It did not take long for the early buzz to reach the web when critics gleaned an early screening of Thor: Ragnarok. That has translated to plenty of stars when the reviews became public for the upcoming Marvel masterpiece, a title that has been given the genuine Taika Waititi treatment.
With an all star casting of returning faces featuring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins and Mark Ruffalo, a few new characters have emerged with the likes of Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Cate Blanchett (Hela) and Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster). It is their chemistry and comic timing that has given this action comedy a real standalone tone.
Bizarre B-Movie Bromance Makes Ragnarok a Joyride
Jim Vejvoda at IGN intimates that the balance in the story is far from conventional, but the change up does little to diminish the enjoyment.
"Thor: Ragnarok is a goofy, kitschy- but- fun romp and the most purely entertaining of the three Thor movies, marked by its distinctive designs, ‘80s synth score, and assemblage of spirited characters. It’s carried by the excellent chemistry between Thor, Hulk, and Valkyrie, who give humanity to a visual effects-heavy spectacle that finally makes good on Thor’s title of God of Thunder. But it’s also a film fragmented by its clear preference for its B storyline (Sakaar) over its A storyline (Asgard). Thor: Ragnarok’s desire to go for the gag also hurts the movie in a few key serious moments that deserved to pack more punch than they did."
Peter Travers issued 3/4 stars for Rolling Stone to argue that third time really is a charm from a franchise that took itself too seriously in the first two installments.
"The whole movie is a grab-bag of insanity so off-the-chain hilarious that you stick with it even when the convoluted plot goes haywire. Hemsworth and Ruffalo, doing double duty as the raging Hulk and his mild-mannered alter ego, are frenemies to die for; the latter's transformation from beast to Bruce Banner is a doozy. And you have a treat in store from Tessa Thompson (HBO's Westworld) as Valkyrie, a bounty hunter who can kick Thor's ass when she's not flirting with him."
Serious Takes a Break as Thor Finds His Funny Side
The Guardian's Steve Rose had a lot of laughs in his 3/5 star review, yet he feels as though Waititi might have swung the pendulum a little too far in the comedy direction.
"It basically throws up its hands at its own ridiculousness and plays it all for laughs – and it gets them. The price of this irreverence is the possibility of taking anything that happens all that seriously – even the potential destruction of the Norse gods’ home (that’s not a spoiler either: it’s the title of the movie). There’s a potentially intriguing subtext about Asgard’s gilded spires – and by extension European civilisation – having been built on the suffering and riches of others, but, being a bit of a downer, it’s dealt with fleetingly."
Finally for Eric Eisenberg at Cinemablend, he believes that this superhero feature achieves what many struggle to manage - entertain from start to finish. It might have some flaws, but it never bores or disenfranchises the audience.
"Thor: Ragnarok isn't what could be called the most substantial adventure in the Marvel canon, but it unequivocally is one of the most entertaining. It's a sequel that takes a hard look at its series' past and separates wheat from chaff, and produces a wonderful road movie with some brilliant character work as a result. It's not the groundbreaker that some of its franchise cousins are, but you'll be challenged to find a blockbuster more fun this season."
Thor: Ragnarok opens across the US on November 3.