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Watched: 9 November

Taika Waititi’s superhero comedy is often a lot of fun: for a sustained two hour period, silly slapstick has been combined with surrealism and the usual hero-v-hero one-upmanship to create a film that is funnier than James Gunn’s brace of Guardians Of The Galaxy movies, which have hitherto been considered the benchmark for laughter-inducing MCU fare; it also shares with those films, and last year’s Doctor Strange, a good grasp of Marvel’s more cosmic, vibrant, acid-y leanings. I chuckled a fair few times during this, and I think Chris Hemsworth has proven his chops as an excellent comic actor during the past couple of years; the majority of his scenes here as Thor work well, whether he’s opposite Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) or Waititi himself (sort of – he voices a gladiator named Korg). I also enjoyed Thor: Ragnarok’s colourful, Flash Gordon-style campness, perhaps best personified by Jeff Goldblum’s oddball turn as the leader of a garbage dump planet, as well as Cate Blanchett’s scenery-chewing big bad. Sadly, though, there’s yet another rote plot about potential world destruction to contend with (in this case Asgard, Thor’s home), which is a concern that Waititi wisely ignores for long periods, and I’ve lost count of the number of times the undefeatable villain trope has been trotted out before said character is taken down by a plucky combination of heroes during a final battle. You know what you’re going to get by now, though. (***)


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