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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Thor: Ragnarok

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3sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is MEDIOCRE Judy Thorburn

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3lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is MEDIOCRE

 

Thor: Ragnarok

Handsome, hunky and well cast,  Chris Hemsworth returns as the hammer yielding God of Thunder, Thor, in Thor Ragnarok, the latest installment of the Marvel superhero series, which can be best described as a comedy action movie with some elements reminiscent of Mad Max and Guardians of the Galaxy thrown in.

This go around, Thor is not out to save planet Earth from a malevolent being. Something more personal has hit home, literally, and it his mission to save his home planet of Asgard from the looming threat of the prophesied Ragnarok (think Armageddon), the destruction of his world and end to his civilization. About to set that in motion is Thor's elder sister, the powerful, sinister Hela, the Goddess of Death (Cate Blanchett) whom he never knew, that was banished from Asgard by her father King Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and has returned home as, what she feels is, the rightful heir the throne. There to assist her is Skurge, Karl Urban (McCoy in the Star Trek franchise reboot).

With his planet in peril, Thor needs to get back home and stop her, but first he has to escape from the junkyard filled planet named Sakaar ruled by the Grandmaster (a hilariously camp Jeff Goldblum,  in blue eyeliner), where our superhero is forced to compete in The Contest of Champions, a gladiator style competition, against his former ally and fellow Avenger, the not so jolly, green giant, The Hulk, in full angry mode.

More than a few colorful characters reside in this comic book universe. It turns out, Thor's mischievous, adopted brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is not dead, showing up with more tricks up his sleeve, vacillating between ally and foe. Tessa Thompson plays Valkyrie, the tough, booze drinking, warrior/scavenger/slave trader who first entraps Thor after he lands on a Sakaar garbage dump, before selling him to the sadistic Grandmaster. Later, after much is said and done, she becomes part of Thor's team (and potential love interest?) that he jokingly names The REvengers, which includes the very likable, scene stealing, Korg, a CGI alien made of rock with a kiwi accent (voiced by the director himself), The Hulk, who calms down and transforms back into the more mild manneredt, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and, yes, Loki, who may or may not be on their side.

Early on there are cameo appearances by Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr.Steven Strange (why Thor and Loki visit him is still puzzling to me), Matt Damon and an almost unrecognizable, heavily bearded Sam Neill sharing a comical scene, a don't blink or you will miss her, Scarlett Johansson, and of, course Stan Lee.

Everyone appears to be having a lot of fun in their respective roles. Charismatic leading man, Hemsworth has a flair for comedy and delivers the goods with a twinkle in his eyes, and Oscar winner Blanchett goes kickass, full throttle, seriously vamping it up to perfection, as the slithering, sinister, blood thirsty, Hela, decked out in a black leather, form fitting, body suit and long black hair that transforms into an antler headdress when she slicks her hands back over her head, as if to warn of her impending, deadly threat.

Unanswered questions and realism goes by the wayside in favor of plenty of distracting nonsense meant to pump up the entertainment value. With New Zealand director Taika Waititi (known for his offbeat,"Hunt for the Wilderpeople" and "What We Do in the Shadows") at the helm, the emphasis is on goofy humor including deadpan gags, tongue and cheek banter and, of course, plenty of action. Unfortunately, the quality of the CGI effects, especially during the battle scenes, are inconsistent, with some more visually appealing and/or believable than others.

All in all, It comes down to this. You will have to leave your brain at home and go with the flow if want to enjoy this latest episode in the adventures of Thor. Just saying!

Be sure to stick around after the end end credits to catch two teaser clips from the next installment.


 

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