Thor is one of the superhero characters from Marvel Comics Avengers team. Now after two stand-alone movies featuring Thor, and the two movies with all Avengers, Thor is back in action. But this time he will have a new adventure that will ‘Ragnarok’ his World. But first, a bit of an introduction to Thor…
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is the Norse God of Thunder and the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Thor has a half-brother named Loki (Tom Hiddleston) who is the God of Mischief. Thor can always count on Heimdall (Idris Elba) the protector of the access point between Thor’s world of Asgard and the other realms. Thor has just conquered a monster which could bring about the Ragnarok, an end-of-times destruction of Asgard.
Thor returns home and finds that things are not quite right with Asgard. Odin is lounging about and Loki is nowhere to be seen. Except that Loki is pretending to be Odin and is running the place. Loki leads Thor to Earth to find Odin, but they run into a Supreme Sorcerer. Yes, Dr. Strange (Bennedict Cumberbatch) is watching over Earth and does not want Loki around. Odin is hidden in Norway, and when the brothers find him, he explains about Hela (Cate Blanchett). Hela is the first-born and the true leader of Asgard, but only when Odin is gone.
Hela is unknown to the brothers and they want to fight her off. But she sends them into exile into a distant planet called Sakaar. This planet is ruled by a strange person named the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) who is an oddball. He runs the planet that is a trash dump of the universe. Thor is captured by Scrapper 142 (Tessa Thompson) who is a bounty hunter, but also was a prior Adgardian Valkyrie warrior. Thor is chosen to fight in a gladiator-style face-off with the Grandmaster’s current champion.
The current champ turns out to be Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), who the alter-ego of Bruce Banner and another of the Avengers. But now Hulk is powerful and adored for his fighting skills. Thor finally gets Hulk and Scrapper 142 to agree to escape and head back to Asgard. Oh yeah, they also take Loki, who had landed on Sakaar and had become a favorite to the Grandmaster.
Meanwhile, Hela had been ruling Asgard by killing off anyone who did not agree with her. She had raised an army of dead warriors, and had destroyed most of the population. She has an ally with Skurge (Karl Urban) who is a warrior torn between Hela’s power and the destruction she creates. Heimdall is in hiding and saving as many of the Asgardian people as he can. He cannot wait until Thor comes back to challenge Hela.
While the plot does cover a wide range of places and characters, it never drags or never seems to be forced. The interaction between Thor and Loki is always interesting. Also, the interaction between Thor and the Hulk is very amusing. Even later, when it is between Thor and Bruce Banner it is really fun to watch. There are many places for some broad humor and many gags that are really great. This movie chooses not to take everything too seriously.
The director Taika Waititi has done mostly smaller independent comedies and minor films. But now he has been given a much larger canvas, and he paints a beautiful picture. The story gives Thor and Hulk some time to bond and to become closer. There are plenty of the standard Marvel action CGI sequences, but the story still has fun with many of the smaller sequences. Dr. Strange makes for a nice crossover appearance. And also, there is a short segment in Asgard where a play is being put on to honor Loki, and you can guess the actors who show up to play Odin, Loki and Thor.
All the acting is straight out terrific, with special regards for Tessa Thompson and Idris Elba. They both play such tough warriors who want also to save as many as possible. Chris Hemsworth is dependable as Thor, and Mark Ruffalo plays the big green Hulk (in motion capture) and also Bruce Banner. The dialog is sharp and right to the point.
The 3-D aspect is a basic conversion after the main work is done, so it does not add too much to the overall movie. The scope and overall design call out to see this movie on the biggest screen possible, including an IMAX presentation. The colorful design of Sakaar is fantastic and the world is brought to life.
“Thor Ragnarok” is a worthy entry into the ever-growing number of great movies created by the Marvel Movie Machine. This will leave you anxious for the next time the Avengers return for “Avengers: Infinity War”.