‘Thor: Ragnarok’ (2017, 12A)

Is “Thor: Ragnarok” a THOR-some spectacular or a mediocre Marvel movie?

After his long stint away, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to his home of Asgard — expecting a warm and welcome greeting. But, when he discovers a secret of his family’s past, and the evil goddess of death Hela (Cate Blanchett) begins her plans to destroy all of Asgard, a series of unfortunate events leads Thor to the doomed planet of Sakaar, where he must battle in gladiatorial fights against old friends if he is to survive.

The last two “Thor” films (“Thor” in 2011 and “Thor: The Dark World” in 2013) were very forgettable and as a consequence no one — including myself — could remember any of the plots coming into this sequel. However, the directors and makers of “Ragnarok” must’ve been aware of this as any key plot points you might’ve forgotten are quickly gone over, reversed and a lot happens within the first fifteen minutes to just wipe the slate clean and make this film its own.

For some, like me, the extremely quick (and somewhat rushed) paced of the beginning of this film is good: you’re not bogged down in unnecessary back stories for characters we don’t really care about and there aren’t long expositional talks about the mysteries of Asgard and Norse mythology filling up the screen-time when there could be some amazing action-sequences to gasp at. However, this quick pace of the first twenty minutes or so as the film jumps from scene to scene does make the whole thing seem rather rushed, as if this is a necessity before we get to the good bit.

But, it really is quite a good bit to wait for. “Ragnarok” has a tone of its own — it’s not just a standard Marvel movie and there’s a lot of good comedy, and the decision not to include excessive amounts of Norse mythology was a good one; in fact, the balance of Norse magic and mystery with inter-planetary alien adventure worked really well. This sci-fi/mythological tone is further enhanced by the amazing score combining the classic orchestral sounds that appear in all action movies with an engaging and unique synth melody.

Overall then, “Thor; Ragnarok” is an excellent Marvel movie. It’s funny, bright, a bit different, but in a really good way. To some, the beginning might feel rushed, but for me, it suits the film well. Overall, it deserves a nine-out-of-ten.

9/10.

 

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