RELEASE DATE: Now showing
SUMMARY: Muscly hero Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is again trying to save parts of the universe from destruction. With his home planet threatened by Hela, the goddess of Death (Cate Blanchett), Thor must battle his way off a gladiator junk planet. Without the full Avengers team, Thor turns to Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and his dodgy brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
RATED: M for action violence.
AUDIENCE: Lovers of superhero adventures (especially the Marvel movies) and big-budget blockbuster fun.
WHAT’S GOOD: The third Thor is a breath of fresh, enjoyable air. By this stage in a franchise, most characters or ideas have been sapped dry of anything but familiarity. But the recruitment of New Zealand director Taika Waititi seems to have injected Thor: Ragnarok with a renewed sense of vigour. Waititi’s background in comedy and indie movies brings a zing and zap to superhero stereotypes and clichés, most notably the offbeat and silly humour. Our hero also has fired up, with Hemsworth putting in a terrific turn as the strong but struggling superhero.
WHAT’S NOT: If you take a moment to stop enjoying Thor: Ragnarok and to think more deeply about what’s actually going on, turns out the storyline is no world beater. Really, it’s pretty plain and occasionally laced with confusing or time-filling detail. But the most notable dampener about Thor: Ragnarok is how Cate Blanchett is weirdly wasted as a paint-by-numbers villain. In a movie full of engaging characters, Hela is a pantomime baddie with limp jokes and silly issues with her powers.
SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: Superbly played by Australian made Chris Hemsworth, Thor is a god-man whose ability to fight cosmic battles does not mean he’s a titan of thought, cunning or problem solving. Seriously, how many times will he trust his brother – the God of MISCHIEF? But isn’t that why I – and you – like the super-powered guy? He’s more like the flawed, flabby and faltering rest of us, than his otherworldly status suggests. Yet, he also does what we often want to do but we stop short of doing: Thor DOES what a hero DOES. And we love that, seeing how someone can be so much like us while also going far beyond us – to save the day. Such a saviour should grab our attention.