The Oscar Project Reviews
We seem to be taking turns on Earth and in space through the last several films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we return to Asgard for a fun family squabble featuring Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) teaming up against their older sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) as she tries to claim the thrown upon the death of Odin (Anthony Hopkins).
This is the best of the three Thor films in the franchise and as much as I hate not seeing Natalie Portman in this one, removing her and allowing Thor to focus on family issues rather than romance allowed him to be more expressive and have more fun. The first time I saw this one, I laughed out loud at many moments in the film, and probably laughed even more this time around.
The story here revolves around Thor returning to Asgard to find Loki on the throne and Odin banished to Earth to keep him safe. He meets with his sons just before his death and they are immediately met by their sister Hela who destroys Thor's mighty hammer. When Thor and Loki try to return to Asgard with the help of Heimdall (Idris Elba), Hela tags along and scatters the brothers across the cosmos. They eventually end up on the remote world of Sakaar with the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Loki becomes a trusted adviser while Thor is relegated to a gladiatorial arena, facing off against the grand champion, none other than the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).
With the help of the only remaining Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and an odd assortment of fellow captives, Thor and Loki return to Asgard to destroy their sister and bring order to their land. The dynamics in this film are truly a joy to watch and getting to see Hulk have more of a personality than in previous films. Even though the story around it is very serious and has deep consequences throughout the rest of the universe, the film manages to maintain a sense of humor about it. From Goldblum's Grandmaster spinning some tunes like a DJ, to Thor and Loki performing their "Get Help" routine, and of course Korg (Taika Waititi) being very deadpan about things being, well, dead, the film keeps you laughing. Even Hela's arrival in Asgard has some humor built in that you might not expect.
As with Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok did not receive any Oscar nominations from the Academy last year.
This is definitely a must see for me in setting up the finale of the Infinity Saga. We see where Banner and Thor have been ever since Age of Ultron, and we get some much needed backstory for Thor and Loki as their initial Infinity War story arc is set up at the end of this film.
9 out of 10
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