Thor movies have always been a bit hit and miss for me. The first one did a pretty decent, standard job of introducing Thor and the mythology surrounding him and home world of Asgard. It also introducing us to mischievous brother Loki, in preparation for his involvement in the Avengers and beyond. But, in my opinion the movie never really hit the mark in the way that the first Captain America or Iron Man movies did. The Dark World was just awful. I remember falling asleep halfway through and then waking up right at the end. Before I drifted off, Loki was dead. When I woke up, he was alive. I just couldn’t be arsed to go back and find out what the hell had happened in-between, and I still don’t know.
Things start as they mean to go on, with Thor dangling in chains before giant fire demon Surtur, constantly interrupting his monologue as he waffles on about destroying Asgard. Thor soon escapes, defeating a huge army and killing a dragon creature in an impressive battle sequence. Then, it’s back to Asgard for a little bit of Loki mischief, down to Earth for a brief but hilarious meeting with one of the newest additions to the MCU, followed by a trip to Norway! And then it’s time to introduce us to the big bad of the movie, banished sister of Thor and Loki, Hela the goddess of death (Cate Blanchett), who has returned to claim the throne of Asgard. It’s no secret, if you’ve seen the trailer, that she’s powerful enough to destroy Mjolnir, so when she does, Thor and Loki both know she means business. Hela banishes Thor to Sakaar, and that’s where the crazy really kicks in. Captured by a Valkyrie from Asgard, Thor is transported to the fighting pits where he is set to meet the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) and fight against his champion in the main event. It’s at this point that we also meet Korg, a rock gladiator voiced by Taika Waititi himself, who manages to deliver many of the films funniest lines in a softly spoken Kiwi accent.
Again, if you’ve seen the trailer then you’ve already at this point got a pretty good idea who the champion gladiator is going to be. And the “He’s a friend from work” line sums up just how much fun this entire scene is. Watching from the sidelines is Loki, and his reaction upon seeing Hulk, along with his reaction to the whole magnificent fight sequence, is hilarious. But, the one thing on Thor’s mind is to get back to Asgard and stop Hela. And his plan involves eventually recruiting Hulk, the Valkyrie who captured him, and even Loki, to form a brand new team called ‘The Revengers’!
Along with Thor, this is also the best use of Hulk within a Marvel movie so far. He has plenty more to say this time round, and with a wider range of emotions too. Most of the time though this involves being sulky and moody, and complaining about everyone on Earth thinking he’s the stupidest Avenger. The banter between Thor and Hulk throughout the entire movie is just brilliant.
I tend to judge my Marvel movies on how often I catch myself gazing at the screen with a wide-eyed, slack-jawed geeky grin on my face and there were a lot of those moments during Ragnarok, especially during the final scenes. I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun watching a Marvel movie!