It’s no secret that Thor is one of Marvel’s most well-liked and revered characters. This will be elevated even more so with the release of Thor: Ragnarok and the latest chapter in the God of Thunder’s story.
Though Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, has most recently appeared in the wearisome Avengers films his last stand-alone film was released in 2013. It’s taken a while for a new feature film but 2017’s Ragnarok, directed by Taika Waititi, is a great shot in the arm for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The best thing about Ragnarok is that it’s likely the most fun you’ll have watching a Marvel film. While the exhilarating action and battles and explosions are still plentiful Ragnarok doesn’t take itself too seriously. In fact, Waititi’s infusion of quirky humour is a real win and the banter between Thor and Hulk/Banner is a treat that adds a delightful layer of enjoyment to the film.
It’s still a Thor movie though and probably the best of the lot so far. The pairing of Thor and Hulk works as Bruce Banner and his alter ego have finally been elevated to being a meaningful character. The narrative too isn’t bombastic or indulgent. Instead, Ragnarok, which threatens the existence of Asgard, sticks closer to the origin story than most other superhero films would bother.
Along with the customary Stan Lee cameo, Ragnarok’s main villain is Hela played by two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett. As the Goddess of Death Hela’s hobbies include wreaking havoc and destruction, torturing souls, and taking lives. She’s not all talk either as she illustrates her power early on by stripping Thor of his fabled hammer and setting about her mission of annihilating the Asgardian civilization.
Remarkably, Hela is the first fully-fledged female villain to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s extraordinary that it’s taken nearly a decade for a Marvel film’s big bad to be female but it was worth the wait. Hela is as delectably evil and disturbed a villain as you could wish for. Hela is so wholly maniacal that she may even give Loki a run for his money for best Marvel villain.
But because Hela was such a grand anti-hero it leads to one possible gripe with the film. Despite being the main antagonist in the film there is a distinct lack of screen time for Hela and it’s rather mystifying why Blanchett’s considerable talent wasn’t fully exploited. The film might even have been better for it.
Nevertheless, Thor: Ragnarok is a win for Marvel especially considering that there is a rumour that DC are assembling and unleashing some sort of super group in the next few weeks. Far removed the pretentious slog of the Avengers films Ragnarok is a hugely fun breath of fresh air.