THOR:RAGNAROK
Posted by: Jo Hyde
Date: October 28, 2017

SYNOPSIS: In Marvel Studios' THOR:RAGNAROK, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok -- the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization -- at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger -- The Incredible Hulk!

In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) gets a new haircut, but no girlfriend.

Director Talka Waititi gives his audience a fun, campy take on the continuing adventures of Thor, son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), and god of thunder. All of the film adaptations of Marvel Comics contain an abundance of humor – and a cameo by Stan Lee - but humor is the hallmark of this film. All the actors seem to be having a fine time spinning this tale of battles, captures, rescues, and the ever-present fight between good and evil.

Several characters well-known to audiences return for this film. Tom HIddleston, as Thor’s trickster brother Loki, seems to suggest the idea of remorse/redemption, but, come on now! Would you really expect it to stick? Hiddleston makes Loki so appealing that you wish he’d stop being a bad boy, but then we’d have no story, right?

Idris Elba reprises his role of Heimdall, but he has less of a presence because he’s in exile. In his place at the gates of Asgard is Skurge (Karl Urban), who, as his name suggests, is no stalwart. Mark Ruffalo does double duty once more as Hulk/ Bruce Banner. Scenes between him and Thor are pure delight! Anthony Hopkins appears briefly as Odin, and from outside the Asgard universe, there’s a cameo by another MCU character as well.

However, it’s new characters spice up the story, and none more than the villain who is also a relative, Hela, goddess of death. Played by a gothed-out Cate Blanchette, Hela is Odin’s first child, and therefore, Thor’s sister. She’s come to claim Asgard as her own, but also to destroy it. Ragnarok, it turns out, is the prophesied destruction of Asgard. Blanchette struts around in a black bodysuit, her long black hair transforming into a lethal-looking war helmet, tormenting Thor and seeming invincible.

Tessa Thompson appears as the last remaining Valkyrie, a formidable warrior who captures Thor and delivers him to the garbage planet Sakaar. Sakaar is run by Grandmaster, Jeff Goldblum in a full-on quirky performance, who uses captured champions in gladiatorial style competitions. Thor ends up pitted against Grandmaster’s undefeated champion, The Hulk. You can probably guess that they will end up allies, along with Valkyrie.

Director Talka Waititi also acts the part of an imprisoned rock creature, Korg, and he steals the show in a series of audience-pleasing conversations with Thor. Korg, it seems, is interested in revolution, so it seems logical that he’d want to fight by Thor’s side.

The story is predictable, but the fascinating characters and the playfulness of the script keep it from feeling stale. How will Thor and his friends escape from Sakaar? Will Thor defeat Hela? Will Asgard be saved? Will good triumph? You’ll have to see the film to find out, but I can assure you – you’ll have a great time learning the answers! - Jo Hyde

GRADE: A-


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