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Thor: Ragnarok

 FILM REVIEW

 

Director:

Taika Waititi

Cast:

 

Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Cate Blanchett

 

"Thor: Ragnarok is one of the most physical, yet comic, superhero films of recent times"

‘Thor: Ragnarok' is the third installment in the Thor franchise and the 17th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The previous two Thor films were dark, grim and devoid of humor mostly. They were also somewhat washed out and had a lack of color palate. The makers also might have thought that in order to make Thor relatable to the audiences, they needed to have him interact with humans. Thor: Ragnarok puts to rest all these qualms and gives us a film that is not only brimming with comedy and visual splendor but also unfolds completely on a different realm, and yet turns out to be more relatable than the two previous installments.

Hela (Blanchett) is Odin's first born and helped him plunder 9 realms. She was banished by her father after her thirst for macabre grew out of control. In this installment, she returns to Asgard to claim her throne and neither Thor, nor Loki, can do anything about it. Both Thor and Loki end up in a dump yard of a planet that is known for its Gladiator-style fights and tournaments. Here, Thor meets his long-lost friend Hulk, who apparently crash-landed there after the events of Age of Ultron, but he isn't the colleague from work that he used to be. 

This is easily the best Thor film till date and also one of the better Marvel Cinematic Universe films. I just loved the color palette on this one. Not only are the different realms visited given different color schemes and are wonderfully realized, this turns out to be a much brighter film considering both content and visuals. I just loved the layout of the planet that Loki and Thor spend most of their time on. The costumes of the characters are wonderfully realized and well made. I generally don't get into those areas but here it is just too much to leave out.

The action sequences are brilliant. They are fast, they are well-edited and choreographed and above all, they are wonderfully manned by the actors. Both Hemsworth and Blanchett bring a certain amount of physicality to their characters which work very well in the action sequences. The Gladiator match between Thor and Hulk is easily the highlight of this film and it plays out to our eye's delight and ear's satisfaction. The final action sequence is great too, especially the one-on-one between Thor and Hela but it couldn't reach the same height of the fight sequence between Thor and Hulk.

There is an absurd amount of comedy which is bound to keep you giggling all throughout the film. Every serious sequence ends up with a killer one-liner that will make you roll with laughter. The film starts with a comic sequence involving Thor and a skeleton and ends with one. The introduction of Loki was hilarious and so was the character of Korg voiced by Taika Waititi himself. Jeff Goldblum brings his loved and talked-about mannerism to the character of Grandmaster and he remains that way all throughout the film. It's almost like a self-parody and it works well because of the manner in which it is played out.

Chris Hemsworth is getting better and better at playing Thor with every film and it's evident in this film. He shows the kind of comic timing that I didn't knew he had and he does exceedingly well with it. The character of Hulk is surprisingly chatty here. I never heard him speak before but that was a very welcome change and results in some hilarious alterations between him and Thor.

Mark Ruffalo is my favorite Hulk of all times and he excels in both the avatars of the character. There is also a very special appearance towards the beginning by a very special someone whom we know from a very special film. Cate Blanchett is perfect as the seductive and ruthless Hela who would stop at nothing to get what she wants. She is the only one who is spared from the comedy. 

This is the kind of film that deserved to be shot in 3D. It has the kind of visuals that complement the 3D style of film-making. I am not particularly sure if the film was shot on 3D or shot in the traditional way and then later digitally transformed to 3D but the results are pretty astounding. The effect is especially felt in the action sequences and some other scenes involving depth of view. Hence, it would be a good idea to catch this film in 3D on the biggest possible screen with the loudest surround sound system. 

On the flip side, people would be so lost in the comedy, action and visual finesse that they will fail to notice the fact that the film has a very pedestrian plot that has absolutely no novelty. Also, I felt at many junctures that the comedy was, in many ways, overwhelming the affectivity of certain serious sequences. It must also be noted that the comedy gets repetitive in certain sequences towards the end. However, these issues don't stand in the way of this film turning out to be utterly delightful and entertaining.

Thor: Ragnarok does for Thor what Spiderman Homecoming did for Spiderman. It takes a well known and loved character and revitalizes it, keeping intact its ethos. The film is further bolstered by some amped-up visuals, action and a leading man who is getting better. The fact that it doesn't need you to use your head too much also ropes in those viewers who are lining up just for the entertainment. Thor: Ragnarok is a well-made film that can be enjoyed by one and all.