Thor: Ragnarok was so funny that I wasn’t sure I was watching a Marvel super hero film at all. Sure, it still retained all the normal super hero elements but every scene was turned into any opportunity for a laugh. It was a brave choice but I thoroughly enjoyed it and must give Marvel big praise for allowing this type of film go ahead. They took a big risk letting a relatively unknown director (Taika Waititi) make a comedy film out of a fairly serious Marvel character as well as allowing him to make some massive, and I really do mean massive, changes to the whole of the Thor mythology. In fact its safe to say that Thor will never be the same after Ragnarok.
The downside to everything being humorous is that you don’t care as much for the characters, for example, people die but you don’t have any moments to mourn them as you are straight onto the next comedic scene. This is where Thor Ragnarok doesn’t quite match up to the original Guardians of the Galaxy and the new Spiderman: Homecoming as they both had the balance spot on between humour and, for a want of a better word, heart. Thor sacrifices heart for the expense of laughs.
I must highlight that Chris Hemsworth is excellent, his comedy timing is spot on and he does a great job of selling each scene (which is just as well as some of it does go a bit daft) and the bants between him and the Hulk/Banner is spot on. You also have a ‘far out’ performance from Jeff Goldblum that felt just about right for an ancient Grandmaster.
Baddies are a bit so-so and too prolific as not only do you have the Grandmaster, you have Hela, who looks fantastic (Cate Blanchett does a great evil sneer, shame she was not used a bit more), Skurge is a bit weedy and pathetic, Surtur only pops-up a bit and Fenris is a toy to keep the Hulk busy. I think perhaps there were too many baddies which meant that not one received enough focus. Tom Hiddlestone and Idris are also around as is a Valkyrie but they are a pushed to the sides a bit as the focus is on Thor and the Hulk.
Action for the most part is great (loved the arena battle) and everything is smoothly done at a brisk pace, although the other worlds felt a tad boring and to ‘earth’ like to me and Asgard seemed to have shrunk, big time (and that inludes the population).
Note: Don’t forget to stay until the very end as there are two extra scenes to look forward to.
Verdict: Another very good super-hero film that focuses on humour at the expense of drama but, then again, who cares when it is so damned funny.