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Thor: Ragnarok is a thunderous riot

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Thor:Ragnarok runs in theaters now.

Thor:Ragnarok runs in theaters now.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Thor:Ragnarok runs in theaters now.

Antonio Pequeño IV, A&E Editor

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In his third film installment, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself imprisoned on the scrap ridden planet of Sakaar after a clash with the almighty goddess of death, Hela (Cate Blanchett). Captured and forced to fight for his freedom against his old ally, Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor must assemble a team and race back to his homeworld of Asgard before Hela brings ultimate destruction.

Taking over the director’s helm for Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Watiti rises to the occasion in this Marvel blockbuster. He’s directed a few other movies (What We Do in the Shadows & Hunt for the Wilderpeople) but nothing near the scale of a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) installment.

The character’s of the film are perhaps the strongest point. Thor is revitalized from the ground up, and as a result, gains more depth. On top of that, we get the best version of the Hulk to date in respects to his accompanying motion capture and animation, bringing more to the table than his standard smash and destroy antics. Tessa Thompson gives an exceptional performance as Valkyrie, a compelling character who’s character arc revolves around a redemption story.

The film is arguably Marvel’s most comedic work to date. On top of directing, Watiti plays Korg, a befriender of Thor and an unexpected highlight for comic relief. Meanwhile, the dynamic between Thor and Hulk/Bruce Banner is genuine and chummy.

For the most part, the comedy works but it lowers the stakes for the conflict within the film. The word ragnarok entails the annihilation of god and man, but the silliness woven within the plot lulls any sense of urgency that ragnarok necessitates. That same lull partially extends to Thor: Ragnarok’s villian, Hela. There’s a decent level of development and behind Hela’s motives. Blanchett gives a great performance, but she could have served a greater purpose given more screen time.

Thor: Ragnarok is the best Thor film by far, and beyond its faults, it gets a lot done through its dynamic characters and cast, backed by a vibrant and entertaining tone.

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