Movie Review: No Mjolnir, no problem for Thor: Ragnarok
Who knew the end of the world could be so much fun?
Thor: Ragnarok is a bold move, not least because it strips the title character of his hair and his hammer Mjolnir.
Frankly, given the lukewarm reception for the first two Thor films, not much was expected of this sequel. Story-wise, it just had to get some characters from point A to B, ready for next year's Avengers: Infinity War.
Then someone told Chris Hemsworth that he was funny and Marvel did what it does best - give the project to an unexpected director.
What New Zealand film-maker Taika Waititi brings to the Thor table is an ability to match laughs with some genuine heart. The film is different, it is weird, there is a lot going on, but there is also a galactic portion of fun. This could be Marvel's first cult classic.
Like Captain America: Civil War, there is a name in the title but this is very much an ensemble - and there is much more of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) than the trailer suggests.
Everyone involved is having a blast poking fun at the pomposity of the previous entries.
There is also a constant in all of Waititi's work, of seemingly powerful people being petty, pedantic and pathetic.
Hemsworth, Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Jeff Goldblumand others get to deliver some hilarious lines, and Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie has one of the best introductions.
Ragnarok is easily one of the funniest Marvel films and nothing has been done to damage the characters. If anything, Thor becomes more rounded.
The chemistry between Ruffalo's Hulk and Hemsworth will make you forget that these two superheroes have barely interacted with each other before.
Don't worry, there is a load of action too, with Hulk providing some of the best moments.
Where Ragnarok does fallis that it is a touch sprawling, and the connection between the Sakaar and Asgard sections can feel like two different films pushed together.
While Cate Blanchett is great in her role as Hela, she feels more of a guest villain from the B plot.
But even so, it is hugely enjoyable. There are some killer tunes with some great action and some laugh-out-loud lines.
More films should be this fun.
4/5 (Thor out of five :))
MOVIE: Thor: Ragnarok
STARRING: Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson
DIRECTOR: Taika Waititi
THE SKINNY: The all-powerful Hela (Blanchett) has taken over Asgard, cast Thor (Hemsworth) out and destroyed his hammer Mjolnir. Thor finds himself on the junk planet Sakaar, forced to fight as a gladiator. There, he meets an old friend who could provide a way back.
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