As I was waiting for the lights to dim in the cinema, I remarked to my cinema companion that I hoped this film “didn’t go all Guardians of the Galaxy“. I’ve seen previous films by director Taika Waititi and, while I enjoy his humour a lot, I didn’t want Thor and his surroundings to descend to GotG levels of stupidity. The comments I’d seen about Thor: Ragnarok were unanimous in praising its humour over most everything else, and this had me worried. For me, GotG had gone out of its way to be a comedy, trying far too hard to set up jokes whereas the funniest things in the first Thor movie emerge naturally from his reactions to finding himself in unknown situations. You don’t need a set-up punchline to be funny.
And so to find myself crying with laughter and almost unable to breathe even before Ragnarok‘s official first credits had rolled was not what I was expecting. Just thinking about that scene now, days later, still cracks me up.
Waititi has left huge fingerprints all over this, it’s true, (including his own role) but credit is also very much due to Chris Hemsworth, who has proven in last year’s Ghostbusters that he has great comedic delivery. The interplay between Thor and Loki is great brotherly banter, and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk/Banner is a welcome returnee to the MCU. There are also a couple of cameos which are great fun, but there will be no spoilers here.
Comedy aside, I loved Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie. She is sassy, self-sufficient, and a fabulous addition to the universe. Can’t wait to see her in future tales.
There were a couple of slight disappointments, mainly down to lack of character development and/or screen time – Idris Elba and Karl Urban seemed to be short-changed here unfortunately.
But this was a hugely enjoyable few hours and I’m happy to say I was not disappointed.