|It's a long hard road out of Hela|
"Last time we saw you, you were trying to kill everyone. What are you up to these days?"
This may seem a little odd for my intro, but I'd like to discuss something that may at first seem to not have anything at all to do with the newest adventures of the long-locked Asgardian; Scream 3. More importantly, a specific character from that film; Randy Meeks. See good old Randy (Jamie Kennedy, Malibu's Most Wanted) was more than just a nerdy film buff who never made it to first base with the constantly cursed Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell, Wild Things). He was a prophet. He knew the certain rules to movies, especially trilogies. Rules like the third film going back to the beginning, and discovering something that wasn't true from the get go. Kind of a "sins of the past" sorta thing. He also knew that the villain would be one bad mofo, and that anybody could bite the bullet at any time, including the main cast. Well Randy, you sure weren't lying about that. Too bad they let Sheldon's Mom (Laurie Metcalf, Roseanne) "slash" all of your dreams too soon. As your words ring as true as ever, I salute you in that great big video store in the sky.
For the third film in the trilogy, Thor: Ragnarok most certainly goes back to the beginning with something previously undisclosed that's going to bite everybody in their Asgardian asses. "By the way, you have a sister and she's also the goddess of death. Oh yeah, and Daddy Odin (Anthony Hopkins, Meet Joe Black) wasn't always so peace loving and charitable. Sleep tight!" This one also goes back to the original by taking all of Thor's (Chris Hemsworth, Cabin in the Woods) serious elements, and "lightning" them up into a more humorous endeavor. In fact, this is the funniest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie to date, even amongst such stiff competition from this year (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming), let alone since 2008 (Iron Man). The first Thor was funny, however Ragnarok is hilarious. It's so laugh inducing, that any fear of significant loss is drowned out by its comical tone. That can be the only real flaw that I found while enjoying this. The illusion of risk is there, yet the story and playful vibe leaves no doubt that all who are still relevant to the series will walk away unscathed (Captain America: Civil War). Thankfully I was too busy laughing to notice for most of the time. Director Taika Waititi's (What We Do in the Shadows) natural talent for sarcastic comedy is all over this film, regardless if he didn't get a writer's credit for it or not. The partially improvised dialogue flows like the 70's and 80's futuristic rock style musical score by Devo (Whip It) lead man Mark Mothersbaugh (The Lego Movie), as well as the overall trippy color pallette that may or may not induce LSD type hallucinations or seizures.
Although regretful, Natalie Portman's (V for Vendetta) love interest character is omitted for the sake of better storytelling, and because Jane Foster also felt more like a defenseless tag-along rather than a strong female lead. What works better, is Hemsworth's interactions with Tom Hiddleston's (Kong: Skull Island) Loki as they bicker back and forth like the brothers they are. In between the many witty interactions between them, there's also a couple of honest moments with those two that transcends their sibling rivalry. Another limited character gets probably his best moment since the beginning of the first Thor, when he gets to quiet the wacky energy down for a scene and have a real conversation with his sons. Hopkins does just that before the action and hilarity kicks back into high gear. There are so many people that make Thor: Ragnarok so damned enjoyable. So many in fact, that another article may be warranted just for them alone. How Waititi was able to balance such stellar casting so well, is impressive. Well, there are a few that get left by the side of the curb like useless trash. Thor's Asgardian buddies (The Warrior's Three) have gotten progressively less and less attention throughout this series, to the point where in this one they're in and out with a snap of Hela's (Cate Blanchette, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) fingers. Hell, another one goes completely unmentioned (Lady Sif), and even Heimdall (Idris Elba, The Dark Tower) is used as merely as an Asgardian bodyguard with dreadlocks. Like giving him a new hairstyle would make up for the lack of substance that Elba keeps receiving in this series. Blanchette's expert acting chops and refreshing sense of humor, makes up for the mistakes that where done with Portman's character. Jeff Goldblum's (Jurassic Park) Grandmaster is hilariously awesome, Tessa Thompson's (Creed) Valkyrie is badass and funny, Karl Urban's (Dredd) Skurge is a tad underused but also funny, Waititi's Korg is adorably down to earth, and Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) is well, Benedict Cumberbatch. I know I've used this word too many times during the review, but everybody is funny. Oh yeah, I almost forgot about Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, Collateral). How is that even possible?! He's funny too. LOL
|I knew something was going on behind the scenes|
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Of Thor: Ragnarok
The Good- Dangling in front of Surtur (Clancy Brown, Spongebob Squarepants), The Dark World play with cameos, having a brew with Doctor Strange, a Father shares a view with his sons, the Grandmaster's Willy Wonka introduction, "Let's play, Get Help!", catching up with an old green friend, and he don't need no stinking hammer.
The Bad- There's a kinda maybe possibly spoiler about next year's Infinty War, but then again it may not be. I was really jonesing for the Comic-Con footage to be at the end of the credits, but noooooooooo! Instead you're gonna make my impatient ass wait for a little longer? Okay fine.
The Ugly- I didn't think that it was possible, but the quality of Marvel Studios's latest effort has made my anticipation for the upcoming Justice League movie almost completely nonexistent. Is Marvel just that good, or is Warner Brothers/DC just that bad?
Like GOTG, Thor: Ragnarok is fun, colorful, and everything you want from a big budget blockbuster. It is by far the best of the trilogy and possibly the MCU as well. By the end it may seem that the action starts to wane in comparison to the never ending onslaught of humor, yet that will quickly become an afterthought. See this on a big screen and have a Hela good time. But there are certain rules one must follow when seeing a MCU movie (like expecting anybody important to never die). You already know to stay after the end credits, don't you? Don't forget that or it may come back around to bite you in the ass. Just look at poor old Randy as a reminder.
Rating- 8.5 out of 10 (It Ragnarocks!)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Imprisoned, the almighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.
Director: Taika Waititi
Writers: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett