It’s safe to say that the majority of discussion around Thor: Ragnarok has been in regards to Marvel’s choice of director. Taika Waititi is not only an interesting choice due to his lack of previous experience on Hollywood blockbusters, but he’s also the first indigenous director to be at the helm of a Marvel feature film. Known for his very dry sense of humour and offbeat style, could this be the perfect shake-up for the Thor franchise?
Our Christopher had slightly mixed feelings about it, saying: “For all its apocalyptic gloom, Thor: Ragnarok might just be Marvel’s funniest movie yet – but it doesn’t quite reach the roster of their best.”
Now the wider ORWAV team share their thoughts on this much-anticipated Marvel instalment.
Carmen – 5/5
Thor: Ragnarok is finely constructed while also being unabashedly fun – a feat for any film, let alone a superhero blockbuster, and a triumphant end to one of Marvel’s most uneven trilogies. There is no extraneous minute and every gag lands solidly and hilariously, perhaps due to the understatement with which most are delivered. The outlandish production design is a comics-esque backdrop to perfectly-judged performances that enthusiastically lean into camp without losing their heart and heroics. It is fortunate that the Marvel moneymaking machine did not squash Taika Waititi’s trademark anarchic directorial voice; indeed, this vision is celebrated, making Ragnarok arguably 2017’s best superhero film.
Kambole – 4/5
Taika Waititi’s entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe box office behemoth fully delivers on the promise of its trailers. It’s a rollicking, idiosyncratic work, Waititi’s comedic timing and wacky aesthetics breaking through the Marvel house style. Under Waititi’s direction, Chris Hemsworth fulfils his destiny to play the god as a well-meaning doofus – the God of Thunder finally feels like the star of the show. Accompanied by a fantastic cast, insane visuals and a wild, synthy soundtrack, Thor: Ragnarok feels like the beginning of something new for Marvel, rather than the end of the world that the title suggests.
Steph – 4/5
If you’re unsure about how director Taika Waititi would handle working with the giants of Marvel, you can rest assured that Thor: Ragnarok is as funny, charming and wild as you could hope for from the man who brought us a mockumentary about vampires. Chris Hemsworth gets some fantastic jokes and is surprisingly charming, while Cate Blanchett is downright spectacular as the Goddess of Death, Hela. While it might be missing the sharp action sequences that the more recent Marvel films have, it really is great fun.
Rory – 5/5
It’s been a good year for movies made of sheer unbridled fun (think Baby Driver, Logan Lucky, Spider-Man: Homecoming), and Ragnarok absolutely tops the list. Everyone involved is clearly having the time of their lives: Blanchett and Goldblum ham it up gloriously, while pretty-boys Hiddleston and Cumberbatch get to show off their considerable comedy chops. Hemsworth’s Thor, like the film itself, is immensely good-natured and endearingly bombastic. Waititi’s gleeful sci-fi anarchy looks Technicolor-gorgeous, and contains just enough topical political overtones to feel like Marvel’s answer to Rick and Morty or something from the mind of Douglas Adams. Undoubtedly worthy!
Calum – 4/5 (but then, they’re always 4/5)
What happened to that sub-100 minute run-time? Gone, with many of Ragnarok‘s revolutionary credentials: as the films get funnier and wackier anyway (Doctor Strange’s cameo is a nice reminder), adding non-stop Waititisms does little to loosen Kevin Feige’s tight screws. At least Homecoming, also a comic romp, had an integrated script. Ragnarok is instead bolted together with zippy individual scenes concealing an awkward whole. Of course it’s top-tier, with majestic visuals supporting its stellar cast (Hemsworth is remarkable); but aside from finally making the most of Hulk/Banner and boasting an uncharacteristically strong third act, this isn’t quite the subversive home-run Marvel trumpeted.