by Hunter Johnson
It’s been two years since audiences have seen Thor or Hulk on the big screen, but they are back in the 17th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Thor: Ragnarok” (directed by Taika Waititi). The thing that audiences are realizing… is that Thor is funny now.
In this sequel to both the Thor series and the Avengers series, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) are forced into an adventure to stop the destruction of Thor’s home, Asgard, which is being threatened by Hela, Goddess of Death (played menacingly by Cate Blanchett).
As one may realize very soon into the movie, this film is a comedy, and while the first two Thor films certainly had humorous aspects to them, this film takes it to a new level. “Thor: Ragnarok” is the definition of a superhero comedy. It constantly makes jokes and references and creates bizarre scenarios to throw characters into, and it actually works.
The film is funny, charming, weird, and is filled with lovable characters and lighthearted dialogue.
This movie does exactly what it was meant to do: it reminds the audience why they should love Thor and Hulk. Captain America and Iron Man have been getting a lot of screen time over the last two years, but now it’s time to pull the focus over to characters that arguably have not done as well in their solo movies as other superheroes.
And it’s about time too. This movie is playing catch-up, but in the best way possible. It shows what Thor has been up to for the last couple years. It shows what Hulk has been up to for the last couple years. And yes, it also shows what Loki (played by the now beloved Tom Hiddleston) has been up to since his last appearance four years ago.
Where “Thor: Ragnarok” shines is in the characters. Chris Hemsworth leads this film as the heroic and hilarious character of Thor, who has changed for the better from his past appearances from the melodramatic, almost Shakespearian, demigod, to the funny and likable superhero that he now is.
Hulk has become a well-developed character that has also changed remarkably since his first appearances. Mark Ruffalo plays Bruce Banner/The Hulk expertly. He’s found a great balance of staying true to his character and introducing fun new ways to play him.
Other characters include Valkyrie, the newest addition to Thor’s team of “Revengers” (played by the very likable Tessa Thompson), Heimdall, the returning friend and guardian of Thor (played by Idris Elba), and The Grandmaster, the newest and possibly most bizarre addition to this universe yet. The Grandmaster is played by the amazingly talented Jeff Goldblum and he, in a matter of words, was born to play this role. Every time he appears on the screen he completely grabs the audience’s attention and refuses to let go.
Outside of characters, the film has great action and an acceptable plot. It’s not going to blow the minds of any viewers who watch, but that’s not what it’s trying to do. It’s not attempting to be the most remarkable superhero movie ever made, and that’s a good thing. There are times for great ambition in filmmaking, but there are also times for geeky fun-loving filmmaking that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
“Thor: Ragnarok” is a fantastic addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it deserves to become a beloved family “super-comedy” in years to come.
Hunter Johnson is a freshman theatre major and an arts and entertainment writer for Cedars. He spends his time acting on stage, reading and watching Star Wars, and occasionally doing homework.