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Hayden's Overall Grade: A-
Thor Ragnarok is the third solo film for the God of Thunder and it also marked the seventeenth overall film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This new take on the Asgardian gave new life to a struggling franchise and let Thor finally showcase his entire set of skills. It really delivered on the storytelling and gave you plenty of laughs along the way. Impressively, the film was also able to throw in a decent amount of heart and sorrow that made the film a fitting flow and allowing the franchise to finish it's run on an impressive note.
The God of Thunder came roaring into theaters with his third solo adventure and this one may of been the best one yet. Thor has a had a bit of rocky reception when it comes to his own outings. The first Thor movie was very unique and added something new to the very young Marvel Cinematic Universe but it failed to meet the staggering success of Iron Man. The second film also received mixed reviews and was by far the weakest outing of Phase 2. Now with a new director in Taika Waititi and a more galactic feel and look, Thor is able to finally find his place in the universe.
As soon as the film begins, you can tell that Waititi was influenced by the visual style of James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy. It is really noticable when Thor ends up on the planet of Sakaar. The world is filled with color and makes you really feel like this planet really exists in the same galaxy as Xandar. This was really great to make Thor feel like something new, yet also give that familiar flare that exists in the Marvel cosmos.
The real show stealer was the relationship between Thor and The Hulk/ Bruce Banner. Hulk really shines as he has begun to develop more of an intellect and actually even begins to talk in small sentences. The arrogance of Thor really plays off of Hulk well and Hulk's child-like nature is a great foil for Thor to bounce off of. Even when Hulk turns back into Banner, he and Thor show they have great comedic chemistry together. Banner is really stuck in the human in another world trope through his time in the film but he makes up for it with his over the top reactions to his situation.
Other characters from the Thor series are present throughout the movie, but the one who, like he always does, stands out is the God of Mischief Loki. He once again steels every scene he is involved in and is such a great anti-hero. He shows through all of his time on screen that he is neither good nor evil but is only just looking out for himself. He makes you want to care about him but you know you can't trust him at all.
The new character of Valkyrie really shines as well. She adds another great female hero into the MCU and brings a unique style that no hero before her has had. Hela the Goddess of Death also has a strong showing. She really seems to solve Marvel's issue of antagonists by being an unstoppable force. Thor is repeatedly shown to be no match for her and they really give her a great backstory that allows the audience to care about her.
Overall, Marvel has really out done themselves with this outing for Thor. It is a crazy, zany adventure that brings as many laughs as it does action shots. It finally gives Thor that great movie he so richly deserves and was a great set up for what is to come. This movie will make you laugh, cry, scream, and freak out from the sheer insane pace that this movie runs at. It is another in a long line of great movies that the machine at Marvel continue to churn out.
Recommendation: If you love Marvel movies, or if you even love action comedies, this movie is for you. You will leave the theater happy you spent the time with these great characters.