Thor: Ragnarok

Thor- Ragnarok 2

Somewhere near the end of this made-for-the-fans installment, Cate Blanchett states, “To be honest, I was expecting better”.  I hear you, sister.

It’s not that this Thor is awful. It isn’t. But when I heard it would be directed by Taika Waititi, the New Zealand helmer of the wonderful Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows, I was hoping for at least something more unique than this.

What we’ve got is another big, bruising special effects laden super hero flick, comfy in its own pretty skin, not wanting to mess with success. Thor in this case, but, really, just slot in the name of any of the team, the story’s always essentially the same, gets in trouble, meets up with a few familiar faces, fights the bad guys and, after flirting with death, winds up saving the world. And then we find out, after sitting through myriad credits, there’s going to be a next chapter.

Die hard fans may be perfectly happy with this stick-with-what-you-know approach. I enjoy the still game cast and the occasional attempts at humor. Hahas this time around though often show up at the level of anus jokes. But Chris Hemsworth again brings more to the role than just his pretty face and hunky everything else. He’s shown us he’s capable of impressive, emotional work and he does manage to sneak a few hints of that in here, too. It’s always nice to see Mark Ruffalo and Benedict Cumberbatch, who do the most they can with their limited material. Tessa Thompson makes a fine addition to the crew, but it’s Jeff Goldblum at his Jeff Goldblumiest and a pretty divine Cate Blanchett who show us, with zeal, what this Thor could have and, I wish, should have been.