Taika Waititi creates a Thor movie worthy to be among the other Marvel entries
At this stage, it’s important for Marvel to keep pushing just what a superhero movie can be. With superhero movie fatigue on the rise, bringing in an established indie director such as Taika Waititi has proven to be one of Marvel’s greatest decision yet. Finally, Chris Hemsworth gets to showcase his comedic talent while getting a movie worthy to stand among the other entries of the forever lasting Marvel franchise.
Trapped in Sakaar, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is forced to fight his long lost friend, The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). As he tries to escape this alien planet, his sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) has taken over Asgard, and she will do anything to keep her power.
Just like any good Saturday morning cartoon, Thor: Ragnarok is full of trippy, colorful sequences and outrageous costumes which add to an already vibrant and eccentric movie visual. It’s filled with plenty of beautiful shots and crazy set design that keep Ragnarok fun at all time. And just when you think it can’t get any better, the score kicks in and reminds me of a super fun Nintendo video game boasting vivacious cartoony figures.
The surprise of it all: it works incredibly well. Hemsworth is surprisingly funny as Waititi makes him the star he was always born to be. Among the other Avengers, Thor always seemed to be sidelined and the least utilized. Even when he was the star of his own movie, Thor just couldn’t be among the best of the best. And what makes Ragnarok so great is that it’s very much aware of this, offering punches at the character. Even Thor can’t help but poke fun at the over-the-top environment and freakish characters.
This represents a new era for Marvel, a more self-aware, and a Marvel capable of taking risks. It truly pays off here as Ragnarok is the funniest Marvel movie to date. Waititi’s signature comedic style is what makes it so hilarious and self-aware. It’s consistently amusing throughout with almost no failing jokes. Of course, Waititi’s brand of quirky comedy is on point, just as you would expect from him. He makes it work in nicely with the whole insane atmosphere of the film.
And crazy is undoubtedly the name of the game here as Cate Blanchett and Jeff Goldblum are brilliantly cast as both villains. Their overblown villainous personas call back to a more cartoony Marvel, and it’s delicious, to say the least. Both actors love their parts as they get to indulge in them ever so brilliantly. They get to say and do things that wouldn’t necessarily fit in a more grounded Captain America movie. And why should it? Thor’s comics have always been this quirky, and it’s a joy to finally see it unfold on screen.
In case you have forgotten, no, I’m not talking about Guardians of the Galaxy. However, it sure comes to mind when seeing Ragnarok, especially when Vol 2 just came out 7 months prior. Although funnier at its core, the third film cannot seem to overcome the material that came before it. It doesn’t necessarily reflect on Ragnarok as much as it continues to prove Guardians of the Galaxy‘s exceptional triumph given its introduction to never before seen characters.
The real culprit isn’t so much that it falls short of a great Marvel film but the fact that Ragnarok can get pretty CGI and green screen heavy, especially during the third act where a battle predictably ensues. This isn’t the first time Marvel is culpable of this. Yet, it continues to plague these films. What makes it all the worst is the predictable nature of these massive CGI finales in which [insert hero] is pitted against [insert villain] in a fight where bodies will be flown across cities and burning destruction is almost a given.
Still, Ragnarok is a step in the right direction for a Marvel film with such cartoony material. It can’t be the super serious political thriller of something like Captain America, but as an ultra self-aware manic drug trip, Ragnarok is loads of fun and laughs. Marvel should continue hiring out-of-the-box directors for their more out-of-the-box material as it seems to breathe new life into an almost 10-year long franchise.
Thor: Ragnarok comes out on November 3.