She’s too powerful. I have no hammer.
What are you? Thor, God of Hammers?
I may not have as much to say about this movie as I have had about a lot of other Marvel films. My feelings about this movie are not particularly complex: I love it. I walked out of it thinking it was the best movie in the MCU. Over time, I’ve developed a more nuanced view of things: it’s the best movie in the MCU. Well, okay, that was kind of a gag (though only kind of); what it definitely is, however, is the most entertaining film of the MCU. I’ve seen a lot of people take the movie to task for kind of throwing character to the wind in order to pack in as much wacky humor and cool action as possible and I get where they’re coming from. I think they’re wrong in some ways and that Thor continues to be earnest and somewhat dim, not just a joke-spewing machine as some would have it. But this movie is wild, wacky and off the charts when it comes to pure fun. Thor: Ragnarok is a sugar high of a movie.
The cast is off the charts good. Hemsworth gets to take his character in some new directions and he does it well; Ruffalo does a good job expanding the Hulk as well; Hiddleston is just coasting now as Loki, which isn’t an insult. But those supporting characters are where it’s at. Tessa Thompson comes damn close to stealing the entire show as the hard-drinking Valkyrie. Karl Urban is great at Hela’s henchman; he, surprisingly, gets the strongest character arc in the movie. Director Waititi gives a fantastic performance as Korg. And Goldblum delivers probably the funniest post-credits scene in the MCU and this is coming after Spider-Man: Homecoming’s meta-joke. But Waititi is really interested in moments; this movie is all about a swaggering kind of cool that is so much fun you can’t even poke holes in it. One might say it’s stupid or lazy to score two action sequences in one movie with the same song; one might . . . until one had realized just how breathtakingly, earnestly awesome it is. The action scenes are next level awesome; one might call them fan service if only this fan had known he wanted them. Whether it’s Urban finally unleashing his machine guns or that bravura epic shot of the Valkyries sweeping down on Hela or Thor sailing through the air to punch Surtur at just the wrong time, this movie has its action beats down perfect. But it’s all for that final moment when Thor remembers what he actually is the God of and he lands and that blue fire just explodes all over him and you’re just like OH ****! It’s jaw-drop moments like that, truly gob-smacking moments of awesomeness that make Ragnarok the intense, breathless rush of an experience that it is. In Waititi’s last film, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, one of the funniest jokes revolved around the line “****. Just. Got. Real.” No one says that line here; no one, that is, but the audience – and in this vibrant, energetic, hilarious, jaw-dropping whiplash of a movie, we say it a lot. 4 stars.
tl;dr – almost unbearably awesome, with a game cast, terrific visuals, jaw-dropping action and a spirit of pure sugar-high joy, Thor: Ragnarok is the MCU on a new level of imagination & wonder. 4 stars.