Director: Taika Waititi
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, Anthony
Hopkins, Jeff Goldblum
The third Thor film turns out to be average for the most part, with only few moments that are watchable. Apart from Cate Blanchett’s performance as Hela, the Goddess of Death, Hemsworth & Company don’t really bring much to the table. For Marvel fans, Thor: Ragnarok is bound to get them whistling and hooting at all the fight scenes, but as a standalone production, it could have done much better. Marvel’s many films rely on their healthy dose of humour.
Unfortunately, the third instalment based on the God of Thunder suffers from a paucity of any noteworthy laughs. As far as the story goes, Thor: Ragnarok crams in one too many plotlines into the two-hour film. While films based on famous comic books usually go that route (often adapting multiple comics into one film), it takes skilful writing and direction to put on a good show. This one is by no means a cringeworthy effort, but it fails to make a serious enough impression on multiple fronts.
The best acting and most interesting dialogues are, as it appears, reserved for the primary antagonist, Hela. Cate Blanchett renders an impressive portrayal of the former, often overshadowing the star-studded cast in the bargain. If I were to pick a highpoint for Thor: Ragnarok, Blanchett’s performance would be the one I’d choose.
Thor is imprisoned by the fire demon, Surtur, who reveals that Odin is no longer on Asgard. Surtur also mentions that Asgard will be destroyed by the prophesied Ragnarok, as soon as he unties his crown with the eternal flame that burns beneath the city. Thor defeats Surtur, usurping the crown, and is now under the impression that he has prevented the prophesy.
Thor returns to Asgard and catches his brother, Loki, posing as their father. Thor and Loki go in search of Odin, and locate him in Norway. Odin informs them of his imminent death. He tells them that after his demise, their sister, Hela, Odin’s first born, will return to reclaim the throne from a place she was locked away for many years.
Both Thor and Loki have been kept in the dark about having a sister till now. Odin banished her years ago because her ambition and lust for power had become too great to handle. As soon as Odin perishes, Hela appears. In the ensuing encounter with Thor and Loki, she destroys the former’s hammer, leaving him in shock. As the brothers attempt to flee to another realm, Hela gives pursuit. Thor must band together with a host of allies to vanquish his dangerous sister, and save Asgard from destruction.
The crisscrossing of several plotlines and backstories only succeeds in making Thor: Ragnarok appear to be a hodgepodge of ideas crammed together hastily to present a cogent narrative. It doesn’t work. When you are just about wrapping your head around a particular plot point, another one creeps up on you unsuspectingly.
The action provides the necessary fillers as we jump from one storyline to the next. As the humour remains stale, the film starts edging into boring territory at the halfway mark. More screen time ought to have gone to Cate Blanchett, as her performance was one of the few saving graces of this third instalment of Thor. Marvel fans, however, may not be as disappointed with the end result, though. If the constant cheering from several sections of the audience is anything to go by, Thor: Ragnarok may well end up being a winner in their eyes.