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Superhero Superfun

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok
Director: Taika Waititi
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo and others
Rating: * * * *

Marvel Comics fans must be turning cartwheels with joy, but even the non-fans will have to agree that Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok is very entertaining. The Kiwi director has turned the muscle-flexing comic-book action adventure into a self-parodying romp that the actors have a blast with.

Thor, (Chris Hemsworth), the hero with those muscles of steel, gets a haircut here, which makes him look like an all-American footballer. Apart from fighting, he gets to play comic scenes with his adoptive kid brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who reappears after being feared dead in the last film, and the green monster Hulk (Mark Ruffalo when he is in normal Bruce Banner mode). Cate Blanchett as the evil Hela, in the extravagant costumes and headgear, and Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, in campy gear, seem to have the most fun.

Returning to his native Asgard after escaping imprisonment, Thor finds that Loki has been impersonating their father Odin (Anthony Hopkins). As if this sibling tug-of-war wasn’t enough, their long-lost sister Hela, the Goddess of Death, arrives as a claimant to the throne. She shatters Thor’s hammer and sends him off as a prisoner again, this time to planet Sakaar, ruled by the Grandmaster. Here Thor is pitted against Hulk in a gladiatorial contest and complains, that he is a friend “from work.” Eventually, Thor has to get his act and his allies together to get back and save Asgard.

Ragnarok is an end-of-the-world catastrophe prophesised in the Norse legend, which is actually just an excuse for all the mayhem that is ritually let loose in any Avengers movie. Many of them turn up in big (Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie) and small (Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Strange) appearances to add spice to the proceedings; look out for two absolutely delightful cameos. The director himself voices the ‘rocky’ gladiator Korg, and gives himself some super lines.

Thor: Ragnarok, the third standalone film that top-lines the ‘God of Thunder’, simply refuses to take itself, or anything else, seriously. Even the Thor co-creator Stan Lee is lampooned, so what else is sacred!

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