Thor: Ragnarok


Director: Taika Waititi

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, Carl Urban, Jeff Goldblum, Anthony Hopkins

Words: Christian Abbott

You can’t help but feel sorry for Thor; he has never really managed to find his place.
It’s widely agreed that his first two outings are not the highlights of the now labyrinthine MCU. Marvel have often seemed embarrassed at the concept of the character, making the first movie a romantic comedy and the comic relief of the Avengers films. Second time wasn’t so lucky either when they decided to go dark. Literally in The Dark World. Finally however, they have done it, they made him work.

How best to reinvent a struggling franchise? According to Marvel you should make it a parody of itself. Surprisingly it actually works. Over the years we have seen Marvel become more outlandish in their ideas and here it has gone to the next level. The change is almost jarring. Watching these films back to back you’ll assume you conjured this one up in some strange half-remembered dream.

Taika Waititi of What we do in the Shadows fame has taken the reigns here and it shows. His usual off-the-wall, awkward slapstick humour is here and then some. He appears to have directed this with a blunderbuss – destroying the foundations (quite literally on some stages) of the franchise and starting afresh. Gone are the stilted romances, gone is the forgettable subplots and gone is the overly dramatic, forgettable villains. The romances are engaging, entertaining and full of life. The story is a riot, a cosmic ballet of nonsense. The villain has weight and menace.

The results are simple, what was good has stayed and what was bad is long gone. What’s new? Thor fighting to the sounds of Led Zeppelin in the aesthetic of a Trevor Something album – price of admission right there.
After a film like this, Marvel seem to be becoming that parody of themselves, but honestly that doesn’t seem like a bad thing at all.