Thor Three Brings Down the Hammer


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When news of a third Thor installment arrived, the hype was unbelievable. From the posters to the first real trailer, “Thor: Ragnarok” looked colorful, fresh and exciting, but by the time the film actually hit theaters, I became worried that the excitement might have been exaggerated. I could not have been more wrong. “Thor: Ragnarok” blows the previous two Thor films completely out of the water with its clever characters, fascinating setting and relaxed, fun feel to an intense story. Despite being a complex journey through multiple worlds and dimensions the plot is easy and pleasant to follow, without asking the viewers to constantly decipher convoluted story arcs, which Marvel typically employs quite liberally. Essentially, it’s a classic comic book story of protagonist versus antagonist with some hilarious—and some serious—developments occurring along the way. “Thor: Ragnarok” is pleasurably linear, and the audience gets to enjoy it unfold with a ton of laughs along the way.

As the film carries on we see a new side to Thor, God of Thunder, as an Avenger who feels somewhat insecure in his status and strength when compared to his peers. He awkwardly brags about his accomplishments and value as a member of the Avengers team, giving the audience some laughs but also revealing a new Thor to which we can all relate. Both Thor and the Incredible Hulk attain a new level of character depth, hopefully to be utilized in the upcoming “Avengers: Infinity War.” Prior to this film, Hemsworth portrayed a cool and noble God of Thunder. “Ragnarok” not only let us see a more honest and fun side of Thor, but it let Hemsworth show off his range as an actor. Mark Ruffalo gave an entertaining, if not always convincing, performance as Bruce Banner, and Hulk himself had more lines in this movie than in all the other Marvel movies combined. More likely than not, those unfamiliar with the comics were probably surprised that Hulk could speak actual sentences. A fact which makes him a far more interesting character by giving him a unique personality. Hulk is no longer just a super-strong, green version of Bruce Banner.

The characters in “Thor: Ragnarok” kept us entertained, but we can’t forget some of the best and most thrilling action sequences Marvel has ever put on the big screen. Right from the start the audience is drawn in with an intense battle to one of Led Zeppelin’s most memorable songs ever, “Immigrant Song,” played in time with the action happening on-screen. On all accounts, this film is just unbelievably cool. We get to see Thor battle it out with the Incredible Hulk in a hard-hitting, no holds barred gladiator match-up. Avengers fighting Avengers is always a treat in Marvel films. And later Thor goes up against his sister, and Goddess of Death, Hela, portrayed by a terrifying, intense and flawless Cate Blanchett. After struggling to create intimidating or even memorable villains, Marvel finally figured it out.

Those who have the pleasure of seeing “Ragnarok” are in for a vibrant and hilarious ride from start to finish. By far the funniest movie from Marvel Studios, it keeps audiences laughing, while not diverging too far from the complex and fun battle scenes we’ve come to appreciate. The colorful world of Sakaar serves as the setting for most of the film where Thor meets a myriad of interesting and amusing characters, from the Grandmaster, whimsically portrayed by Jeff Goldblum, to Korg, voiced by director Taika Waititi. If you’ve seen anything else by this New Zealand director, actor, and comedian such as his horror-comedy hit “What We Do in the Shadows” then you’ll be well aware that he gave “Thor: Ragnarok” a good measure of his own artistic flare. The near parody-like feel to “Ragnarok” is Waititi’s signature, with actors often playing alternate versions of themselves and frequently breaking character to laugh at the movie’s own jokes. It makes the entire viewing experience beyond enjoyable, which is the best word to describe the film. If you have yet to go see “Thor: Ragnarok,” I advise you change that immediately.