The seventeenth (yes. 17th) entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is arguably Thor’s most fun adventure so far, whilst the film manages to set the stage for this summer’s biggie, without losing its own identity.
Ragnarok stretches Thor and tests him in a manner that we haven’t really seen so far, whilst his relationship with brother Loki remains as complex and at times, awkward as ever. It is in their moments together where Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston shine as an odd couple – by now the two have known each other for years and their on-screen chemistry is satisfying to watch.
Thrown into this mix is Kate Blanchett as the evil Goddess of Death Hela. It is fair to say she steals every scene she appears in, relishing her role as the villain and providing a deliciously menacing character. Alongside Blanchett as a new addition to the MCU is Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster, overseer of the arena where Thor will eventually battle Hulk – Goldblum is quite likeable in this role, even if he often seems to end up playing himself. We get a good dose of the Hulk in this movie, as the Hulk – Mark Ruffalo gets to sink his teeth into Banner’s green alter-ego a little more than usual. Finally, Tessa Thompson stars as Valkyrie, a member of an elite cadre of Asgardian warrior women who ends up on the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak.
The spectacle is impressive and by now the effects well and truly polished. Added to this is a good soundtrack and some jokes that do manage to push the envelope for a 12A film, yet fall short of being truly out of line. This is, despite the stakes, Thor at his most relaxed, whilst the film bookends itself quite nicely and stays true to the idea of Ragnarok itself. I would dare say the film is worth it for Benedict Cumberbatch’s cameo at the start – which provides quite a bit of entertainment!