Thunder-Gods and Lightning (Thor: Ragnarok review)

I missed Thor: Ragnarok when it came out last November, but with Infinity War looming on the horizon, I invested in the Blu-ray to watch it first. Boy am I glad I did, not only for the story continuation that will occur in The Avengers 3, but also for the sheer joy of watching one of the best Marvel films to date.

What made the film so enjoyable is the clear stamp Taika Waititi has left on the film. The reason I loved films like Godzilla (2014) and Kong: Skull Island (2017) is because the indie directors behind them left a very personal mark on a big blockbuster. So too has Taika Waititi stamped his unique humour and direction into the MCU. For this I couldn’t be happier, having already been a big fan of his other projects (What We Do In The Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople standing out as two favourites).

By far and away, this is definitely the funniest Marvel film. Great slapstick, brilliant comic timing, juxtaposing edits and hilarious sibling rivalry between Thor and Loki all make for a wonderfully enjoyable 2 hours. The cast are superb, and without kissing Waititi’s behind too much, he also steals the show providing the voice and motion capture for ‘Korg’, a harsh looking gladiator made of rock, with the softest New Zealand accent imaginable. Again, the juxtaposition of the look and the voice make for hilarious viewing, and he also has some of the funniest lines in the film.

As with all Marvel films, the production was huge, the battle sequences were immense and the design was spectacular. Unfortunately, also as with all other Marvel films, the villain was just another ‘more powerful being than ever before’ but this certainly didn’t distract from the film. I actually found the final act of Ragnarok to be one of the strongest in Marvel’s cannon, and again that’s down to the great direction, addition of humour, and perhaps the finest use of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ since School of Rock.

Overall, I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed the film. It’s soundtrack was retro, the design was beautiful, the cast were fantastic and (for the final time) Waititi’s direction for the film was uniquely wonderful. Bring on Infinity War!

8 Stars

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