Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Taika Waititi, Rachel House, Clancy Brown, Tadanobu Asano, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Luke Hemsworth, Sam Neill.
Norse mythology is such that it gets overlooked in the modern world in favour of a more fashionable awareness of modern possibilities, political issues and our place in the world. It is not only Norse that suffers, even now looking say at British history in the history of the Roman occupation can lead to sneers of derision in some quarters, people, perhaps understandably, forgetting that the way we are now is because of the stories passed down in myth and legend, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Native American, Inuit or even Norse, they play a part in the way we view heroes and evil in the world.
Thor: Ragnarok doesn’t just explore the nature of heroism, the greater need to be more than you are, it is at its base cinema level, one of the more entertaining films in the Marvel Comic Universe cannon and one that radiates humour, glory and passion for a good story with absolute charm.
Eric Pearson’s, Craig Kyle’s and Christopher Yost’s script is enormous, a wealth of all that fans of Marvel could actually want from a film as the pressure is cranked up before next year’s projected smash in Avengers: Infinity War. It is also testament to the directing power of Taika Waititi, a person with vision behind the lens and who brings a cast together with subtly and grace, not allowing it seems to allow ego or the past two films to interfere with the long term goal.
There are many moments in which it is possible to be absolutely lost in the storyline, to find that rare belief in graphic novel adaptations which makes the person watching feel ten tall, the heroic heart a much undervalued appreciation in today’s world as people are too quick to decry such noble sentiment in a person’s life.
To bring Cate Blanchett in as a major villain to the story is an inspired choice of casting, a woman to whom debonair and cultured have always been a by word when thinking of her performances, is now a genuine addition to the world of the graphic novel adaptation and one she excels in with aggressive charm. Alongside a wonderful performance by Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster and Mark Ruffalo as both Bruce Banner and The Hulk, Cate Blanchett brings out the very best in Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, undoubtedly the true actor’s face and worth being realised away from the Avengers and his previous two outings as the Norse God.
The appetite is whetted for what the Marvel Comic Universe will offer in the next couple of years, but for now Thor: Ragnorak should be seen as both wonderful escapism but also one that should fuel an interest in Norse mythology again.
Ian D. Hall