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Javier Reviews – Thor: Ragnarok

 

I’ll start off with a couple of non spoiler paragraphs. The film is a funny, trippy, action packed masterpiece. You should have seen from the trailers that Thor’s hammer gets broken resulting in him being sent Sakaar, where he finds his buddy hulk. Together with a rag tag team of powered beings they need to take on Hela and halt Ragnarok.

I’ve got to say in some ways this film was exactly what I had wished for but perhaps delivered in a different way than I had expected. I’m a huge fan of Thor (I have a damn tattoo on my arm) and whilst I enjoyed the first 2 films a lot they were never quite perfect for me, the first film being the closest to what I wanted but not quite hitting the mark. What sets this film apart from the first two is the very small time spent on earth, and no Jane, Eric or Darcy. The only time spent on Earth is when they briefly visit Dr Strange to find Odin and are immediately ripped away to space. This makes the film work so well as it’s allowed to be a space adventure without them having to worry about getting a joke in for Darcy. Which in turn allows it to be as close to the comics as they can possibly get, whilst it’s not quite what Logan was for Wolverine it certainly comes close to being a Thor comic come to life (especially something from the Jack Kirby days).

People who wanted a Planet Hulk movie won’t necessarily get what they want in this film. Whilst it does take place on Sakaar, and Korg features hugely (and is perhaps the funniest character in the MCU so far) Hulk is more of a big cameo character as opposed to sharing the film equally with Thor (like Iron man in Civil war). Thor however is a new man….god. It’s obvious they wanted a change and Thor has definitely changed, he no longer plays a mysterious brooding god, he is now a hilarious banter filled genius. Whilst we’ve been leading up to this version of Thor (I personally thought his comedy was a highlight in Ultron) this is a new funny improvised Thor, at times it’s a little out there and does feel like Chris Hemsworth in dress up as opposed to Thor, but I think the more I see this film that will go away.

I enjoyed this film SO much and for me it’s potentially the best standalone MCU film (I don’t count civil war as a standalone). The whole film doesn’t skip a beat, you’re either laughing your ass off or dropping your jaw at the purely awesome action.

I give the film a 9/10 – this could go up.

I’m going to run through what happens in the film but try not to spoil every single scene..

**SPOILERS. DO NOT READ AHEAD IF YOU DON’T WANT IT TO BE SPOILT. MAJOR PLOT POINTS REVEALED**

Still here? Okie dokie… BTW my scene descriptions may not be in a totally accurate order.

The opening to this film is the best opening in an MCU film so far. Thor has been captured by Surtur and it opens with hilarious dialogue, setting the scene for the rest of the film. Thor has been captured on purpose so he can defeat Surtur, he quickly breaks out of his chains to take on Surtur and his army from hell. This sequence blew me away. There’s a particular shot where the camera pans away to a birds eye view as Thor is fighting away literal hordes of enemies with his fists and hammer, its badass. The way he uses the hammer seems to have advances as well as, at one point, he bounces the hammer off Surtur. He kills Surtur and takes his head, believing this will end Ragnarok. Thor flies away (chased by a giant lava dragon) and is transported back to Asgard, however Skurge (played by Karl Urban) is now the gatekeeper.

Thor flies in to Asgard where ‘Odin’ (Loki in disguise) has built great statues to commemorate Loki. He’s put on a play which is re-enacting what had happened in the previous film, with some pretty famous faces starring in this scene ;).

Anyway Thor quickly reveals Loki to everyone and they fly to earth to retrieve Odin. After a brief exchange with Dr Strange the brothers get sent to Norway (I think) to find their dad. Odin informs them that Hela is their younger sister and he can’t hold her off any more (his life force is the only thing keeping her away) with this Odin DIES!! and Hela quickly arrives. Thor throws his hammer at her and she bloody breaks it (the scene we’ve all seen) proving she’s very powerful indeed. Loki stupidly asks to be taken back to Asgard via the bifrost which scoops all 3 of them up, Hela smashes them both out and travels to Asgard alone.

Thor arrives on a junk pile and is quickly captured by a very pretty scrapper, Tessa Thompson (after a brief exchange with a group of junkers) and is taken to the grandmaster, Jeff Goldblum. (They keep control of Thor with a chip in his neck, zapping him every time he steps out of line.) He is hilariously strange and eccentric and plays the role of planetary leader very well. He informs Thor that he needs to defeat their champion to be granted escape from the planet. Thor is then led around on a chair that he’s strapped in to, he notices Loki chilling and having a drink! Loki lets him know he’s won the favour of the grandmaster and is having a great time.

