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NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: Asgard’s favorite thunder god (Chris Hemsworth) returns to try to prevent Ragnarok (Norse armageddon), save his realm and find his dad Odin (Anthony Hopkins); instead, Thor ends up having to tangle with Hela, goddess of death (Cate Blanchett), teams up with and gets screwed by Loki (Tom Hiddleston) again (and again), meets the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and “secret” warrior (Tessa Thompson) on an alien planet, helps out Heimdall (Idris Elba), suffers a bunch of major losses, and keeps most of it light-hearted in the process.
Written by Eric Pearson and Craig Kyle & Christopher L. Yost Directed by Taika Waititi. Based on the comics by Stan Lee & Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby (yay!)
- While THOR: THE DARK WORLD had the smallest amount of humor, this one ups the comedy and then some. While some may think it’s too much (right from the opening scene, btw), most of it is appropriate and a lot of it is genuinely funny (especially the banter between Thor and Hulk/Banner).
- Solid story overall. A few twists, but lots of obstacles and complications, while keeping it straight-forward and understandable.
- Casting: The usual heavyweights as listed above. Blanchett is hellishly hateful and still hot as Hela; Ruffalo plays a refreshingly undrepressed and comedically hapless Banner, and Loki is less an evil villain and more of the god of mischief he’s meant to be. Jeff Goldblum as The Grand Master was his usual quirky-odd-but-highly-entertaining self. The newcomers are good, along with Karl Urban (STAR TREK) as the Executioner.
- Bonus appearance by another major Marvel movie character and top actor. (You probably already know but I won’t ruin it for the few who don’t.) For ladies and gay dudes, shirtless buff Hemsworth.
- A decent mix of quiet moments, snappy dialog, action, suspense, battles and of course, the usual top effects for the most part. The arena battle with the Jolly Green Giant is epic! (Beat-downs on both sides.) Even the hairstyling was wild and unique.
- Regarding CG, the rock character Korg (voiced by the director) was an enjoyable addition, the fire-demon type Surtur (Clancy Brown, VO) looked fantastic, and I don’t think the Hulk ever looked better. Plus he speaks! No mention at all of why he didn’t before, though. (Did he learn on the planet?) But thankfully, there’s no scene of the Hulk trying to pick up Thor’s hammer, avoiding a stupid and silly debate.
- The usual Stan Lee cameo is one of the better (best?) ones. He’s got a couple lines so you won’t miss it. (It’s all too obvious, though, that it was shot separately and that he and Hemsworth were not together.)
- FROM MIKE: Unlike previous Thor films, creators Stan Lee, Larry Lieber (Stan’s brother) and Jack Kirby are credited with the majors in the title credits rather than just the end crawl. Kirby’s Hela design was almost straight from his artwork, down to the antler/spike headdress. And the end crawl gives a “special thanks to Walt Simonson for his significant contribution,” along with a lot of Silver, Bronze and other greats like Gene Colan, Mike Ploog, John Romita, Greg Pak, etc.
- Regarding credits, the usual two bonus scenes: one after the main titles to set up AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, and a short comedic one at the very end tying up one of the loose ends with a bad guy.
- The ending is pretty good—big-ass battle climax and decent resolution. Other than the previous flick’s switcheroo between Loki and Odin, you don’t need to know anything about any other films. (It’s more fun if you do, of course, but you can take most anyone new to the Marvel Universe with you and they won’t be lost with just a few bits of background.)
- Shame on the trailers! The Jade Giant doesn’t show up till about halfway through and would have been a great surprise reveal if the idiots editing the previews didn’t ruin it.
- Suspension Of Disbelief Dept.: there are a couple of the usual “If A, why didn’t B happen?” type stuff. F’rinstance, Bruce Banner getting thrown out of a moving spaceship, holding on for dear life, and not getting stressed enough to change, when less than that has made him change before.
- More “kill them off instead of just making them go away” solutions. No less than five important characters from the Thor universe go kaput when all but one didn’t need to. Major bummer.
- Some of the other CG did look a bit on the fake side to me, in some of the battles and some of the faces of fake characters. The Hulk again changes sizes a couple times, as does his head (pinhead to normal size).
- Thor’s new “butch” look (with a new addition to his mug) just do not look thunder godlike. By the end, he looks more like a Bond villain in armor.
- This one’s over two hours and does feel it. Thankfully the pace is decent, but you’ll still realize it’s loooong. Pee before you sit and pace your pop-drinkin’.
Definitely better than the last Thor flick and even the first one in some respects. The fact that it’s much more stand-alone (like DOCTOR STRANGE) than most other Marvel flicks is a big plus for many (meaning you don’t need to re-watch THE DARK WORLD to enjoy THOR: RAGNAROK). Slapstick comedy and some good banter make it funny but still in a different way than the GUARDIANS and DEADPOOL films. Didn’t see it in dark 3D so no need to spend the dough (IMAX would be cool, though). Buy the DVD/Bluray if you’d like to see it over and the extras are worth it.
P.S.: Want a powerful pencil of the prince of Asgard? An indelible inking of The Incredible Hulk? A hellacious helping of Hela in colorful costume? Or maybe Tony Stark’s Vette with you driving it? Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are not those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, the Norse gods, the Warriors Three, the Three Musketeers, Asgard, Midguard, Right Guard, Vanaheim, Aardvark-Vanaheim, the nine realms, the Eight Wonders, the Seven Samurai, the Secret Six, the Inferior Five, the Fab Four, the Three Stooges, Two-And-A-Half Men, the Barbi Twins or a partridge in a pear tree. Bru has a hammer of love he calls Myjollynub. No one is worthy of touching it except him…which he does much too often.