Third time’s a charm, right? I do feel slightly harsh opening up with that sentiment given that Kenneth Branagh’s 2011 Thor was a decent-ish opening for the ‘God of Thunder’, yet considering what has come after it it’s one that doesn’t live long in the memory. Then there’s Thor: The Dark World… *Snores*
I’ve always felt a bit “meh” towards Thor. Sure Chris Hemsworth’s alright, but I’ve always felt other Marvel characters have given us more to go on over the years. So what an absolute pleasure to see Taika Waiti’s Thor: Ragnarok knock the character out ofthe figurative ball park.
Hemsworth has been given the platform, finally, to show off his inner Thor. We’ve always been aware of the chiseled pecks and mega muscles, but there’s always been a bit of a charisma-defect to the character. With Waiti’s famous Kiwi wit thrown into the mix, Hemsworth has been allowed to flex his comedic muscles in this buddy-adventure flick you almost forget is a multi-million dollar superhero film.
With Loki, the Asgardian world has always had a great villain lurking around, however he’s been used (villian, anti-hero, betrayer…). Yet for maybe the first time Tom Hiddleston’s long haired badass hasn’t stolen the show. In Ragnarok we get Cate Blanchett’s Hela, the half-sister of the pair and the self-proclaimed ‘Goddess of Death’. With Hela we have a steely-eyed monster who doesn’t give a crap – and Blanchett, in all her evil glory, absolutely nailing the role. It’s just a shame that, given the scatter-brain craziness of the narrative, she often goes missing for too long.
Inconsequential: that’s been Ragnarok’s biggest criticism and I get it, but I don’t think it’s necessarily fair. Yes, it’s bitten off a lot (Hela, Odin, BFF in-fighting) but it’s zaniness makes it oh so much fun and I think there’s enough there, lying just under the Hulkiness of it all, that gives it an edge, making it more than just surface deep.
But, whatever you make thing about its plot and structure, it’s super fun and allows its characters to really go for it. It may not have the PTSD depth of an Iron Man 3, or the complexity of Capital America: Civil War, but Ragnarok is charming, quirky and quite possibly the funniest Marvel film yet, that has allowed us, finally, to truly appreciate – after two previous attempts – Thor. That’s a success in my book.