Film Review: Thor Ragnarok
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When thinking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, humour is usually one of the last things on your mind. Although there is always a certain edge of comic genius and wit in the Avengers series (largely driven by Robert Downey Jr.) and both Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 thrive off it, the trait is not something you'd usually attribute to the films, or to Chris Hemsworth's Thor for that matter. In somewhat surprising inversion, Thor: Ragnarok succeeds because the blend of humour and action is so balanced. Returning to Asgard, Thor finds himself unwittingly teaming up with his brother to find Odin (Sir Anthony Hopkins), unwilingly enlisting the help of Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to do so. Following this, he attempts to return to Asgard, however finds himself confronted by the villainous Hela (Cate Blanchett)- his lost sister and Odin's firstborn child- who destroys his beloved and legendary Mjolnir before flinging him out of the Bifrost into the far-flung reaches of the galaxy. The God of Thunder finds himself captured by SR-142 (Tessa Thompson) and is forced to fight to the death in a coluseum on Sakaar, a planet of gambling and opulence ruled over by Elder of the Universe The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). To win his freedom, Thor finds out he simply needs to defeat the champion of the arena. Trouble is, that champion is Bruce Banner or more specifically, The Incredible Hulk, paying homage to the iconic 2006 Planet Hulk comic series. Particular kudos must go to the scriptwriters who pen a seamless love-hate relationship between Hiddleston and Hemsworth which has been a cornerstone of the Thor Marvel franchise. What is unique for Ragnarok, however, is much needed interaction between Ruffalo and Hemsworth, an avenue widely ignored in The Avengers series. At times funny, but mostly touching, it shows how far both the individuals have come since first banding together to fight the Tesseract. The back-and-forth banter and verbal sparring between the two has never been stronger and this in turn acts as a real driver for the film's plot, especially in some shakier moments.
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