'Thor: Ragnarok' - Movie Review

Marvel once again took a big chance on a director who could have done serious damage to their franchise: I'm thinking of Peyton Reed and "Ant-Man." That last risk paid off big, as "Ant-Man" was the funniest Marvel movie to date by a fairly wide margin while also remaining oddly heroic. Taika Waititi - new director of "Thor: Ragnarok" - has a rather better record than Reed, with a string of recent critically acclaimed movies including "Boy," "What We Do in the Shadows", and "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" to his credit. But he was guaranteed to bring some quirky humour to a very formal character. A good thing, but still a risk. But one that paid off in spades.

We first see Thor locked up in a cage, where he gives us an ironic-humorous-heroic tale of how he ended up there. His escape isn't the meat of the story, just a way to set up the idea of Ragnarok - the Norse version of the end-of-the-world myth. Thor figures he's stopped that, but his father assures him he hasn't - and also tells him that he has a crazy sister (Cate Blanchett, having a blast as Hela) who's coming back who may well be more powerful than Thor. When she reappears, Thor finds himself on the planet Sakaar, where he has to battle for his life (although this is primarily comedy) and he meets a number of ... interesting ... people. This makes up the bulk of the film, but - it's about Ragnarok, so we do eventually get back to Asgard.

As with "Hunt for the Wilderpeople," I enjoyed most of the humour - except when Waititi himself was on screen. His character Korg I didn't find funny, although I think many others did.

Funny and fun.