Thor: Ragnarok Screen 75 of 11 reviews

Thor: Ragnarok

2017

Thor: Ragnarok Poster
  • Waititi combines comic-book swagger and the antics of a Hope and Crosby Road movie with successive comic duos. Thor and Loki become an on-and-off team, and Hemsworth matches wits with Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange before matching half-wits with Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, who becomes the second lead. In the looniest and best possible way, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marvel Universe.

  • Poor Hulk—the biggest Marvel name, in more ways than one, yet condemned to be a wandering exile after two solo vehicles flopped ignominiously. He’s been a team member in the Avengers films, and here a guest of honor—but Thor: Ragnarok finds more for him to do, more entertainingly, than he’s been allowed to before.

  • The director Taika Waititi brings exuberant visual wit and comedic sensibility to the latest Marvel extravaganza . . . Waititi makes the most of the churn and flash of battles and settings realized with C.G.I., filling the screen with wild whirls of color, launching characters and vehicles into loopy trajectories, and shifting from place to place with an antic sense of surprise. Even the long exposition and the sentimental ending can’t burst the giddy bubble.

  • Marvel movies are never going to stop feeling like product. But a director like Waititi at least knows how to make that product feel fresh. I’m still nostalgic for a time when superhero movies weren’t as overly aware of and beholden to their sequels... There’s no getting around the fact that every Marvel movie feels like a middle child: Ever-defined in relation to other movies, they’ll never satisfyingly stand alone. Ragnarok doesn’t change that. But it also doesn’t suffer for it.

  • Waititi brings his anarchic sensibility and cheeky humor to this third entry in the Marvel Studios franchise, proving himself just as skilled at action-adventure as at quirky indie comedy... The story unfolds largely on a planet ruled by a fey gadfly (Jeff Goldblum), which makes this colorful mashup of Scandinavian myth, interplanetary sci-fi, Old Testament references, and crossover comic book characters (Hulk, Doctor Strange) a goofy lark.

  • Marvel could have gone grimmer, broodier and sterner, but that isn’t its onscreen way; so it has made Thor sunnier, sillier and funnier. It’s a good fit, at least for a while. Like some other superheroes, Thor has been good for the occasional light, mocking laugh, often hooked to his otherworldly identity: He’s a god (as he likes to announce), son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), and so forth. For much of “Ragnarok,” he’s a playfully sustained joke.

  • By the standards of its kinsmen, Thor: Ragnarok is the flamboyantly roller-disco entry in an already uncomplicatedly cartoonish side franchise, and not because the film contrives to relieve Thor (Chris Hemsworth) of his mangy mane so as to further sex him up. But of course that doesn't hurt. Amazingly, Ragnarok breaks through the maxi-franchise's cynical cycles by arguably embracing its own disposability, and reveling in its vintage Williams-pinball mise-en-scène.

  • Unfortunately, as is often the case with Marvel films, the adventurous aspects aren’t adventurous enough, and the more predictable aspects . . . are more frenzied and loud than inspired, and eventually become monotonous . . . Only the comic chemistry of the main quadrangle—Hemsworth, Hiddleston, Thompson and Ruffalo—prevents “Thor: Ragnarok” from devolving into another standard-issue superhero crash-and-bash fest.

  • Even as the picture piles on the retro stylizations and the goofy one-liners, the undercurrent of oppression is inescapable. In its own weird little way, Thor: Ragnarok manages to poke fun at the constant churn of myth and entertainment of which the movie itself is a part. It's a candy-colored cage of delights, but it is a cage nevertheless – and it doesn't hide that fact.

  • Even more than the Guardians films, this has the crowded, colourful, double-page-spread look of classic Marvel (Thor was Kirby’s favourite space-opera stage), with much eye-pleasing detail. And, after the introspective gloom of recent Avengers and Captain Americaentries, Ragnarok lets the cast have fun.

  • Directed by the enormously talented New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi, it’s well intentioned but ultimately numbing, an instance of fun overkill whose ultimate goal seems to be to put us into a special-effects coma. Not even the occasional inspired touch — like Cate Blanchett as the silky villainess Hela— can save it. It’s at least three movies rolled into one, with maybe half a decent one in there.

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