Thor is back with what may be the best Marvel movie to date
Despite being a story based on ancient myth, Marvel’s Thor has always seemed to shy away from the tragic nature old tales such as his seemed to be steeped in. As a result of this, at least in part, we’ve gotten two Thor movies so far that can easily be called the weakest links of the MCU. However, with a new director in Taika Waititi and the addition of some heavy hitting actors, namely Oscar Winner Cate Blanchett and cult favorite Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Feige has done a great deal to make sure this latest chapter in the mythological Norse hero’s franchise is an outright smash. Well, all I have to say is well done.
This film has rightly been hailed by many as one of the funniest films in the MCU and that is in large part thanks to it’s director, Taika. Coming from a comedic background, he certainly knows how to make moments on film as funny as they can be. Oftentimes watching film, I’m reminded of the funny banter and chemistry present on the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. That goes to show you how far Taika has brought the franchise from it’s previous incarnations that now I can comfortably compare it to some of the best the MCU has to offer. Taika also manages to marvelously keep you entertained throughout the film with great action interludes. After watching this film, you’ll be laughing, cheering, and a number of other emotions, but you certainly won’t be bored.
While the comedic improvements to the film have been monumental to making Thor altogether more watchable, a big improvement comes in Cate Blanchett’s character, Hela. A great hero is nothing if there is no threat worthy of defeating. That’s largely been the case for Thor, whose adversaries, aside from Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, have been very forgettable. Blanchett delivers a performance that’s uniquely funny yet intimidating that altogether embodies the powerful maniac that is Hela. Our title character, Chris Hemsworth, is certainly no slouch. He delivers one his best performances to date and easily his best performance as Thor yet. He’s even shown an incredibly funny side in this film. Idris Elba is great as always, Anthony Hopkins proves why he’s a renowned Oscar winner and knighted sir, and Karl Urban continues to be a fan favorite amongst sci-fi and comic book lovers. However, the one standout addition has to be Jeff Goldblum, solely because his character of Grandmaster seems to be everything cult fans of Goldblum want. He’s crazy, eccentric, and fun to watch as now, I can’t imagine anyone alive or dead who could be more interesting or watchable in that role.
The biggest improvement is certainly in the writing department. While the story isn’t of an Oscar level, it certainly is more in line with Thor’s mythological background. From the opening scene of the film, we learn that Ragnarok is an event that is to take place to bring an end to Thor’s mythical world of Asgard. As a result, Thor sets out to prevent this. His journey to prevent that which is fated to happen brings to mind another myth, that of Oedipus. Oedipus too tried to prevent a horrible thing from occurring, and as a result only helped in bringing that event to fruition and suffered physically and mentally from the realization of the horrible truth. Oedipus has always been an example of the tragic nature of mythological stories as many myths were tragedies and through the pain of the main character, taught the protagonist and the audience and important lesson about life. That’s something Thor and most of the other Marvel films have been lacking, tragic events that brings the story to an end and teaches the hero a lesson he will never forget. Without great life changing consequences or the fear of your favorite characters dying, it makes the gravity of many situations thin and altogether pointless. This film is a marked changed as it does have consequences for our beloved characters and it does teach a powerful message. This is also an especially good sign considering it’s a direct lead up to the upcoming Infinity Wars movie which will have massive impacts on the MCU. Hopefully by then, the fear that characters could die would be substantial enough to keep audiences as gripped as they are when they cling to the edge of their seats during each episode of Game of Thrones.
As with many Marvel movies, there isn’t much to complain about. There is a large subplot with the Hulk that, while a good detour, has little parallel or poetic resemblance to the main plot. However, this isn’t even worth deducting points from Thor because it’s not what audiences care to see in the film. What they want is an entertaining film and this may be the most entertaining film you see all year. The only things that come close are the less entertaining Spider-Man film from earlier in the Summer and the incredible cinema experience that was Dunkirk. With the film coming out this Friday, be sure to see. It’s a definite home run and a film everyone can and will enjoy.