Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Review

***SPOILER-FREE REVIEW (as far as I’m aware!!)***

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Directed by Taika Waititi

Based on Thor by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins

Music by Mark Mothersbaugh

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.

My Opinion:

As I always say when I start these superhero movie reviews, I’m getting very superheroed-out. However, I do have fun with the Marvel ones even though I wouldn’t call myself a massive fan. But then the Guardians Of The Galaxy films came along and it turns out that the “funny superhero movie” thing is MUCH more my type of thing! I love GOTG. And as for the Avengers, Thor is probably my favorite character because, um. I dunno? I’m trying to think of something mature to say… Okay, I like Thor the most because Chris Hemsworth is visually appealing. Okay?!

Of the standalone movies, the first Iron Man may be my favorite and I think the first Thor film is quite weak. But then I liked Thor: The Dark World a hell of a lot more than the first film and, with the Avengers films, we were able to see Thor develop much more of a personality. The “Thor with a sense of humor” thing that started to appear really worked for the character and I’m very happy that they’ve finally gone fully in that direction with this film. I’m surprised it’s getting such good reviews overall, though, as I can’t see “funny Thor” working for everyone? I hated Batman V Superman with a passion (yeah, I know that’s DC) and that whole “dark, brooding, depressing” superhero bullshit annoys me. But some people love that. Those who love dark & brooding are unlikely to love this new version of Thor. I personally love this new version of Thor (and all versions of Thor, including shirtless Thor) but my only negative comment is that this film does feel out of place in amongst all the other Marvel Avengers movies. It doesn’t really “fit”. I don’t know how some fans will feel about that.

I lied: I have one more negative comment so I’ll get that out of the way now. The story in this movie isn’t anything special. It’s your typical Marvel plot. But I honestly never give much of a shit about any of the Marvel plots as they all seem the same to me anyway & I see these all as “popcorn” movies that I don’t want to have to think about. I don’t mean to sound dismissive of these films as I know they have so many fans – I just see them in a different sort of way than a full-on fanboy or fangirl would see them. I don’t think I can say that this movie really added anything important to the overall Avengers stories. It was just a lot of fun to watch, which is the main thing that a superhero movie should be (in my opinion).


Here are the positives: there are loads of genuinely funny moments, Thor and Hulk are hilarious together, and I thought all the new characters were very good (especially Tessa Thompson’s super cool Valkyrie & Cate Blanchett’s super evil Hela). Oh, and Jeff Goldblum, of course. I didn’t realize he had such a big following! People seem to love him & he’s very funny in this. I also really liked Karl Urban (Oh yeah – I like Dredd a lot & that’s dark & depressing! Hmm) and I liked seeing Idris Elba get to do more than I can remember him getting to do in the other Thor films (I could do with re-watching them but doubt I’ll ever bother). And I think everyone knows that director Taika Waititi plays a character named Korg. He’s pretty damn hilarious and was clearly a favorite with the audience in my cinema. Oh, and it was one of those weird times when some people in my cinema clapped & cheered at the end of the movie. I always find that strange (it’s not a play!) but it gives you an idea of how some feel about Thor: Ragnarok – I saw a lot of people who clearly had a great time watching this.

I liked this movie a lot but, for some reason I can’t put my finger on, I didn’t love it. It seems like all the elements are there for me to love it. I think Taika Waititi is very funny, I far prefer fun & lighthearted superhero movies like this, and I loooooove Chris Hemsworth. The new characters are great, I laughed quite a bit, and even though I haven’t listened to Led Zeppelin in years after having a big phase of worshipping them in my teens I never stopped loving Immigrant Song (because it kicks ass) and its use, though predictable, is perfect for this movie. So why don’t I love this movie? I disagree with the hubby quite a bit on movies these days but I have to agree with him saying that this movie feels a bit “throwaway”. It’s fun but, years from now, it may not stand up as well when compared to some of the strongest Marvel films.

Also, I’ll remain spoiler-free but just a warning if you bring kids under 12: this movie is more violent than some and there’s one particular moment that was quite horrifying. My daughter turned to me with a look of horror on her face but I don’t think I was much comfort since I had a similar look of horror. 😉 But you know kids: they bounce back quick. About 15 minutes later she whispered “I love this movie!” while I still had yet to fully recover. The moment is listed in the parents’ guide at IMDb if you really need to know beforehand but it’s a major spoiler. Also, this movie is a lower rating in the UK but is a PG-13 in America. Damn. As we got it here first, I had no warning beforehand so be careful if taking sensitive kids to this. Knowing America, though, it probably only got the higher rating there for some “dirty talk” that will go over kids’ heads anyway. 

My Rating: 7.5/10

Is there a scene after the credits? Duh. Of course. One partway through and one at the very end. Worth staying for if you like to get the full experience.

Stan Lee Cameo: I feel like I should start rating these… I loved this one. Another fun cameo and he was the perfect person for this part. 🙂

What We Do In The Shadows (2014) Review

What We Do In The Shadows (2014)

Directed & Written by Taika Waititi & Jemaine Clement

Starring: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, Rhys Darby, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stu Rutherford

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are vampires who are finding that modern life has them struggling with the mundane – like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.

My Opinion:

Finally! I finally saw this! I remember contemplating going into London to watch this last year as nowhere local to me was playing it. I hate that. Was it worth the wait? Yeah, it’s pretty damn funny. I liked it! Would it have been worth a journey into London just to watch it? Hmm… Not really.

I don’t have a lot to say about this one, to be honest. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it – it’s just that the quote up there on the poster,”The Spinal Tap of vampire movies“, is all that really needs to be said. It’s a mockumentary about a group of vampires with very different personalities (thanks in part to their vast age differences) who live together in a flat. There are some pretty clever jokes and I thought they did a good job covering a lot of aspects of modern day life that centuries-old vampires would struggle with. I mean, seriously – it’s gotta be hard to go out for a night on the town when you actually have to be invited into any of the bars & clubs you wish to visit. I far prefer these socially awkward vampire misfits to the cool & sexy Interview With The Vampire types. Or those Twilight twats!

I’ve had a Flight Of The Conchords DVD collecting dust in my house for years. Well, it’s not been collecting dust as long as my too-expensive Lars Von Trier Riget DVD set… God I used to buy way too many DVDs that I never watched! Anyway, maybe I should dust off Flight Of The Conchords now? Did anyone here watch that show? Based on this movie, if the humor is similar since it’s from the same dude, I suppose I should finally check it out. What We Do In The Shadows is certainly not as funny as This Is Spinal Tap, though. No no no. No way! But no mockumentary will ever beat that one. This movie is my type of thing, though, and I say this too often lately but I do appreciate that movies like this still get made sometimes. They make up for all the utter shit out there! I wish more cinemas would give them a chance and I wouldn’t have to travel into London just to have the opportunity to see films that are remotely interesting or original. It’s also cool that the characters are so different in this that anyone watching the movie will probably have a favorite. I’m sure I’m not alone in liking Petyr the most. Gotta love that crazy Nosferatu-looking bastard! Even if he really doesn’t pull his weight as a flatmate. 

Summary:

Umm… Shit. Yeah – like the poster says, this is really just the Spinal Tap of vampire movies. There you go! I realize this is a super short review but you can’t say it any better than that. You either like that sort of thing or you don’t. I do. And, yes, any movie that references The Lost Boys will earn bonus points with me. 😉 But will this movie make the obvious Top Ten I’ll be doing tomorrow (My Top Ten Horror Comedies)? You’ll just have to wait & see! 

My Rating: 7.5/10