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Thor: Ragnarok - Movie Review

Movie Review

4 starsSome seventeen films into the MCU, one marvels (see what we did there?) at the sheer volume and consistency of their output in the last decade. There isn’t a single entry in this shared universe that this reviewer hasn’t liked. They’re not all home runs, and, if I think of my least favourites, the last Thor adventure: The Dark World is definitely among them. So have they added to that list or is Thor: Ragnarok another classic in this reviewer’s eyes?

There have certainly been rumblings throughout the world about audience fatigue, when one considers the sheer volume of superhero films being offered out each year. Accusations of assembly line plots, big spectacle and little substance to boot; and with this being the fourth Marvel based movie out of the gate in 2017, I am pleased to say those tasked with making these films have heard, perhaps even shared, that realisation.

In this third outing for Odin’s son, Thor has been off scouring the galaxy for answers on the Infinity Stones… and not getting anywhere. When he returns to Asgard, quickly discovers his brother Loki is alive and posing as his father, he moves to set things right. But locating where Loki has hidden Odin does not go as expected and dark secrets are revealed about his benevolent father that threatens Asgard and the nine realms for all time.

Sounds dire doesn’t it? This film is so far removed from dire that when I tell you it is hilarious, based on the short synopsis above, it will be difficult to accept. But this film is off the chain, crazy, bold, colourful fun.

New Zealand director Taika Waititi has come in to shake things up for the Thor series big time. While there was always a touch of self-deprecating humour sewn into the Thor films previously, in Ragnarok we are steered immediately into farce and hilarity. From the first frames, Hemsworth brings a new infectious joy to the part that he maintains to great appeal throughout the entire picture. He and the rest of cast, including the director himself as a rather unique rock warrior, are here to bring the fun and the jokes come thick and fast and rarely let up.

This film is more in line tonally with the Guardians films than the rest of them. If one can let go of past adventures and accept this film for what it is trying to be—something a little fresh—then a good time is assured. Having said that, there is the little matter of the story and the characterisations, which while enjoyable to a one, don’t successfully address the gravity of what is depicted, nor allow the characters to react as they would in such situations. There is very little shadow amongst the fun, despite the plot calling for it.

They don’t deal with any of the deaths in this one with any relatability—there simply isn’t room for it. There is also a two year gap between when we saw the mainstays last and this film, and because of the complete change in approach, character’s like the Hulk are very different without explanation. (He can hold a conversation now? How?) I think this if anything is the weak point that may divide some. Absence of a character from the first two and even the death of a major one are throw away scenes with no heart.

The characters are fun, but not necessarily that well fleshed out, especially the new characters. I found Blanchette’s Hera to be a little one note, and as awesome as her acting abilities are, she is not given much to play. Her whole character arc is summed up in two sentences and no surprises follow. Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie was a highlight, and she made a memorable impression fast. There are some stellar cameos as well, that will surprise.

The effects are brilliant, and there is a definite shift in colour palette, adding as much new colour to the galaxy as they did humour. The music harkens back to synth scores of the eighties and made this reviewer think of the Queen soundtrack from Flash Gordon, and anytime one manages to put in a Led Zepplin song we are pleased.

This reviewer had a cracking good time with this entry of Thor and left the cinema with a smile. It isn’t an entry for the greater arc of the MCU, but it is unapologetically funny and moves at a cracking pace. I’m sure most of the seemingly weighty things that occurred within its narrative will probably be addressed in the next Avengers.

MAJOR points for delivering something different.



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Film Details

Thor: Ragnarok - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive material.
Runtime: 130 mins
Director: Taika Waititi
Writer: Lawrence D. Cohen
Cast: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle
Genre: Action | Sci-fi
Tagline: Let The Games Begin.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Asgard is not a place, it's a people. And its people need your help."
Theatrical Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Site: https://marvel.com/thor
Release Date: November 3, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: No details available.
Synopsis: Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.



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Thor: Ragnorak (2018) - Blu-ray

Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Disney/Buena Vista
Available on Blu-ray - March 6, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD-50, 1 DVD); iTunes digital copy; Digital copy; Movies Anywhere; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Disney brings us another interstellar showdown with the release of Thor: Ragnarok on blu-ray with a blistering color palette and a cinematic 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The results are as blisteringly good and dazzle the senses with eye-popping special effects. Black levels are charged and edges are well developed. The crispness involved in much of the galactic happenings only gets crushed a bit when we go truly large scale and, usually, that’s only in the darkest of places as we go deep below Thor’s home planet. There’s a nice lever of saturation to the film and the effects are detailed and strong. This new vision for Thor is bold and bright and cutting edge.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless soundtrack is a pretty big deal. It’s immersive and perfectly aligned with the scope of the retro-looking project.



There is an awesome feature length commentary from director Taika Waititi that fans will definitely not want to miss.

Special Features:

Fans who bring home the Ultimate Cinematic Universe Edition (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital) of Thor: Ragnarok will experience all the thunderous action and lightning-fast wit in stunning 4K Ultra HD with next-generation high dynamic range (HDR) visuals and Dolby Atmos immersive audio. Exclusive, never-before-seen bonus features include deleted scenes; hilarious outtakes; an exclusive short: part three of the mockumentary "Team Thor," retitled "Team Darryl" and featuring an eccentric new roommate; the evolution of MCU's heroes culminating in "Avengers: Infinity War;" numerous making-of featurettes which explore the unique vision of director Taika Waititi; the story's unstoppable women; the effortlessly charismatic Korg; the tyrannical leader of Sakaar, the Grandmaster; and the film's comic-book origins; audio commentary by Waititi; and more.

Director Intro (2 min)

Getting In Touch With Your Inner Thor (7 min)

Unstoppable Women: Hela & Valkyrie (6 min)

Finding Korg (8 min)

Sakaar: On the Edge of the Known and Unknown (9 min)

Journey Into Mystery (6 min)

Gag Reel (2 min)

Team Darryl (6 min)

Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years - The Evolution of Heroes (5 min)

Deleted Scenes (6 min)

8-Bit Sequences (3 min)



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Thor: Ragnarok - Movie Review