You’ll laugh so much with director Taika Waititi’s hugely inventive and entertaining new addition to the Marvel universe THOR: RAGNAROK.
I’m still laughing. And I definitely need to see it again as I know there were some jokes I missed. Director Taika Waititi’s THOR: RAGNAROK, the newest instalment of the Norse god’s adventures, is quite simply one of the funniest movies you’ll see this year. It’s a complete blast!
Having made the big mistake of not getting to see the movie on its theatrical release last autumn, I’ve caught up with THOR: RAGNAROK on the small screen but I must say that didn’t diminish any of its enjoyment for me. Yes, the visuals of the wild and wacky planet Sakaar would have certainly been more impressive on the big screen but on Blu-ray, they’re not too shabby. It’s really the script by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost and the humour of the movie that will make the biggest impression on you. As I was watching it, the movie that repeatedly came to mind in comparison was Iron Man Three, Shane Black’s magnificently audacious addition to the Tony Stark movies. Similarly, with this third chapter of Thor’s story, Waititi has shaken things up a bit and the result will definitely leave a smile on your face.
We pick up two years after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron to find Thor (the marvellous Chris Hemsworth) in a bit of a funk. He’s been dumped by Jane Foster and not had a great time trying to locate the all-important Infinity Stones. Having been captured by the fire demon Surtur (voiced by the brilliant Clancy Brown) he learns that it’s Surtur’s plan to bring about RAGNAROK – the destruction of Asgard. None too happy with this thought, Thor escapes and heads for home. He’s more than a little dismayed on arrival to find a giant statue of his brother Loki has been constructed and his father Odin (the majestic Anthony Hopkins) is lazing around watching a play about Loki’s ‘heroic’ death at the hands of the Dark Elves (seen in the second movie Thor: The Dark World).
Thor soon realises what’s going on and confronts Loki about the location of Odin. A journey to Earth brings Thor and Loki face-to-face with their father and he reveals he’s dying and they have a sister! Hela, his true first-born child, was his greatest warrior but she became obsessed with darkness and so had to be imprisoned for the sake of Asgard. When she escapes with vengeance on her mind, making her far more dangerous than Surtur, that’s when the fun really begins. Thor winds up on the aforementioned Sakaar meeting all manner of new (and old) friends. Hela begins wreaking all manner of havoc with the assistance of impressionable henchman Skurge. And the only option to vanquish her seems to be forming a group of heroes willing to do battle with this formidable foe – mmm, what can they be called? ‘The Revengers’?!? Awesome.
Waititi, in addition to directing this marvel (pun intended) also contributes a hilarious supporting turn as the voice of a rock called Korg – trust me, when you see the movie it will make sense. It’s all glorious stuff and a movie you could quite easily watch again and again as it’s chocked full of jokes and spectacle. Alongside Waititi, special mention must go to some of the new additions in THOR: RAGNAROK – the fabulous Jeff Goldblum is his always excellent unique self as the Grandmaster (every time he calls the God of Thunder ‘Sparkles’ will crack you up); the very talented Tessa Thompson who has made quite an impression in supporting roles in movies such as Selma and Creed blazes into the role of Asgard fighter Valkyrie and surely a major leading lady career; the wonderful Cate Blanchett is pitch-perfect as the evil Hela; and Karl Urban swaps the Star Trek universe for this one but gives another winning performance as Skurge.
As for the more familiar faces – Mark Ruffalo is tremendous as the Hulk (and Bruce Banner when he also appears), Idris Elba is all heroic charm as the former Asgard gatekeeper Heimdall, there’s a fab cameo from Benedict Cumberbatch‘s spot-on Doctor Strange, and the roll-call couldn’t be complete (or would any Thor movie) without the incredible Tom Hiddleston as duplicitous brother Loki. He really imbues every line with effortless charisma and lightness that makes you gasp with admiration. His exchange with Banner when they meet again is a great example:
“Last time we saw you, you were trying to kill everyone. What are you up to these days?
It varies from moment to moment.”
What never varies in THOR: RAGNAROK is Waititi’s command of his entertaining material. Now that the movie is available on-demand, DVD, and Blu-ray, take a look and you’ll experience one wonderful rip-roaring adventure.