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Ragnarok and Roll! A Review of the Third Thor Film

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Rockin’ to Led Zeppelin 

Thor: Ragnarok is a riveting, edge-of-your seat, rock and roll…comedy? Indeed, Taiki Waititi’s direction, creates a comedic film that is a pure action-packed adrenaline hit. This, combined with Chris Hemsworth’s eponymous star power, creates the most fun of all Marvel films. Easter eggs, potent visual effects, and charismatic character development abounds across the (just over) two hours running time.

As with Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel bring back a classic song as this film’s main theme. The Immigrant song by Led Zeppelin blasts the character of Thor into a world of energy. In the process the film injects a burst of colour lacking from the previous Thor films. There are psychedelic pops of red, blue, and yellow. Despite this rainbow kaleidoscope, Ragnarok is one of the most impactful of the current Marvel films. There are multiple effects with consequence beyond the depth of this particular film.

Thor and Friends: A Road Trip

Photo showing Hulk, Thor, Valkyrie and Loki on the bridge of Asgard
Hulk, Loki, Thor and newcomer Valkyrie team-up

The film blends together all the elements of the Marvel formula. There is a focus on multiple side-characters: Hulk, Loki and Valkyrie in particular. Special effects and wider cinematic universe consequences are highly present. Further, the film features many references to a variety of easter eggs. However, the film truly stands strong on its own, making it one of the best Marvel films to date.

Hulk’s character development is exemplary – with Mark Ruffalo playing a frightened Bruce Banner thrust into the role of ‘unlikely hero.’ Tom Hiddleston continues to play along with the roguish, love-to-hate Loki. His Loki is a trickster who wants only to belong, and whose tricks often become a touch deadly. Valkyrie is a newcomer with a rough past (to say any more would spoil the film). Tessa Thompson does a brilliant job of playing a strong female character here.

And where would any film be without a villain or two. Jeff Goldblum plays The Grandmaster with typical flair. And Cate Blanchett finds plenty of enjoyment as the main antagonist Hela, goddess of death. Sadly, the one letdown is potentially the lack of screentime for Karl Urban’s Skurge. This The Lord of the Rings and Star Trek alumni’s character here plays a useful role in contrast to the drama of Hela. However as The Executioner, Skurge could have had more of a role as a conflicted Asgardian.

An Unexpected Journey?

Thor: Ragnarok has hit new heights for the character of Thor and the direction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is a rollercoaster of fun and spectacle, and ironically the main criticism levelled against the film is that it is full of too much humour. Yet, this seems to be an argument from those who do not understand that an overload of humour does not allow for the presence of serious and deep themes. Thor:Ragnarok is a film which blends humour and serious thematic ideas together into something uniquely unusual. It is the culmination of all previous Thor films and the fitting end to the trilogy of Thor stand-alones.

As attested by the Rotten Tomatoes’ score for the film, both fans and critics have thoroughly enjoyed the film. It may lack the same gravitas of the first two Thor films, but it is full of serious consequences. More importantly it balances these consequences with a lighthearted tone and plenty of energy. Enjoy Thor:Ragnarok for what it is: a big, blockbusting, superhero comedy. Because what this film is, is incredibly worthwhile.

You can see Thor:Ragnarok’s place on our updated Marvel Cinematic Universe list here!

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