Thor Ragnarok is definitely one of the most off-beat offerings from the Marvel universe’s film franchise. To put it in the most basic terms, Thor Ragnarok is one hell of a fun ride right from the word get go. It is to Marvel’s credit that they decided to change track and loosen up a whole lot in order to make a superhero movie that has all the right elements in place— action-packed, hilarious punchlines, memorable characters, great cast including stellar guest appearances and a gripping storyline to boast of. The fact that it’s a bit left-field and a whole lot whacky makes Thor Ragnarok stand out among the number of superhero films that have made their may to the big screens in recent years. Directed by Taika Waititi, nothing less was to be expected from this third instalment in the Thor series.
The New Zealander, who is also a comedian, has put his stamp in the right nooks and corners of the movie. The director’s previous contributions were What We Do In The Shadows and Hunt For The Wilderpeople. Needless to say, following similar premises, Waititi has taken Thor Ragnarok to the levels of unabashed whimsy and undisguised absurdity that the movie feels like the much needed breath of fresh air, the audience had deserved for a long time now. The last Marvel movie Spiderman Homecoming was almost a been-there-done-that borefest. The superhero giants have resurrected themselves with Thor.
The movie opens with our hero strapped in chain by demon Surtur (Clancy Brown) who is all set to cause a Ragnarok or total annihilation of Asgard. The scene where Thor keeps interrupting Surtur’s smug monologue, sets the tone for the rest of the movie. It’s funny and irreverent and so is the entire 130 minutes of the film. Another hilarious scene, bordering on farcical is when Thor (Chris Hemsworth) arrives at Asgard only to find Loki (Tom Hiddleston) impersonating their father Odin while gloating in a ludicrous play. Matt Damon as Loki on the stage was a good gimmick by the director.
The story revolves around Thor trying to save Asgard from destruction, not by any outsider but his very own sister and Odin’s first born Hela, played convincingly by Cate Blanchett. Odin and Heal has conquered many realms together in the past, but when he realised that his daughters ambitions were uncontainable, she was forced into imprisonment. Now that Odin has retired, Hela, who gains her power from Asgard, is back to take what she thinks belongs to her.
Meanwhile Thor is captured by a Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and locked up in Sakaar, ruled by the eccentric Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) and forced in a gladiator like fight against who else but the Incredible Hulk, who hasn’t been Bruce Banner in the last couple of years. Loki too is in Sakaar, but as the Grandmaster’s find and not as a captive. Although, it’s a given that Goldblum hardly ever disappoints, as the Grandmaster of Sakaar, he is beyond excellent. He not only entertains but adds a whole lot of substance and flair to the movie. Casting him was really a masterstroke.
A special mention is overdue for Korg, a gladiator made completely of rock, and played by Waititi himself. The soft-spoken character, reminiscent of a gentle giant, is one of the funniest and most unforgettable characters from the movie.
As for the protagonist, this is the best Hemsworth has looked as Odinson. He looks comfortable in the character’s skin and his rugged good looks is accentuated even more when he chops off those famous locks, courtesy of Stan Lee as a creepy old barber.
All said and done, Thor Ragnarok is not going to win any Oscars like the Dark Knight nor is it going to be the highest grossing film of the year, but it’s surely going to deliver on the entertainment front to each and everyone who watches it.