Movie Review: Thor Ragnarok Brings the Thunder

Movie Review: Thor Ragnarok Brings the Thunder
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About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville nearly 20 years. Currently, he studies Journalism at Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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Superhero fans are going to have a field day. Thor: Ragnarok is easily the most engaging and entertaining in his own franchise, and the widest people pleaser maybe ever from Marvel Studios.

Instead of being technical, sombre, or pretentiously mythological like Thor and sequel The Dark World, this third installment is relentlessly fun and whimsical. It mashes the series’ fantastic medieval space kingdom of Asgard with the whimsical science fiction flair of Hulk and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Sure, the mix is sometimes too flashy. And the slick comedy in the world of Marvel galaxies isn’t as unique anymore after the aforementioned predecessors. The advertising campaign does give away most of the major events, though it doesn’t spoil any of the dramatic events.

But none of this matters. It’s not pleasantly surprising anymore, but the saga is fiercely cathartic and easy to enjoy. Taika Waititi’s energetic direction has infused an enthusiastic life to the most rigid member of the Avengers. It’s a welcome change to the franchise.

In this newest entry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself stranded on a trashy planet after losing his hammer to Hela, the goddess of death (Cate Blanchett). With help from his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and new friends, he must return home to Asgard before Hela unleashes Ragnarok – the doomed end of his world.

Photo: Buena Vista Pictures

The humor is almost too charming for its own good, even cutting the ferocious evil of Blanchett’s Hela. Her performance as the unruly goddess is easily the most interesting new character. I left craving more scenes with her.

Seeing other Marvel films (especially since 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron) certainly benefits audiences wanting to appreciate all the subtle stakes that are woven into the story. (Uber-fans will squeal especially at one cameo in an opening scene, along with the teaser mid-credits.)

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Though knowing the other films is not a mandatory requirement to understand or even enjoy the film. Two of my viewing companions had never seen any Marvel movie before, and they both raved as they exited the theatre.

Young children won’t be overwhelmed or confused by Thor 3, though it may be too intense for them. It’s grislier than some other superhero movies (though cartoonishly so.) The brief violence and language make this inappropriate for elementary students.

Ragnarok is unquestionably the best Thor movie, and it’s a great last catch-up chapter before Avengers: Infinity War next spring. It’s less regal and forced than before, instead opting to be more interdimensional and giddy. The style is sometimes too slick, but it’s satisfyingly clean and smooth.

The latest superhero blockbuster is a frivolous and exciting start to the holiday movie season. Its powerful lesson is a wallop – change and growth are necessary for leaders and communities as a whole.

Good to know the god of thunder can still deliver a lightning strike. And audiences this weekend are certain to have a blast.

Thor: Ragnarok
3 out of 4 stars

PG, 130 minutes. Superhero Action Fantasy.
Directed by Taika Waititi.
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeff Goldblum and Anthony Hopkins.
Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.

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