Taika Waititi’s done it again. This is the most fun I’ve had at the movie theatre all year and I spend most of my life there (21 films so far!).
So, if you’re not familiar with the Thor franchise, it’s another one of Marvel’s properties, based around the squabbles of Thor (the Norse god), Loki, and their magical realm (Asgard). I’m not really fond of them as those films tend to get bogged down exposition-wise, are tonally muddled and have the teal/orange colour palette of a first-year film student. They’re not bad films … they’re just not good films.
Thor: Ragnarok changed all that.
Take what you know about the Thor franchise.
Make Thor snarkier, add a whole bunch of quality Kiwi actors, some jokes, and play The Immigrant Song twice.
It’s a bold move coming from a director from our middle-of-nowhere country, but it works.
There’s something so pleasurable about going to a film and knowing that you’re going to enjoy yourself. I watch movies that I know are going to make me happy and this film certainly did that.
In Ragnarok, Thor and Loki discover that they have a sister, Hela, who is the Norse goddess of death. Released from the shackles of their father, Hela comes to Asgard to bring about the apocalypse (Ragnarok) and claim Asgard for herself.
For a film about such a serious event, Ragnarok is full of comedy. Waititi’s unique style is apparent, even though the film’s aesthetic isn’t the down-to-earth one we’ve come to expect from him, it’s just a joy to watch. There are jokes in this script that I know only Kiwis will get, and I love the exclusivity (if that’s the right term??) of that. Sometimes it’s nice to feel pandered to.
Speaking of feeling pandered to, there are some great new cast members in this film. Jeff Goldblum is almost unrecognisable painted-up as the Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson is beautifully badass as Valkyrie and Cate Blanchett dons giant horns as Hela.
(Also, try and spot all of the celebrity cameos. There’s a lot, and from people you definitely wouldn’t expect.)
The only letdown for me would be the script. It falls apart at points, and it’s clear that the scriptwriters (Eric Pearson/Stephany Folsom) have a very different writing style to their director, as some of the dialogue sections are a bit disjointed. That being said, though, that’s a very minimal gripe, and it won’t affect your enjoyment of the film.
In all, Thor: Ragnarok is a brilliant addition to the Marvel canon. It’s colourful, charming, and just a bloody good watch. I might even see it in the theatres a second time.
(I never thought I’d say that about a Marvel film.)