After the disaster that was Thor: The Dark World, Marvel’s latest installment to their Cinematic Universe has truly redeemed this character as a hero to truly root for. It helps that, as the old saying appropriated by Kingsman: The Secret Service states, “A hero is only as good as it’s villain.”’ Thor: Ragnarok absolutely delivers that in Cate Blanchett’s Hela, the Asgardian Goddess of Death. And that’s where it begins.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to Asgard to face down Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and recruit him to help find their father Odin (Anthony Hopkins). They do this only to be found by Hela, a turn of events foretold to signal Ragnarok, or the destruction of the otherworldy Asgard. During a small battle Hela banishes both brothers and returns to rule Asgard as its Queen, with a vision to take over all Nine Realms and expand her rule throughout the universe. Thor and Loki end up on the scrapyard planet, Sakaar, ruled over by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldbloom in some astonishing blue eyeliner), a tyrant who uses those that are stranded as scravengers or gladiators. Thor enlists Bruce Banner/ Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) after a gladiator showdown that is truly is a visual spectacle to behold as well as Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) to head back to Asgard to take down Hela and help Heimdall lead an exodus of all of its inhabitants out of the realm.
There is a feel of nostalgia that sweeps over this film. It seems that Marvel has tried to take a cue from its 70s inspired space opera Guardians Of The Galaxy and has reinvented this character with a new setting and style. From the neon colouring to the heavily synthesized score, created by Devo’s Mark Motherbaugh, this film screams 1980s. However, unlike with Guardian‘s Peter Quill, who has a connection to the 1970s, there is no basis for the nostalgia in this film, spite the fact that it works.
The chemistry of old characters and new recruits flows seamlessly into the fabric of the story. Old characters that have been here since the beginning have finally reached their truly potential. And with the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, which will be the next film we see them in, it will be the interesting to see where they take these characters.
The only problem that is apparent is the comedy. Marvel has taken cue as well from Guardians and banks on its comedy aspect. However, occasionally it falls short of its mark in moments where the story should have been more serious. However, it is a worthy successor to its predecessor. It is entertaining, jocular, and true to the spirit of what a hero does when given unbeatable odds. And everyone love to root for an underdog, because there is one in all of us.