Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

“Thor: Ragnarok” was directed Taika Waitiki and is the 3rd film in the “Thor” series but the 17th in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. The film sees Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddelston, Idris Elba & Anthony Hopkins return to their respected characters. Joining them is Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban & Jeff Goldblum. Mark Ruffalo and Benedict Cumberbatch also joins the cast with their MCU characters, Bruce Banner a.k.a The Hulk and Dr. Strange.

After the mighty Thor (Hemsworth) escapes the clutches of the fire demon known as Surtur, he returns back to Asgard only to find out that his brother, the God of Mischief, Loki (Hiddleston) who was presumed dead, has been parading around as their father, Odin (Hopkins) while he has exiled on Earth. With the help of Dr. Strange (Cumberbatch), Thor & Loki find Odin in Norway, slowly dying. Before his death, he warns them that their forgotten sister, Hela (Blanchett)  the Goddess of Death is coming to destroy Asgard. Seconds after his death, Hela appears and destroys Thor’s Hammer. As they try to escape, Thor & Loki are blasted to another planet called Sakaar. while Hela lands in Asgard. On Sakaar, Thor is kidnaped by Valkyrie (Thompson) a former member of an elite group of warriors assigned to protect the throne that were killed by Hela. She takes him before The Grandmaster (Goldblum) and then is entered in the coliseum to battle his champion, which also happens to be Thor’s fellow Avenger, The Incredible Hulk (Ruffalo). As Thor, Loki and the Hulk try to escape Sakaar, Hela has already begun their destruction on Asgard with the help of her new executioner, Skurge (Urban). Thor and Loki must put aside their differences and team up to not only escape The Grandmaster and Sakaar but also stop Hela from destroying Asgard.

The first film was pretty good as far as an origin story, the second was a massive disappointment but Ragnarok is the best in the series. This was a major improvement from the previous film. The movie had the feel of a 70s, 80s Sci-Fi adventure with a modern twist and look. Both Hemsworth and Hiddleston continue to shine as their characters. Tessa Thompson was solid and held her own with the guys. Cate Blanchett nails it as the villain and with the exception of Hiddleston is definitely the best villain performance in the Thor series. Jeff Goldblum had a great performance despite not being the main villain. Both charismatic and entertaining, he own his scenes. The chemistry between Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo was amazing. They were funny and entertaining together and really played off each other.

“Ragnarok” ended with the arrival of Thanos which lead to the events “Avengers: Infinity War”. While “Black Panther” came out right before Infinity War, Ragnarok was a great film leading to it. While Hemsworth, Hiddleston, Ruffalo, Cumberbatch and Elba would appear in Infinity War, The Thor series would continue as a fourth film was announced for a 2022 release, “Thor: Love & Thunder”. Hemsworth, Ruffalo, Cumberbatch and Thompson would all appear in 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame”. While Ragnarok was damn good, its risen the bar high enough for it to be almost impossible to follow but with Waitiki returning as director, it does give a glimmer of hope.

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