Let the games begin.
The goddess of death, Hela, plots to rule Asgard as the mighty Thor finds himself imprisoned on a gladiatorial world and in a race against time to stop Ragnarok, the end of his Asgard.
Thor: Ragnarok is very much a Taika Waititi film. If you’ve never watched any of his movies, I suggest watching What We Do In The Shadows because his comedic sensibilities are on full display there as they are here in Thor: Ragnarok. While it lends a fresh perspective to the Thor character and the MCU, it also has an alienating side effect. I felt something similar with Iron Man 3, which is a fine Shane Black film, but a lackluster Iron Man movie.
From the very first scene of the movie, we are introduced to this new tone and it is quite jarring at first. While Thor always made the occasional joke, the first two movies were a bit more dour. I initially feared that the movie would stray too far into comedy territory(it was one thing that bugged me about Guardians of the Galaxy 2), with a joke being made every two minutes. Thankfully, as the movie progressed, and more action set pieces started to be introduced, the jokes started to feel more natural.
We’ve caught glimpses of Chris Hemsworth’s comedic talents in other roles, so I wasn’t too surprised by the quality of his comedic timing. His comedic skills were a lynchpin for the movie and if he hadn’t had the chops, Thor: Ragnarok would have suffered greatly. Personally, the two standouts in this movie for me were Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Cate Blanchett as Hela. I’m never surprised by Blanchett because she’s fantastic in everything she’s in, but she made a role that could have been just another forgettable MCU villain into one of my favorite MCU villains. I was surprised at how much I liked Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie as I’ve never seen her in anything before(I still haven’t watched Creed, FML). Its high time that the MCU lets more of their female characters shine and I hope we see more from them both in the future.
I will say Jeff Goldblum as the Grand Master kind of just played himself, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I would have liked to have seen more depth to a character from such a great actor. Some of the “cameos” felt forced and took me out of the movie. They felt like an excuse to have these actors be a part of the project rather than adding anything really cool.
I’m also disappointed that we probably won’t be getting a truer-to-the-source-material Planet Hulk movie and that a certain key alien to the Thor mythology wasn’t present for this adventure. However, these are minor nerd gripes.
While Thor: Ragnarok is probably my favorite of the Thor movies, I’d say your enjoyment will hinge on your acceptance of Taika Waititi’s comedic style. Its not for everyone, so I can understand how some Thor fans might feel left in the cold by this sequel.