Captain America: The Winter Soldier is no longer the best film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
When the goddess of death (Cate Blanchett) shows up, everything Thor (Chris Hemsworth) holds dear is threatened, and family wounds are ripped asunder. He doesn’t have much time to deal though as he’s hurtled through space to land on a planet that’s something of a blend of The Capital from The Hunger Games (the book version), and the world of Mad Max. Old friends, new enemies, and unexpected allies come together in a rip roaring space comedy. Oh, didn’t you know? This is just a hair short of being a straight up comedy.
Marvel has always kept a sense of humor, and the Guardians of the Galaxy films in particular have embraced that, but Ragnarok is a whole other beast. Director Taika Waititi reinvents and elevates the weakest of the Marvel franchises by capitalizing on Hemsworth’s comedic chops and embracing the outlandishness of Norse deities gallivanting across the universe with giant green monsters in a world of comic book super heroes and villains. While breathing room is given for moments of emotional highs and lows, the humor comes fast and silly. Intriguingly funny, as well as intriguing, characters (including one voiced by the director himself and destined to be a fan favorite), physical comedy, and clever jabs at the franchise and the MCU itself all come together in one film that still manages to fit neatly into the established canon even while rocking the cruise ship. If this, instead of the promised Infinity War, was the culmination of these years of Marvel movies, I think I’d still be happy. Still, I’m glad we’re getting more. One of the most stand-alone of the series of films, its self contained but still does draw from previous MCU entries as well as propelling the overall story forward ever so slightly. Never does it rely on fitting in, though, to justify its existence.
Not only is this movie hilarious but it delves unexpectedly deep into the mythos of Thor and Asgard. Approaching spoiler territory, it leaves our hero in a particularly interesting scenario that I can’t wait to see dissected as the comic book crowd gets a chance to digest it – it potentially completely change the course of the character. On top of all that, it’s also got some oh so satisfying and well choreographed scenes to satisfy all the action junkies that these movies must cater too. Lest you be concerned, just because it’s a comedy doesn’t mean that Thor is a joke here – if anything he’s at his most kick-ass.
Ragnarok is a colorful, visceral, and utterly enjoyable ride, and probably the one I’m most likely to go on multiple times out of the seventeen (!) in the current lineup. It also has easily one of the best Stan Lee cameos as of yet.
Do I even need to remind you that Jeff Goldblum gets to chew some scenery here?
If you’ve written off Thor as the supporting character that needs the other Avengers to really shine, give the god of thunder one more chance. I dare you to be disappointed.
Mrs. Hamster did not screen this film
Brother Hamster did not screen this film
My rating: Five out of five hats
Thor: Ragnarok thunders into 4,080 theaters, including IMAX 3D, November 3