Thor is thrown in with the prisoners and this is where we meet Korg, voiced by the director Taika Waititi. Korg is so freaking hilarious, every scene he had made me crease with laughter and just made me want more of him.

Back on Asgard Hela is causing hell, she very quickly kills Volstaag and Fandral, maybe not a big deal if you’ve only seen the films but I was gutted! And recruits Skurge to help her. She goes into the city and fights and army of Asgardians and kills Hoguun, her fighting style is very slick and unique as she summons baldes continually (and lots of them) so whilst spinning and fighting she is constantly throwing blades to kill everyone. She tells Skurge that Odin was lying to them all and the only reason that Asgard is as mighty and powerful as it is was because they had killed many races together but Odin had to stop her as she grew too powerful and wanted too much! She also seems surprised that no one knows who she is. This is probably the most mythological part of the film and works as it focuses on family dynamics.

On Sakaar Thor is put into the gladiator ring to take on the champion, HULK! (just before this there’s more exchange with Korg and he discovers that the scrapper who caught him was a Valkyrie) Unsurprisingly this scene is rad, Thor at first doesn’t want to fight Hulk but there’s no banner inside him so Hulk just goes for it, so does Thor. Thor is getting beat until he unleashes full thunder god mode and destroys Hulk. The grandmaster sees it’s not going his way and zaps Thor, Hulk then KOs him. Thor wakes up in Hulk’s room (and hilariously comments on Hulk’s penis) he convinces Hulk to help him escape and that Hulk needs to come with.

Thor also has an exchange with Heimdall, where he lets Thor know that Hela has taken over Asgard and his hunting down anyone who doesn’t fall in line (but Heimdall has taken the Bifrost sword disabling access out of Asgard).

Hulk fills him in and lets Thor know that he’s been on Sakaar for 2 years, and he got here via quinjet, Thor needs that quinjet. After some banter and Hulk telling Thor he is inferior they escape (and have almost convinced the Valkyrie to help and Thor steals the device that zaps him). He jumps out to find the quinjet, Unfortunately Hulk is upset that his friend wants to leave and accidentally destroys the quinjet whilst convincing Thor not to leave. However a video of Black Widow plays (the one from the end of Ultron) and this transforms him back in to banner Thor is glad that he’s back to banner and tries his best to keep him calm by repeating ‘suns getting real low’. Ruffalo plays this version of banner amazingly well, he’s properly spun out by the fact that he’s been the Hulk for 2 years, and is properly freaked out.

Thor takes Banner back to Valkyrie (who’s caught Loki) and they devise a plan to fly back through the devil’s anus which will take them back to Asgard. They steal a ship with the help of Loki and fight their way through the Grandmaster’s guards. Loki betrays Thor at the last minute, luckily he’s been outwitted and Thor has placed a zapper on Loki’s neck and turns it on and throws the control device far out of his reach.

Thor, Valkyrie and Banner escape spectacularly in the ship they stole. Valkyrie and Thor jumping from one enemy ship to another to take it down. They fly through the devil’s anus and arrive back in Asgard.

They land on the rainbow bridge where Heimdall is leading all of the Asgardian citizens out to freedom, Hela’s death army lead by a giant zombie wolf have different plans.

Thor gets to the palace to take on Hela and remembers he is a Thundergod and zaps her with biggest lightning bolt ever. Valkyrie and Heimdall struggle to keep the armies back so Banner steps in! He jumps out of the ship and….hits it with a hard thud, not turning into the Hulk as planned, the comic effect of this is fantastic, he then obviously transforms and tackles the giant wolf off of the bridge. Loki then arrives in a massive ship (he was saved by Korg) to take away all of the Asgardians. Jumps on the bridge to help all of the other beings. This action sequence is pure perfection, Thor is in pure thunder god mode, summoning lightning from his hands as he battles away the army from hell. He’s devised a plan with Loki to summon Big Surtur to end Asgard and kill Hela. Bringing around Ragnarok but for the good of the people (Thor is not powerful enough to kill Hela).

Loki succeeds and summons Surtur. Everyone escapes on the ship and Surtur blows up Asgard and Hela with it.

Heimdall reassures Thor he’s done the right thing because Asgard is a people and not a place, so it can be anywhere. And off they head for Midgard.

 

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