by Ryan Cook
2017 has been an excellent year for superhero movies. First, we were treated to the groundbreaking Wolverine film “Logan” in March. Then came the colorful and emotional “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” in May.
Now, Marvel’s mightiest Avenger returns to the big screen in “Thor: Ragnarok.”
Directed by indie-filmmaker Taika Waititi (“What We Do in the Shadows,” “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”), “Thor: Ragnarok” picks up two years after the events of 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
After Thor’s first encounter with the goddess of death doesn’t go his way, the mighty Thor is cast off to the savage planet known as Sakaar.
It’s while he’s on Sakaar that Thor reunites with his fellow Avenger, Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).
Comic book fans are treated to one of the most epic gladiatorial movie fights in recent years between Thor and Hulk before the plot of the film really starts running.
In a year with no shortage of great comic book movies, “Thor: Ragnarok” doesn’t disappoint. Hemsworth gives his best and most comedic performance as the god of thunder yet.
With “Ragnarok” being his fifth outing as Thor, Hemsworth seems to be having more fun than ever in his role.
Tom Hiddleston is outstanding as usual as Thor’s adopted brother, Loki. While he still lives up to his nickname of the god of mischief, Loki has a significant change of heart in this movie, and Hiddleston plays this to perfection.
The Hulk has never been more interesting than in this movie. For the first time in movie history, the Hulk speaks in full sentences, which provides some great comedic moments with Thor.
What makes this Hulk more interesting is that because his intelligence has improved, Banner and his Hulk side are fighting for mental control. Ruffalo brilliantly portrays this as both Banner and Hulk.
As for the new characters in the film, Blanchett’s Hela is a force to be reckoned with. Blanchett brings the perfect balance of humor and pure evil that makes Hela the best villain of the Thor franchise since Loki in the original film.
Jeff Goldblum (“Jurassic Park”) also joins the cast as the Grandmaster, and every line of dialogue he says is appropriately golden. No one can deliver a line quite like Goldblum, and his talent is on full display in this movie.
One of the many standout characters in the film is actually played by the film’s director, Taika Waititi.
In “Ragnarok,” Waititi plays Korg, a giant rock monster with a gentle, soothing voice who tries to befriend Thor.
It’s impossible to do the character justice by describing his appearance and lovable personality, but it’s definitely a highlight of the film.
Overall, the “Thor” franchise takes a pleasing direction with “Ragnarok.” The film has a similar look and color palette to Marvel’s other space franchise, “Guardians of the Galaxy”, but “Thor: Ragnarok” has a very different sense of humor and adventure than the other superhero movies that were released this year.
The film has a runtime of over two hours, but it never feels too long. The jokes are related to the plot, and the sense of urgency in the movie makes its runtime fly by. “Ragnarok” is a funny action/adventure film to watch over Christmas break.
Heads up to Marvel fans who know to stay seated when the credits start to roll — there are two scenes during the credits of “Ragnarok.”