughs, and that’s what’s going to make this film necessary repeat viewing; you can easily miss out on some of the fun because you can’t hear over the laughter. The humor is marked right at the heart of Marvel fans, and if there is one small critique it’s this…step outside the comic book universe and one can easily have little appreciation of what’s going on.
Thor: Ragnarok practically requires you to see the other Marvel movies (at the very least the Thor ones) to fully appreciate its boatload of laughs and wacky storyline. It definitely is not a standalone movie. Ragnarok is also not like any Thor movie. Gone is a love interest, replaced with a bro (Hulk) interest. Thor’s character is now more like Peter Quill from the Guardians movies. Once again, Chris Hemsworth gets to display his comic timing with a mischievous wink and a smile, always planting tongue-in-cheek.
The latest Thor adventure opens with the God of Thunder captive in an underground labyrinth facing the flaming giant demon, Surtur. As Surtur explains his plans for the destruction of Thor’s home, the chained mighty Norse God toys with him while dangling high above his doom. From the very start, Thor: Ragnarok prepares you for a wild ride of fun.
Even when Thor escapes his binds and fights Surtur and his horde of demons with insurmountable odds, the fun continues while the God of Thunder gets deflated trying to get back to Asgard with little help. Of course, the reason being is his mischievous brother, Loki is at the helm of Thor’s misery. Taking off where Thor: The Dark World left us, Loki has assumed the identity of their father, and is having the time of his life playing with history including delivering a play that honors himself replete with very familiar faces playing the leads with hilarity.
So much fun can be had with the latest Marvel outing that I find it hard to be spoiler free. So, for those who care and have not been subjected to the onslaught of publicity do not continue with this paragraph. The trailers alone reveal that Thor’s evil sister steps out of exile to reclaim her birthright, destroys Thor’s mighty hammer and sends Asgard into chaos. Thor winds up captured by aliens, and is recruited as a gladiator to fight the planet’s greatest dealer of death, Hulk. The two battle it out in a raucously funny struggle. And, Thor eventually teams up with Hulk, a fallen Valkyrie of Asgard, and a ragtag team of aliens to do battle with the deliciously bitchy sister played like the best of Disney’s evil women by Cate Blanchett.
In the meantime, there are loads of easter eggs for all the comic geeks out there. I could hear people giggling and whispering about all the reveals that some of us missed who are only familiar with Marvel’s cinematic universe. There is also a bevy of surprise guest appearances that are so silly and fun at times, it brings to mind the old Batman TV series that had guest stars popping out of windows.
Yes. there is little drama or danger exhibited in this Thor outing even when faced with life or death. That may seem off-putting to some, but to so many others it’s a welcome relief from the dire seriousness of some of the other Marvel fare. That’s not to say another Captain America: The Winter Soldier would not be welcomed. It’s just after awhile, these super heroes and their adventures could get stale. But, for now Marvel’s latest could very well be their greatest.
Directed by: Taika Waititi
Release Date: November 3, 2017
Run Time: 130 Minutes
Distributor: Marvel Studios