Thor: Ragnarok (M)

In a Word: (Wonderfully) bizarre

Thor Ragnarok

 

"The action doesn't stop, the colourful CGI is a work of art and there are genuinely moments when you will laugh out loud."

Fusing together aspects of the more strait-laced Avengers films and delightfully odd Guardians of the Galaxy films, Thor: Ragnarok is a funny, visually stimulating and entertaining film which successfully takes expectations for what's to come to new heights.

The film, of course, centres on Thor (Chris Hemsworth) who returns home to Asgard to find things have gone awry thanks to ongoing battles within his own family. He's soon introduced to his long-lost sister Hela (Cate Blanchett), who also happens to be the goddess of death, and quickly becomes acquainted with her hammer-shattering ability and long-held ambition to take over his homeland and destroy anyone who stands in her way.

Thor joins forces, albeit briefly, with his trickster brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), in an attempt to stop her getting to Asgard but in the ensuing fight, Thor is exiled to a bizarre world - a kind of universal garbage dump - where the main event is a gladiatorial contest overseen by the very strange (not to be confused with Dr Strange, who makes an appearance early on) Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum).

Captured by one of the Grandmaster's minions, a scavenger played by Tessa Thompson, Thor forced to fight in the arena where he encounters an old friend (if you've seen the shorts, the 'who' in this case will come as no surprise but we won't mention it here just in case as the movie sort of assume you don't know). Thor, who's going through some issues of personal growth and discovery, then slowly starts to work his way back to Asgard to stop his evil sister from succeeding in her plans to take over everything.

The action doesn't stop, the colourful CGI is a work of art and there are genuinely moments when you will laugh out loud. There's characters you'll already know well if you've watched the previous films and also some new ones - Karl Urban steps up as the ambitious Asgardian warrior Skurge and the film's director Taika Waititi makes an appearance (if it could be called that) as the rock-like comic relief Korg.

His voice-over role aside, Waititi deserves credit for creating a fun film all around - even if you haven't been a watcher of the franchise up to now, it'll play well (sure, there's plenty of links to previous films for fans - don't forget to hang around until after the credits; there's two scenes to watch for - but not enough to detract from this as a stand-alone film).

Just great fun!