Just as ridiculous as the film title but bloody good fun all the same.
Imprisoned, the mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk (CGI’d Mark Ruffalo), his former ally. Fighting for survival and racing against time, Thor must prevent the all-powerful Hela (Cate Blanchett) from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.
When I first heard the director’s name (Taika Waititi), my first thoughts were: “What a strange name” and then I actually did some research and couldn’t believe my luck.
Count Viago from What We Do in the Shadows?! (A heavy recommendation if you haven’t seen it already). I should have known what to expect.
One mad rollercoaster ride of hilarity, neon, colour and 80s fusion, of course.
Marvel have really hit their stride (*cough* DC *cough*) and seem to have a winning formula.
To be honest, I wasn’t really impressed with the first Avengers movie or Captain America (What?! Sorry) BUT I loved Kenneth Branagh’s introduction of Thor. The Shakespearean King Lear melodrama between the feuding brothers. Hiddleston, Hemsworth, Hopkins, Portman. Perfect.
Thor: The Dark World was a mixed bag. Failing to deliver the right balance of laughs and drama. I was intrigued to see what tone Thor’s third outing would take. The more comical route did have its flaws BUT I was too busy having fun.
And there were still some touching moments (as well as revelations) to be had between Thor and his father Odin (Sir Anthony Hopkins).
Even if it was a little sillier and the story line a tad predictable, Waititi and co made up for it with memorable characters, stellar turns, humour and heart.
It’s hard not to mention one actor, in particular when praising supporting characters. I’m sure you’ve seen the endless memes, gifs and tweets.
You can’t help but smile at the guy. His larger than life bohemian approach fitted the role of the Grandmaster perfectly. My only grumble? He wasn’t in it enough.
Tessa Thompson was fantastic as the embittered Valkyrie. Disillusioned and drinking her sorrows out of a bottle. Her stubborn demeanour worked well off the confused Thor.
Cate Blanchett lapped up the role of Hela with aplomb. Despite being pushed into the background far too much; she still managed to make a stern adversary to the Viking god.
Karl Urban (An underrated actor) was hilarious as Skurge. Just wait until he introduces his accomplices Des and Troy. Brilliant.
I was getting a little fed up of Loki and Thor’s fractious fraternal relationship. But this latest foray forced the pair into an uneasy alliance and somebody must have heard me because there was even a gag in which Thor tells Loki that he’s waiting for the next betrayal. A running gag that delivered in buckets.
It helped that Hiddleston and Hemsworth worked well together yet again.
BUT the main duo I was interested in was . . .
Only kidding. Well, not entirely. Waititi even managed to give himself a little cameo as the bumbling bouldered bad ass that was Korg. He had me in stitches. Stealing every scene he featured in.
Anyway, the real duo that made it for me was Thor and Hulk. I loved the dynamic between them. I haven’t really rated Hulk’s multiple reincarnations (Sorry, Team Bana all day) and was unimpressed with Ruffalo. THAT WAS UNTIL Ragnarok.
He nailed Banner and brought a little character and humanity to the green giant.
The only problem with bringing new characters into the mix was that somebody had to take the hit. The absence of Portman and Dennings was missed and Idris Elba was reduced to measly filler sequences. Don’t get me wrong, he still bossed it BUT a waste of a character and an actor.
I will commend how all the silly little clips, that hardcore Marvel fans have endured begrudgingly through endless credits (thanking everyone from the make up assistant’s make up assistant to the chap who brings the coffee), have finally come into play. Most notably with a caped dimension bender (Probably not the best description).
This installment has certainly kept things fresh and fun and spiced things up for the upcoming projects.
Despite my nitpicking, I wasn’t bored. It was entertaining, if a little silly in places BUT had everything you could expect from a big superhero movie. Mad action, fantastic effects, great characters with the right injection of fun.
*How could I forget to commend the soundtack?! I will amend that error by leaving this classic track that welcomed our favourite Norse God to the mix. Enjoy!