The Marvel Cinematic Universe has always drawn a bit of excitement on release.
With 16 films in the pocket, the staggering success and strategy of the MCU is something other studios are now trying to chase down. By the end of their 10 year cycle, they’ll have 22 films completed and a potential reboot setup to guide them forward.
And with that, Thor Odinson, the God of Thunder, reaches his third solo film.
Delivering a great origin film with an oft-regarded ‘flat’ sequel, Chris Hemsworth returns to bring the thunder once more with New Zealander Of The Year Taika Waititi at the helm.
Can Waititi’s brilliant comedic timing and obvious love of Kiwi humour bring lightning back to the blonde-haired Adonis?
Or will he just be sparkles?
Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), his former ally and fellow Avenger.
Thor’s quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela (Cate Blanchett) from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.
Taika does some fun stuff aye?
One of my favourite quotes from the cast, was Mark Ruffalo’s “Why have we not been fired yet?“; A remark on the apparently crazy and improvisational situations the crew would find themselves in.
“I’ll straight-up give Anthony Hopkins a line reading. I don’t care.” says Waititi, with regard to one SIR Anthony Hopkins who returns as Thor’s father, Odin.
Imagine that?! Approaching one of the world’s greatest actors (e.g; He literally won an Oscar for being on screen less than 20 minutes) and telling them to deliver their line another way.
Yet maybe that’s why Ragnarok works?
With an incredible opening scene that mashes up action and comedy, Ragnarok sets up Thor for a whole other journey. Like a ball-pit of Waititi’s previous work, it’s for this reason that a lot of people see an 80’s filter overlaying the Thunder God’s latest adventure.
Hyper-coloured and hyper-action, Waititi allows Thor to return to his more playful, campy roots that sees a ton of unseen references from his universe pop-up, along with fight scenes that really capture what it means to be Thor (ed. note: Plus the use of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ is just…incredible).
Returning cast members Hiddleston, Elba, Ruffaloand Hopkins continue their brilliant work they’ve put in so far, with Elba’s Heimdall getting a lot more screen time that really allows the audience to see more of the character (ed. note: puns!).
New additions Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum and NZ’s very own and finest, Rachel House, absolutely shine and complete the film’s pivot to something a lot more boisterous and loud in its entertainment, with House absolutely owning the scenes she’s in (ed. note: though Goldblum is an absolute force).
Waititi casts himself as the lovable Kronan, Korg, who is as Kiwi as they come, making for some incredible scenes where tension is broken by a little bit of Aotearoa sneaking into conversation.
And of course Cate Blanchett absolutely SLAYS as Hela, Goddess of Death. Seminal in her portrayal of a goth-chic, crazed being of power that exhibits their power across in Asgard in explosive manner.
As the action takes place over the top of a glitter-bomb of scenery; Thor finally gets a film that will earn the mighty god a thunderous applause.
With an incredible amount of banter interspersed between a fantastic story, Thor Ragnarok finally gives the Thunder God a lot of 'sparkles'.