(Picture From https://www.tirto.id)
The expectations were high going into this one. The marketing leading up to this movie was spot on, every trailer drawing you further in with all the pretty colours and slick synth blaring out in the background, this was less Thor: The Dark world and more Thor: Neon and funk in your face world. The comic that were sourced are also highly thought of in the comic-reading world. Thor Disassembled (Ragnarok and the like going down) and perhaps more interesting as it’s not actually a Thor comic, Planet Hulk (kind of speaks for itself). Yup, they have a Hulk. Again. It seems that you can never have too much hulk in a Marvel movie, especially when he is very well woven into the plot.
The architect of the smooshing together of Thor and Hulk was also a cause for a bit of personal excitement, was Taika Waititi, whose previous works include a few episodes of awesome HBO show Flight of the Conchords and the cult hits, mockumentary What we do in the shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Waititi brings a whole lot of quirk and comedy improvisation to his biggest budgeted project to date and hits the ground running.
Ragnarok starts with wit and humour from the get go and doesn’t let up until the credits, and then even after that it manages to fit a few more laughs in with the final credits scene, of which there are two. There are emotional scenes throughout that punctuate the one liners, most of those surrounding character deaths as well as the old Loki/Thor warring brothers dynamic, these scenes are needed to give emotional stakes to a movie that if I were to criticises it, sometimes leans on slapstick and recurring jokes up to a point where they almost out stay their welcome. I say almost though, as somehow when that joke becomes stale, out of nowhere it comes back changed enough to be funny again.
Now to the characters. Chris Hemsworth is given so much more of a character to work with than his last Thor and Avenger movies. Not having Natalie Portman as the love interest has freed Thor from both his clichéd dashing hero and his need to be anchored to the real world. Or Midgard if you want to get all Asgardian about it. He also has his heroism and masculinity challenged throughout, which is a nice change-up for a character that is mostly Muscles at the other end of a hammer. Loki returns and although he isn’t the main focus of the movie due to being set on a less villainous path, Tom Hiddleston manages to do the job he has done since 2011 and portray everyone’s favourite trickster god with aplomb. Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins return to fill out the rest of the old Asgardian contingent with Heimdall and Odin with smaller but none the less important roles in the narrative. The Film also excels due to the newcomers to the cast that come in the form of the antagonistic Hela the goddess of Death, played by Cate Blanchett who seems to be enjoying her role as the first female main villain. Alongside her are the smaller villain roles of Skurge the Executioner and the Grandmaster, played by Karl Urban and Jeff Goldblum, two actors who could pretty much do what they want with those roles as they are geek royalty, but manage to put a watchable twist on the characters that are actually quite boring in the comics, aside from a few notable comicbook exploits. Lastly Thor: Ragnorok introduces to two soon to be fan favourite characters, Valkyrie and Korg. One is a hard-drinking estranged Asgardian warrior with a score to settle with Hela who is awesomely played by Tessa Thompson, and the other is a walking pile of rocks who side-lines as kind of space Spartacus, Korg and it’s the film’s director who voices the character who manages to get all the best lines for himself.
The hype around this movie is well deserved and hopefully it was a blast for the cast to make as it was for me to watch it. Chris Hemsworth himself had stated that he was actually getting bored of Thor. Hopefully marvel take as many stylistic risks to keep the character fresh for Chris, although breaking Thors hammer and cutting off that luscious blond hair is going to be hard to top, but I look forward to seeing how they do next time.
Go watch this film, and if you’ve seen it already, introduce a friend into the now discoed up version of the God of Thunder.