Image via IMDB
I went to see the latest Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnorak, yesterday and it is refreshingly different from their usual offerings. Directed by Taika Waititi and written by Eric Pearson, the film sees the return of Chris Hemsworth as Thor, supported by Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston.
As other reviews of the film have noted, it’s hard not to give any spoilers away! What I can safely tell you is that Thor finds himself imprisoned and forced to fight as a gladiator on a faraway planet, and is pitted against the Hulk. He has to find a way back to Asgard to fight Hela, the goddess of death, who has taken over Asgard and wants to bring about Ragnorak, or the prophesised end of Asgard. He loses his hair and his hammer in the process, but luckily a few familiar faces (and a few new ones) help him to take her on.
For anyone who loves Norse mythology, the title is very interesting, as “Ragnorak” means “Twilight of the Gods”. So I knew there would be some epic fight scenes in the film between gods, which there certainly was. What I hadn’t expected was how funny the film is, particularly Chris Hemsworth. With almost slapstick-humour at times, the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, and lightly mocks the superhero genre. For me, this made the characters much more relatable. When Thor assembles a team to fight Hela, he decides to call the team “The Revengers”, a clear mockery of the Avengers. Thor also meets a delightful rock-man character called Korg who tells Thor that he was imprisoned for trying to start a revolution, but that he hadn’t printed enough pamphlets (or leaflets for us Brits) so only his mum and her boyfriend had turned up.
I love the traditional superhero movies, but in the past Thor in particular has struggled to seem like a hero. He’s been an attractive, slightly hot-headed god willing to do the right thing, when he has to. Thor: Ragnorak shows us a shift in him; he’s prepared to lose everything to save the people of Asgard from Hela’s wrath. This newfound sense of morality coupled with his comedy in the film make Thor my new favourite superhero; sorry, Batman.
We also get to see more of his relationship with the Hulk and the two of them are in some very funny scenes together. Thor also meets Tessa Thompson’s Valkeyrie on Sakaar, a heavy-drinking female warrior. She is absolutely brilliant in the film, and her character is (hurray!) not just a love interest for Thor. She challenges Thor and what it ultimately means to be a true leader, not to simply just sit on the throne.
However funny, the film is not without its flaws. The main issue is that the gladiator fighting on the psychedelic planet Sakaar is happening at the same time that Blancett’s Hela is wreaking havoc on Asgard, meaning that the main characters do not interact with each other as much as I would have liked. It feels as though the writers have two good ideas for the script and decided to merge them into one, which doesn’t quite work.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange pops into the movie for a scene, but it’s very unclear why he was needed. I am aware that Marvel makes these movies because they are extremely lucrative, but I find it very irritating when they throw big names into the film just to bulk out the plot and sell tickets. But I never particularly liked Doctor Strange so maybe that is part of the problem.
Despite the issues, the film is a feel-good superhero-comedy that the actors clearly enjoyed making, and the audience enjoy watching. I highly recommend that you go to see this film!