The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Thor Ragnarok

“Thor: Ragnarok” -- This third entry into the Thor series finds banished sister Hela persona laying claim to the throne of Asgard. She is played with a vicious stride by Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett (“The Aviator,” “Elizabeth”). This entry is played for plenty of laughs. Star Chris Hemsworth is around for the majority of the movie. He does, however share plenty of scenes with Anthony Hopkins, Mark Ruffalo and Tessa Thompson. Also in it are Idris Elba, Karl Urban and Jeff Goldblum.

Hemsworth also shares plenty of time with adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in the movie. Although they are not flesh and blood identities, their closeness was supposed to seal a bond between the men.

For the first time Hemsworth’s Thor persona loses his blonde locks.

It also makes a past reference to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) referring to him as “Point Break.”

Gone are the days of introducing one off characters, wherein their existence will just be looked at as a futile attempt to keep them around for later chapters.

I think both “Captain America: The First Avenger” and the mediocre “Iron Man 2” were notorious for dabbling into this end of dissapointmentville, USA with these productions.

Tessa Thompson is worthwhile as Valkyrie, who once battled Hela years ago with Odin (Hopkins). These scenes are only just a few of the backstory inserted into the plot.

“Thor: Ragnarok” is all about comedic timing and the rapport the characters show with one another. The banter between Hulk and Thor makes for some amusing moments.

“Thor: Ragnarok” uses 3-D visuals, but they are limited and sparingly to just the right degree. I think ever since the abundance of visuals that were a part of James Cameron’s overrated “Avatar” (2009), the 3-D craze has been slightly overused.

Karl Urban is Skurge, a reluctant warrior who pledges himself to Hela, for the sake of saving his own life. He values his life, so he does what he can to make sure he stays in Hela’s good graces.

Director Taika Waititi knows how to present the comedic timing in “Thor: Ragnarok” Part of this goes back to his earlier work like the little-seen “What We Do in the Shadows,” (2014) a vampire satire that made fun of the undead and all of the nuances that occur when being part of the creatures of the night.

A New Zealand director, Waititi also did a credible job with “Hunt for The Wilderspeople,” the tale of an orphaned boy who struggles to find a family that will accept him.

I am one of the few writers in the film industry who does not mind the constant onslaught of superhero productions. Part of that rests in bigger production budgets and attention to detail that is played out in large scale productions.

I have not quite reached the point of superhero fatigue quite yet. The closest I got was Ryan Reynolds’s turn in Martin Campbell’s abysmal “Green Lantern” (2011).

The whole point is that “Thor: Ragnarok” does what it’s supposed to do and give viewers a good time. It runs slightly over two hours, and is worth every moment ones eyeballs are glued to the screen.

Grade: B+
(Review by Ricky Miller)

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