The Thor movies are some of the least regarded in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, usually being found towards the bottom of list rankings. I for one personally enjoyed the first two, but will admit that they are mostly solid at best.

So now here’s the third instalment, helmed by director Taiki Waititi who utilises his background in comedy to inject Thor with a heavy dose of fun, delivering a great experience that is by far the best Thor film to date.

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The plot follows Thor as he tries to stop the destruction of Asgard whilst having to overcome various obstacles in the process, which includes interactions with his brother Loki and fellow Avenger The incredible Hulk. It’s a simple plot which is nothing special, but its well executed and keeps you engaged throughout, mostly due to it’s keen sense of fun and great humour.

It’s tone and strong use of comedy is very much comparable to Guardians of the Galaxy but that’s to be expected from a director like Waititi, who is best known for directing comedy films ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ and ‘The Hunt for the Wilderpeople’. He’s the perfect choice for this style of superhero film, with his direction giving the film cohesion that stops it falling into one big wonky mess.

But comedy is not the films only strong point, I also thought the action was very good and some of the most enjoyable that I’ve experienced in an MCU film. There’s a fair amount of it spread throughout and it’s mostly really well staged and nicely shot, though there are a few messy bits here and there, usually from the chaos on screen being a little too overwhelming.

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Speaking of visuals the film is very colourful and chock-full of visual effects which combined with some great production and costume design makes for a very visually appealing movie with some stunning imagery. In particular I found Asgard to be the most gorgeous it’s ever looked and thought Planet Sakaar and some of the new characters also looked great.

The acting is also very solid across the board. Both Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo bring more personality to their roles of Thor and Hulk. Whilst Tom Hiddleston’s Loki remains as charming as ever and new faces like Jeff Goldblum, Cate Blanchett, Karl Urban and Tessa Thompson inhabit their roles incredibly well. Some fun little cameos are also included and there is a character called Korg, who is played by the director himself  that ends up being the funniest characters in the film, providing a few big laughs.

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I also really liked the score for the film, it’s a little different than usual, this time utilising more electronic elements, so you’ve got a tinge of retro synth mixed with the majestic symphonies which works really nicely and is integrated well with the film.

Overall whilst Thor: Ragnarok doesn’t bring anything new to the table and lacks any real depth, the film is still a thunderous fun ride that is highly entertaining and stands confidently above it’s predecessors. Marvel seemed intent this year to have as much fun as possible with their films and while some may decry it, I have highly enjoyed it and think it made sense for them to do that, since Infinity War is looming closer and things are only gonna get more serious.

OVERALL: 7.8/10 – GOOD

Reviewed by Eric Hart (BlazinHart).

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