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Thor: Ragnarock

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

Masquerading as a Marvel Superhero movie, THOR RAGNAROK is the most expensive buddy comedy in movie history, coming in at a $180 million budget.

And it's hilarious from its opening to its final scene!

Thor (Chris Hemsworth in his best & wittiest performance) finds himself imprisoned as the film opens. In the first five minutes of the film, you know you're in for something different, as Thor's interaction with our fiery bad guy is filled with jokes and physical gags that all land.

The plot is almost inconsequential and you've seen it all in the previews.

Thor's sister Hela (Cate Blanchett having a blast) is back from banishment and bent on destroying their home world of Asgard.

Thor and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo-terrific) are stuck across the universe from Asgard, battling in a Gladiator style super bowl to win the favor of the planet's ruler, The Grandmaster. Jeff Goldblum is absolutely perfect as the ruler, dropping every line of dialogue in his unique style that earns countless laugh-out-loud moments.

I can't think of another actor than Christopher Walken that's made a career out of delivering odd line readings, but Goldblum out Walkens Chris in the best role he's had in years.

Tom Hiddleston is terrific as Loki, Idris Elba is back as Heimdall and the Marvel world gets a great new addition with Tessa Thompson (HBO's Westworld, Creed) as Valkyrie, a kick-ass warrior that reminded me of Jenette Goldstein as Vasquez in "Aliens".

There are surprise cameos by some big stars and a terrific early sequence with a fun crossover by another Marvel hero that baffles Thor and leaves us laughing.

Huge props to the Disney/Marvel team for having the vision to hand off directing duties to Taika Waititi, who's found a great following with small films like "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" and "What We Do In the Shadows" that probably had 1/100th of the scale/budget of RAGNAROK. Waititi brings a fantastic offbeat sense of humor and humanity to the tale and elevates it into one of the best of the Marvel films. He also does a great job as the voice of Korg, a warrior made entirely of rocks with an especially dry delivery. Never has a voice been so ill suited and so perfect for a character.

What's amazing is how well Waititi stages the action as well. The opening scenes showcasing Thor going to battle with his hammer managed to be visually awe inspiring even after ALL the battles I've seen Thor walk into with that thing.

Ruffalo's Hulk is given much more dialogue to great effect and the action sequences never bored me, as they so often do in the DC films.

Kudos to Mark Mothersbaugh, one of the founders of Devo, for a terrific and eclectic music score that weaves in references to earlier themes while diving deeply into 80's pop and Georgio Morodor style beats. It's always present and a hell of a lot of fun.

The one word review of this instant Marvel Classic is FUN. To say it's the best of the Thor films would be a huge understatement. Arguably, its one of the best films in the entire Marvel canon, earning big laughs and an A.

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