Title: Thor: Ragnarok
Director: Taika Waititi
Reviewer: Dana Tetenburg
If you’re looking for a classic serious Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok is not the one for you. However, if you’ve been enjoying the eccentric wit and wonder that’s been blessing superhero movies lately and giving them a bit more personality, then you’ve definitely got to give it a watch.
The film follows our good ol’ God of Thunder unravelling the miscreant acts of his brother and the wise words of his father, only to encounter another family member to cause him a bit of grief – his estranged powerful sister Hela. Ending up on a retro-futuristic garbage planet run by the Grand Master, Thor must win a gladiatorial contest, escape, return to Asgard, stop the Ragnarok apocalypse, save his people, destroy his sister, become king, find himself, et cetera et cetera.
What makes this grandeur superhero crisis slash adventure all very enticing is the repartee. It’s easily the funniest Marvel flick, going up a step from the vanilla sass and charm of nonchalant bandits Peter Quill and Rocket. Taika Waititi, everyone’s favourite Kiwi (literally, our 2017 New Zealander of the Year), has made his Hollywood directorial debut with a pinch of goofy humour to lighten the existential weight that Marvel characters carry. This film-that-refuses-to-take-itself-too-seriously vibe is made obvious with cameos from Matt Damon and Sam Neill, and of course Taika’s own natural accent cameo as Korg.
It’s wacky without trying so hard to be, and it’s exactly what the Marvel cinematic universe needs. Marvel has a whole stack of motion pictures with high and mighty characters taking on entities way bigger than them, and having a little bit of poking fun at that is exactly what the format needs in order to avoid becoming a little overdone and dry. Bless you Waititi.
This witty relatability that makes the film so great is absorbed by all the characters but each in their own way. Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie/Scrapper 142 is imperfect yet still a badass who stands out on her own, a.k.a. without being solely on screen as a love interest or a token babe. Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk is finally given a bit more respect in regards to the things his character struggles with. Benedict Cumberbatch’s feature as Doctor Strange worked surprisingly well. Jeff Goldblum is well, at his Jeff Goldblum-iest. Cate Blanchett as Hela seems to be the only slight downfall as her evil queen persona wears a bit paper thin, and her smoky eye looks like how I do when I wake up without removing my eyeliner the night before.
Even still, she is borderline relatable, and this humanising of characters is what makes the film a thousand times more entertaining and easy to follow than any of its predecessor portrayals.
It’s a Marvel blockbuster, so of course the visuals and sounds are also incredible, and any more talk of that will have the tech guys’ egos going wild. Continuing on from the best bits of Guardians of the Galaxy, the cinematography is bold and vibrant and interesting to look at, picking up on that dreamscape aspect of superhero films that seems to have been lost along the way. We also have to give a necessary shout-out to the soundtrack crew – whoever chose to use Immigrant Song for the opening scene knows what makes a fun film.
Waititi and his crew have obviously paid attention to what’s good about Marvel films and what isn’t, and have almost transcended the near-overdone blockbuster style. Now we just have to cross our fingers that this new standard will be followed in the upcoming mish-mash of a film Avengers: Infinity War.
Thor: Ragnarok was one of my favourite films of 2017, and I highly recommend picking it up (and checking out the director’s commentary if you love Waititi’s humour as much as I clearly do).
Check out Thor: Ragnarok on Blu-ray and DVD out now!
Wanna win a copy? Head here!
DANA TETENBURG is a media graduate who can be identified in a crowd as the one sporting an excessive amount of glitter, with a frappucino in hand and loud music coming from her headphones. Keep up with TEARAWAY’S very own glitter queen here: @danaonthegram
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