I love watching shit blow up.
This explains why I’ve seen almost every superhero movie that’s been released in the past twenty years. While I’m intimately familiar with all of the Avengers (Iron Man, Hulk, Thor) and X-Men from Marvel, and I love Christopher Nolan’s Batman, Wonder Woman and the Watchmen (all DC), I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a fan girl. Explosions, leaps across buildings and massive destruction are fun, but like popcorn, a steady diet of pyrotechnics is not nourishing. If that’s all a movie has, it lands in the category I call disaster porn, splashy enough for a 60 second preview but destined for a big belly flop at the box office. You gotta have a story, and in the case of super heroes, the unexpected can be the best.
Last night I saw Thor: Ragnarok because I had been hearing great reviews, I knew there’d be a lot of destruction (the fate of an entire planet was at stake!) and I was curious to see how director Taika Waititi, would pull it off. I totally enjoyed his movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which was one of the most charming movies out last year, but could he do an action movie?
How did he do? Thor: Ragnarok not only got the highest ratings of any Marvel comic movie on Rotten Tomatoes, but it’s number one at the box office for a reason: IT’S FUN!! Not only is there the sense of irreverence that I spied in his other movies like What we do in the Shadows, but his dry and often sly humor translates well when wielded by Thor.
Chris Hemsworth (Thor) gets to exercise his comedy muscles and from the first few minutes, we see a whole new side(s) of him as he hangs like a Boston Market chicken, slowly rotating in the fires of some hell.
Everyone looks like they are having a delicious time chewing up the dialogue, especially Cate Blanchet as Hela,
Jeff Goldblum who is the grand mixmaster
and Witti’s character, a giant rock man,
who dare I say is the best part of the movie.
Thor gets to navigate something his team calls the giant anus, fight an old work friend and have his Dumbo moment. Like a great episode of Arrested Development, there are a lot of inside jokes, easter eggs and enough family drama to re-energize the franchise and turns what has felt a bit stale, fresh.
Note: As with all Marvel movies, stay till the bitter end of the credits. You’ll be treated to the best inside jokes. If you stayed till the end of the credits of Doctor Strange, you’ll finally get the punch line of that inside joke.