Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Critic Consensus: Exciting, funny, and above all fun, Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful cosmic adventure that sets a new standard for its franchise -- and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Critic Reviews for Thor: Ragnarok
When I saw this film prefaced by a trailer for the far glossier-looking Black Panther, it slightly felt, once Thor: Ragnarok started, that we were being palmed off with an hors d'oeuvre for the next, bigger thing down the line.
Beautifully filmed with serious kinetic energy by director Taika Waititi, with a crackling script, Thor: Ragnarok is a heap of fun. Cue "Immigrant Song!"
Tessa's got the comedic timing to match Taika Waititi's Thor humor, and the physicality to lead the movie's pack of superheroes. She's not trying to outdo the boys; she's just trying to sip her drink and mind her own business.
Audiences seem to be smart enough these days to know a good movie when they see it, and to avoid a bad flick despite Hollywood's best efforts to pull a fast one on them.
Perfectly acceptable as an action movie but inspired as a comedy--which is probably where the Thor franchise should have been aiming from the start.
Audience Reviews for Thor: Ragnarok
The god of death, Hera, the heretofore unseen sister of our hero, returns from enforced exile a touch perturbed by her previous dismissal. Not one to let bygones be gentle bygones she touches off a bid for power (what else?) that sets this fun packed adventure ride in mega motion. With a cast of characters we've come to know and love (and some new ones too) this roller coaster has a young god of thunder using his questionable wits to try to save the day as much as his brawn. Although directed by Taika Waititi, whose previous efforts I thought juvenile, this romp shows decided refinement and craft. Particularly good was how the Hulk, Marvel's ugly sibling, was given some respect at last. You'll be watching this one more than once, plan on it. And perhaps the best out of Marvel to date. Nuff said.
I've never really been a fan of Thor. I know this may make me a blasphemer, but I've never been much into the whole god's thing or gladiators for that matter. You can probably add dragons to that list with the exceptions being Harry Potter and Bruce Lee. So it wasn't really a shock that I wasn't into the either of the first two Thor films. The only word that comes to mind when talking about those films is forgettable because I don't really remember them. Maybe it's just me, but they are the weak links in the MCU. I have a feeling that the producers and creators of the third outing from the Son of Odin felt the same way because Thor Ragnarok really swerves into something that the previous films did not have. It's an adventure that's tongue in cheek, not taking itself too seriously, which is quite refreshing in the film landscape we have today. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns from high adventure to find his father being mimicked by Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and forces him to find and return their dad to his rightful place. After a bit of cameo by Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) that could have been awkward, but actually works in the tone of this film, they find Odin (Anthony Hopkins) preparing for his death and the eventual return of Hela(Cate Blanchett), the hell beast daughter who wants total control of Asgard, meaning she needs to get rid of her siblings. They're sidetracked on a world that is dotted with junk and ran by The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum in full Goldblum mode) who uses Thor as a plaything to compete against his champion, The Hulk. Along with the fallen hero Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) they embark on stopping Hela and regaining control of Asgard. What's great about Thor Ragnarok is that it veers off into territory that is rarely charted with success being even more fleeting. Instead of the typical comic adventure story, this time the camp button is pushed a little bit more than usual delivering a feel reminiscent of Flash Gordon or Big Trouble In Little China. The film is comedic without making the heroes and villains bumbling idiots, which is a tightrope act when making a movie such as this. Even though this is his third solo outing, Thor as a character feels as though he grows the most in this third chapter. He goes from being quite full of himself in the beginning to modesty as a leader during a tragic time for his people. Director Taika Waititi almost reboots the character into something more entertaining for the audience. The film doesn't take itself too seriously and even keeps running during the Dr. Strange cameo by making the scene fun instead of the typical advertisement. "Hey, we have other superhero movies!" Sure, the scene wasn't really needed, but it still works. It could have bogged down, but didn't. I had reservations seeing this film since I didn't care for the first two, but this one surpassed my expectations. Thor Ragnarok has really set up a track for future films that makes them a bit more interesting and more importantly, a bit more fun. I dare say that at this point this is one of the best films from the MCU.
Thor Ragnarok blazes gloriously through as it paints a fun colorful adventure for our epic God of Thunder. I think Taika Waititi brings a lot of his experience as a comedian to dress it up in a way that takes the humor of the Marvel formula to a different level, the consistently comedic nature of Ragnarok does a lot by humanizing these larger than life characters. Never have I seen the portrayal of giant green monsters, gods and aliens so relatable. Their adventures of grandeur for better or worse quickly appear as a casual blunder amongst friends. Not to mention the stylistically captivating 80's Rock art direction that tonally cements the film as "fun" similar to what distinguished GotG from other Marvel productions. The fast paced nature and non-stop laughs might leave little room for resonating dramatization but it gets it's heartfelt punches in and Ragnarok certainly gets to a point where the tone illustrates a product that really doesn't require the former. There exists the usual questionable tendencies of the franchise like Strange's cheap cameo, scenes fly from one to the other with frantic pacing to jam in as much information in as possible and a cast of characters so large that it would take another hour to make them all relevant. Ragnarok is a feature film that somehow takes what Marvel has been repeatedly doing for years, turns up the volume of entertainment ten-fold and tosses a slice of rock n' roll madness. What comes out on the other side works and is probably the most fun a Marvel film has been in awhile without becoming too weird or disjointed from the MCU.
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