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Cole Greene

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The Thor franchise hasn’t been one of the better franchises within the MCU. They have been widely regarded as being some of the weakest films in the shared universe and. The first Thor (2010) was a pretty enjoyable film with the second film, Thor: The Dark World (2013) being a darker film and perhaps being a little too serious with its material. In both of his solo outings and both of the Avengers films, Chris Hemsworth seemed to be most comfortable and charming when behaving humorously. Enter Thor: Ragnarok with director Taika Waititi at the helm, and we have a full-on action comedy that reaches into the weirder aspects of the entire Marvel Universe.

Thor: Ragnarok picks up two years after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron when we last saw the God of Thunder. After the opening events of the film, Thor finds himself on a distant planet without his hammer and finds himself in a race to get back Asgard to stop Ragnarok–destruction of Asgard and its civilization– at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, Hela.

The events in this film all happen at a relatively quick pace that keeps the story moving but also leaving breathing room for all of the jokes that come in the film. The best stretch of the film resides within the portion where Thor sees himself on the planet Sakaar, where he must fight in a gladiatorial setting against the planet’s best fighter.

Hemsworth is the best we’ve seen from him in the MCU here where his character’s own ego his own self-interests trip him up in one hilarious moment after the next. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) remains the best villain the MCU has produced thus far, and takes his complex character to satisfying places that plays into the character arch that Loki has been building towards since the first Thor film. While Loki may still be the best MCU villain to this point, Hela (Cate Blanchett) gives him a real run for his money for that title. She is a character who is a victim of Asgard’s tainted history and has a need for attention, as well as a ruthlessness to her that is captivating to watch every time that she is on screen. The biggest standout of the entire film however is Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, who also has a troubled history with Asgard. Valkyrie has since retreated into isolation and uses alcohol to try and drown out the memories of her past. Thompson is constantly the smartest and most capable person in the room at any time and when she must eventually fight with Thor, she shows off just how badass of a fighter she is.

As a whole Thor: Ragnarok is easily the funniest film in the MCU, even more than either of the two Guardians of the Galaxy films. It stands as the funniest film of 2017 by far. Waititi even shows up as a side character captured through motion capture by the name of Korg. Almost every line out of Korg’s mouth at the very least gets a chuckle out of the audience but constantly brings out some of the funniest laughs in the film.

As far as negatives about the film go, it may be a little too light hearted. The stakes are urgent, but they don’t feel as dire as the film would like for you to believe. The bigger emotional moments hit their mark, but they don’t always feel as earthshaking as advertised. One thing I did notice about these emotional moments however was that unlike Guardians of the Galaxy 2, they are not undercut by an immediate joke. That film constantly felt like it was just going for big laughs rather than to provide a compelling story. Ragnarok does a similar thing with its comedy but it does it with greater success.

The biggest takeaway that I had from the film was that it was just a damn fun film to watch. It’s exceedingly entertaining, funny, with a lot of eye-popping visuals as well as a fantastic synth musical score included. Thor: Ragnarok marks the high point in the Thor franchise as well as being one of the very best that the MCU has to offer, only being outclassed by the Captain America sequels.

9/10

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