Thor: Ragnarok plays like a reboot and a rebirth, and it’s a movie that could stand alone, although The Avengers and previous movie in-jokes will make you glad you watched the prequels. This movie starts off fun and stays that way. Jokes, puns, ’80s-inspired costumes, and cheese. It’s like Guardians of the Galaxy and Flash Gordon had a high budget love child.
We start off with a delightful hammer fight sequence set to Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” perfect on so many levels, and from there, our dumb-but-loveable hero proceeds to lose just about all of his trademarks. Not only does Thor get a makeover with shorter (weirdly darker) hair and an updated wardrobe, he loses the hammer. And then Thor loses himself and his freedom on a remote world lead by… Jeff Goldbloom (who is just perfect in this role). Not only has Thor been trapped on this planet, so has our other dumb-but-loveable Avenger, Hulk. We also get to meet Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson.
It’s obvious the cast had fun and were given the freedom to improv lines, which, for the most part, work well. There are also a few high profile cameos. Loki certainly knows how to cast a play. And, as usual with a Marvel Universe film, stay for the post-reel bonus scenes.
While Thor: Ragnarok is clearly a fun movie meant for the fans, it’s also not a movie afraid of making some tough calls and big sacrifices. Our hero, goofy as he is, feels like he’s grown.
For those considering taking your kids, there are a few scenes that may be disturbing to younger kids. There’s a graphic injury that I won’t spoil but probably justifies the PG-13 rating by itself. There are a lot of very raunchy jokes–flying into the devil’s anus, Thor’s hammer as a metaphor for a penis, a ship designed for orgies. You might have a lot of conversations if you took younger kids. If your kids are 13+ and already know what an orgy is (you don’t actually see one), it’s good fun.
Thor is also the perfect movie if you want to hire a sitter and go on a date night. Buy some nachos and enjoy the cheese.