Thor, Chris Hemsworth (Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Snow White And The Huntsman), is back, and this time it’s a family affair. I don’t mean Avengers family, I mean actual family. Like sister and step-brother family.
When Odin, Anthony Hopkins (Transformers: The Last Knight, Silence Of The Lambs), kicks the bucket, it unleashes Hela, Cate Blanchett (The Hobbit, The Monuments Men), the true first-born and Thor’s sister whom Odin had locked away because he was worried about her power.
Anyway, Hela decides she wants to return to the ‘good old days’ when she and Odin would ride around taking over realms, nine in total.
During an initial meeting between Loki, Thor and Hela, the brothers end up marooned on a rubbish planet. Not like a planet that’s a bit poor, I mean a planet where everyone seems to dump their rubbish.
Split up, this is where Thor ends up meeting “an old friend from work” in Hulk/Bruce Banner, Mark Ruffalo (Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Foxcatcher), who is Grandmaster’s, Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, Independence Day), prize fighter in a popular arena sport.
He also runs into fellow Asgardian Valkyrie, Tessa Thompson (Creed, Selma), who happens to have fought Hela before and now drinks, heavily, to try and forget when all her fellow fighters died.
Thor needs to gather this rag-tag bunch and head back to Asgard to defeat his sister once and for all and prevent Ragnarok, the end of days.
If you haven’t seen any of Waititi’s previous films, in particular the awesome Hunt For The Wilderpeople, or you don’t like them, or perhaps you’re not a fan of James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy and that sort of humour, you won’t enjoy Thor Ragnarok at all.
If you do though, you are in for an astonishing treat. This is a Marvel film the likes of which we haven’t seen before, and I’d be surprised if we see again.
Sure, The Avengers had a few quips and some sarcasm, some humour, but it’s dialled up to 11 in Ragnarok and the 80’s vibes hit you between the eyes and about the ears.
Waititi’s handling of the camera is beautiful. Whilst not filmed on IMAX cameras, the post processing they can manage these days is making it hard to tell at times. Ragnarok looks, amazing and sounds even better. Waititi’s choice of music is as good as the aforementioned Gunn’s.
Hemsworth takes to this new Thor, this funny, quick witted, snappy comeback Thor, like a duck to water. He is serious when he needs to be, but that cheeky grin is never too far away.
Blanchett is wonderful as the baddest bad girl around. She too has some quips of her own, a few faces to show she’s bored or wants to get on with things, it’s brilliant.
Goldblum and his assistant, Topaz, Rachel House (Hunt For The Wilderpeople, Moana) are superb in their roles and the way the two interact with each other, well, I just wish there was a lot more of it.
Even the Hulk/Banner are funny, some of which you’ll have no doubt seen from the trailer, but there are plenty more to behold.
You have action aplenty, comedy, slapstick, 80’s-vibes, monsters, Hemsworth with no top on (if you’re into that sort of thing), Karl Urban (Star Trek, Pete’s Dragon) as Skurge bringing some old-school guns to the game and Jeff Goldblum, what’s not to like?
You can also look out for: Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba, Luke Hemsworth, Sam Neill, Matt Damon and, of course, Stan Lee.
Those of you familiar with Waititi’s will know he puts himself in his own movies, a la Hitchcock. I won’t tell you where he appears in Ragnorak but I will say it’s very funny, so deadpan, I kind of want to see a movie about the character he plays, it would be funny as hell.
Perhaps the only thing that surprised me was that Waititi wasn’t the writer. That went to: Eric Pearson (Agent Carter (TV), Marvel One-Shot’s), Craig Kyle (Iron Man: Armed Adventures (TV), Wolverine And The X-Men (TV)) and Christopher Yost (Max Steel, Thor: The Dark World).
But the film is so reminiscent of his others, and some elements feel riffed and improved (in a good way), that it’s not a bad thing at all. (Rumour is that large parts of the film were improvised, which would explain the Waititi-esq dialogue that comes through.)
I have nothing but good to say about the film, I’m racking my brain trying to think of anything negative but coming up short.
Even when you have Thor and the Hulk, sat on a bed, talking about their feelings and apologising to each other, it works. You get the emotion, you get the feeling, you get the humour. And, did I mention, Jeff Goldblum is in it!
24th October 2017
THE QUICK SELL
Many deemed it a gamble to hand part of the reigns of such a large, 'of the moment' franchise like Marvel's Thor to an 'indie' director like Taika Waititi. Does it pay off?