Title: Thor: Ragnarok
Fix: MCU Superhero Movie, Taika Waititi’s Humor, Family Issues, Loki
To save Asgard from a bloodthirsty goddess of death, the mighty Thor will have to battle his way to freedom and find a way back home.
After traveling around the universe cultivating a sense of humor, Thor returns home to find that his father, Odin, is actually his brother, Loki, and their older sister, Hela—whom neither of them knew existed—is itching to wreak havoc upon Asgard after being banished for literal eons thanks to her penchant for killing first and never bothering to ask forgiveness. (Family, amirite?)
Thor and Loki must put their differences aside and, along with a ragtag group of outcasts (and a Hulk), save their people from Hela’s wrath.
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
I’m so glad Hemsworth finally got to flex his comedic chops* for an entire movie, rather than being the butt of jokes or occasionally making an amusing quip. He’s so good at being Thor, and really shines in this film.
*And his biceps, natch.
Karl Urban as Skurge
I’m more used to seeing Urban as the straight man/leading man, but his turn as Skurge, the dumb sidekick, is a delightful change of pace.
Anthony Hopkins as Odin
Hopkins is an award-winning actor and true thespian, and he brings all of that gravitas to the role of Odin while also having a grand old time playing against type as Loki-as-Odin.
Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Loki is my Problematic MCU Boyfriend, and I will love him forever. But I don’t think I’d love him nearly as much if Hiddleston didn’t play the role. His sass and snark and knack for self-preservation above all makes him a complex character, and watching his growth from his first appearance in Thor has been one of my favorite things about being an MCU stan.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange
Cumberbatch gets a lot of hate for Doctor Strange, particularly his “terrible” American accent. (I don’t mind it?) But I love that they integrated him into the the larger MCU through him basically trolling Loki.
Cate Blanchett as Hela
Loki aside, here is a Marvel villain that is as charismatic as she is crazy. Blanchett brings all of her considerable talent to the role, and goes just over the top enough to make Hela truly frightening.
Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie
Thompson and Hemsworth have an amazing amount of enemistry, and Valkyrie’s a stone-cold badass. If we don’t get solo Valkyrie movies, or at least her involvement in some ensemble movie down the line, I will Hulk the shizz out.
Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster
Goldblum is pretty much the same character in every movie, but that is not a bad thing at all.
Taika Waititi as Korg
Korg is the standout star of Thor: Ragnarok. (Don’t @ me.) Waititi infuses him with so much heart, and his lines are some of the movie’s most hilarious. The fact that Waititi could do so well in the role while directing this amazing movie has me both astounded and enamored.
Mark Ruffalo as Hulk/Bruce Banner
It’s also nice to see Ruffalo be able to engage in actual dialogue, much of it funny. He’s a quirky dude in real life, and brings some of those qualities to Banner as well, pulling off the Jekyll/Hyde qualities of the Banner/Hulk role with aplomb.
Idris Elba as Heimdall
The character of Heimdall kind of wastes Elba’s talents, but man if he isn’t nice to look at, especially with those crazy golden eyes.
And a variety of other cameos I won’t spoil for you.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Pack the Room
Although I enjoy the first two Thor movies, Thor: Ragnarok is far and away the best of the trilogy, and easily earned a spot in my top five favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. It’s a pretty drastic departure from its predecessors, leaning more toward the Guardians of the Galaxy side of the MCU in both humor and spectacle, but it isn’t so disparate that the things that made the earlier Thor movies special are totally nonexistent. It’s an absolute joy of a movie, and one that’s a delight to share with numerous friends. Afterward, you can repeat your favorite quotes, discuss the best parts, and turn various plot points into inside jokes that’ll have a very long shelf life.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Follow Valkyrie’s Lead (In Moderation)
Asgardians might be able to hold their liquor far better than most humans, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time, too, while watching this movie. However, please don’t try to match them drink for drink. I don’t want that on my conscious.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Thunderously Good
If you somehow missed this while it was killing it in theaters, and aren’t like me and buy MCU movies as soon as they’re available digitally, get thee to your Netflix queue and start this, immediately. And even if you’ve seen it before, you should watch it again. (And again.)
I’d seen a few of Waititi’s movies before watching Thor: Ragnarok, and I found them amusing, but his impressive reinvention (of sorts) of the Thor franchise pretty much blew my mind. Thor: Ragnarok is the best kind of superhero movie: it has heart, action, and humor; hot men and women; and heroes triumphing over the powers of evil. I can’t thank Waititi enough for bringing this movie into my life.
BONUS GAG REEL!