Thor: Ragnarok          review by Bobby Blakey

Phase 3 of the Marvel cinematic universe kicked off with Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange leading the charge and successfully followed up by both Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guaridans of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Now it is time for the God of Thunder to return to the front with the third chapter of the franchise Thor: Ragnarok featuring cast from all across the Marvel Universe as well as some new additions including Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Cate Blanchett, Karl Urban, Anthony Hopkins, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Ray Stevenson and Jeff Goldblum with director Taika Waititi at the helm, but does it have that special something to live up to the Gods of Asgard or will it fail to smash its way into success?

Thor: Ragnarok follows Thor who is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela, but first must face off against the Hulk in a gladiator match. I have never been a big Thor fan outside of the Walt Simonson versions, but admit that I really have enjoyed the cinematic version including both of his solo outings. There have clearly been some missteps with them and it seemed like they never really lived up to the rest of the films, but with this latest chapter that is all about to change. Waititi has brought his comedic flare and fun to this latest chapter making it an altogether different kind of adventure for the God of Thunder.

While there is plenty of heart and action the lighter humorous tone feels more like the world of the Guardians of the Galaxy that we know all works and here knocks it out of the park. I admit that it was a bit off putting at first, but mostly just because of the stuffiness of the character in the previous outings, but when you realize this is an evolved different Thor along with the other characters it makes them feel fresh and new. This story pics up where the last left things and gives you some answers to where they have been and why they missed out on the Civil War fight. At the same time it is its own story and easily the best of the Thor franchise to date. The new look to Thor kind of matches up with the new feel and makes it feel like you are seeing him for the first time on some level. The cast are all great here with both Thor and Loki getting some great moments both the usual banter and heartfelt emotional ones.

The new cast do a great job as well with Thompson stealing almost every scene she is in and making for a character worthy of standing next to Thor. It was a bummer to not have Lady Siff this time around, but she is not fully forgotten about. One of the weaker aspects of most of the Marvel films have always been the villains, but I think that Blanchett might be the most fun to watch and best executed so far. She looks to be having a great time and chews up every scene she is in. Goldblum is as awesome as ever as The Grandmaster, brother of The Collector played by Benecio Del Toro in Guardians of the Galaxy. He offers up the exact bizarre performance you expect and it works to perfection. He adds another over the top direction to the story that is so much fun you will be upset about not getting more. I hope we get these brothers on the big screen at some point as they are both awesome in these roles. I know everyone is excited to see the Hulk once again and you will not be disappointed. This is the most character driven Hulk to date who is given more to do than just smash things. It was announces that this is kicking off a three story arc for the green behemoth that will continue through the next Avengers films so will be interesting to see where they go with it.

It seems with just about every Marvel film they get better and better and I its getting old saying this is the best Marvel movie yet so I will just say it is the best Thor and Hulk outing so far and I cannot wait to check it out again. I hope this isn’t the last Thor film because they have kicked new life into the franchise and I cannot wait to see more it. As always stay through the credits for the bonus scenes with one mid credits and one at the very end.  

In addition to the film this release will include a ton of bonus content including a director’s intro, deleted/extended scenes, gag reel, commentary, featurettes and an all-new “Team Darryl” exclusive short. Join the fight when Thor: Ragnarok hits Digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD™, and Movies Anywhere, on Feb. 20 and on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™, DVD and On-Demand on March. 6.

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