I suppose the biggest compliment I can lay on a lot of these recent Marvel movies is that by the time the home video release comes around, I find myself giddily anticipating a rewatch. My eagerness to take Thor: Ragnarokfor another spin was especially hurried.
Thor was always the toughest Avenger to crack – Thor: The Dark Worldremains the MCU’s most forgettable entry – but with the hiring of Taika Waititi, one of the most optimistic and oddball talents to be promoted to the mainstream in recent years, the character has finally found his spirit animal.
Easily the most explicitly Kirby-esque Marvel movie to date, Ragnarokboasts a cosmic colour palette as well as a riotously entertaining tone. Pairing the God of Thunder up with Ruffalo’s Hulk/Banner and sending them on a buddy comedy romp through a garbage planet works wonders. The entire cast, which is now extended to include Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum and Tessa Thompson, makes the whole thing even more appealing. Add to that maybe the most brazenly noticeable and enjoyable MCU score yet courtesy of Mark Mothersbaugh and you’re set to go. Throw an infinity stone into this movie and you’re guaranteed to hit something that will stimulate the senses.
The “they’re just glorified episodes of a really expensive TV show” criticism frequently levelled at Marvel movies can certainly be applied here, but if you’re up to date (an increasingly daunting task for newcomers) the intricate web of continuity means you have such familiarity with these characters, almost exclusively embodied by great, likeable actors, that just getting to spend time with them is reason enough to buy a ticket. In fact, I look forward to the day when they feel like they can dispense with the villains altogether for the odd film and just enjoy a breezy “hang out” MCU episode. As good as Blanchett is, her villain subplot is nowhere near as engaging as watching Thor, Hulk and Valkyrie talk shit in a spaceship.
We can bitch and moan about Marvel all day but the fact is we are now like 18 movies deep and they are still churning out work which cracks the list of top five things they’ve ever done. The consistency is pretty remarkable. This is fun, fun, fun with not a grain of cynicism to be found. Taiki knocked it out of the galaxy. Thor: Ragnarok: The Hawkwind of Marvel movies.
Watched on blu-ray.