“Thor: Ragnarok” is fierce, fresh and fun


courtesy of IMDb

Trevor Tyle, Staff Reporter

Amidst a pattern of unbelievably bad blockbuster movies this year, a superhero is once again here to save the day.

After a successful run at the box office this summer with “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Marvel has returned with another surefire smash, “Thor: Ragnarok.”

The film sees the return of Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a hero who hasn’t had a full cinematic appearance since 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Teaming up with his perpetually problematic brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the duo set out to defeat the goddess of death, Hela (Cate Blanchett).

Despite their efforts, Thor and Loki are separated with the former eventually being captured and taken to Sakaar, a planet on the other side of the universe. Upon arrival, he is forced to fight his former ally, the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), in order to escape captivity and stop Hela from reclaiming the throne of his home planet Asgard—and destroying it in the process.

For starters, the film is a refreshing change of pace from many of the dull, uninspired releases of the past few months. Packed with a surplus of action, “Ragnarok” is entertaining from start to finish. It consistently keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, culminating with the film’s final battle.

The film’s cast is excellent as well. Newcomer Blanchett is unsurprisingly brilliant as Hela, reminding us why she is one of the most well-respected actresses of her generation. One of the film’s standout scenes finds her facing an entire army of men, to which she shows no mercy, to say the least. Slightly evocative of her character in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” though to a more extreme degree, Blanchett’s performance—Maleficent-esque headgear and all—proves that she truly represents the ideal villain for any blockbuster effort.

Meanwhile, Thor finally meets his match with “Westworld” star Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, Thor’s captor with a personal vendetta against Hela. Valkyrie is a particularly strong character that has all the grit and courage that her male comrades possess—if not more. As always, returning stars Hemsworth, Hiddleston and Ruffalo are all great. Hemsworth particularly stands out, offering a far less serious—and more welcoming—approach to the film’s titular character, while Ruffalo’s performance reminds us yet again how desperately the Ruffalo’s Hulk needs his own film.

However, the one major flaw “Ragnarok” has is the aforementioned over-the-top humor of characters like Thor and Loki. Ten minutes into the movie, audiences are treated to a cringeworthy “you had one job” joke that only Disney could pull off. While a more humorous approach to the character of Thor is refreshing, the Disney-fied comedic relief of the film is even worse than the “Iron Man” films, which says a lot. Though it has its moments of true hilarity, the Marvel films continue to struggle with learning the difference between funny and silly.

However, its lackluster humor is far from fatal. Overall, “Ragnarok” is extremely entertaining. Not only does it have a substantial storyline with equally gripping performances and thrilling action sequences, but its “Guardians of the Galaxy”-esque imagery and soundtrack make the film all the more enjoyable.

The perfect prelude to next year’s highly anticipated “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Ragnarok” is a “Hela” good time, to say the least.

Rating: 4/5 stars