Out of all the Marvel properties with stand-alone films, it would be fair to say that the Thor franchise is one of the least popular. The character is well liked by fans, but the first two adventures didn’t hit a chord with fans, it seems like the team at Marvel intended director Taika Waititi to re-invent the franchise with Thor: Ragnarok. The film aims to move the franchise from the dark into the light, replacing darker tones with comedy and exaggerated characters. The film is a massive step in the right direction, rounding off a mixed 2017 following a disappointing Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 and the success of Spiderman: Homecoming. With the online war between Marvel and DC ongoing with fans, Thor: Ragnarok was a mightly gauntlet throwdown by Marvel, Justice League has big competition.
Chris Hemsworth has always been a good Thor, one thing he proves in Thor: Ragnarok is that he is able to handle humour. As seen in Ghostbusters, he has comedic talent and he clearly has the physical appearance to pull the God of Thunder off. Waititi developed some amazing fight scenes, I especially liked the scene at the start of the film as we see Thor’s hammer flying through the skeleton army, smashing bodies left, right and centre. It was great to see Mark Ruffalo in the film, allowing him the opportunity to shine as both the Hulk and Bruce Banner, I often feel the scientist is overlooked in some of the Marvel adventures. The two had great chemistry and I enjoyed seeing two of the smaller Avengers getting some screen time together.
The film had some great female additions to the cast, especially welcomed since Natalie Portman‘s Jane Foster wasn’t massively accepted by fans. The main stand out had to be Tessa Thompson who plays Valkyrie, who I was especially surprised to find out wasn’t British because he accent was on point. Marvel managed to introduce a strong female character with a strong backstory that helped justify her actions. Her chemistry with Hemsworth felt real and unforced, I predict we will probably see the characters get closer in future instalments. It seems like Cate Blanchett is a bankable star and you can expect great things no matter the project, and Thor: Ragnarok benefits from the legendary actress. Hela is a worthy villain, I do wish she had a slightly bigger impact on the overall story, it felt like she was the B-story for the entire film and her final battle didn’t last too long. It seems her fate was pretty final but since we didn’t technically see her demise, I would love to see the character return in the future.
It’s clear that Marvel wanted to move into a comedic direction, and the majority of gags seemed to get a good reaction from the audience. Another surprise came from the character of Korg who I was shocked to find out was actually voiced by director Taika Waititi. He had one of the funniest lines of the film and I really hope he is a regular in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jeff Goldblum helps amp up the humour and the Grandmaster is a larger than life character. I enjoyed the storyline on his planet but wished we would have got to have spent more time on Asgard with Hela. With the Grandmasters familial connection with the Collector, he might be popping up in a future Marvel outing.
Seeing a late weeknight screening of the film, I only stayed for the first of the two end-credit scenes, and from what I read online, I didn’t miss much in the second. The first was a little disappointing, I felt it didn’t really give any detail about what was to come, this would have been the perfect opportunity to drop hints about Black Panther or Avengers: Infinity War. With Bree Larson being cast so early as her character of Captain Marvel, I would have been shocked to have seen the first glance at her in action. I remember when the post-credit scenes used to give a massive insight into the next film but I felt like we haven’t had that in a while. Hopefully, they will release a trailer for next year’s Avengers film soon, I hear the clips released at Disney’s D23 and San Diego Comic-Con had the crowd going wild.
If you are a fan of Marvel films then I have no doubt that you will enjoy Thor: Ragnarok, it is humorous with a worthwhile villain. I wouldn’t put this on the top of my favourite Marvel film list, but it is a good addition. Marvel are starting to take bigger and bigger risks with their films and they are paying off both with fans and critics. Having the luxury of seeing the film before its US release, it’s hard to predict what the box office number will be, especially as it battles it out with DC’s Justice League. I think the film will do well and will have good staying power due to its impressive Rotten Tomatoes score. My prediction is that it will come in at an impressive $130 million for its opening weekend.
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