Forget the first two instalments of Thor because the third instalment, Thor: Ragnarok, just blew them out of the water.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been slightly strained lately as it frantically tries to make ends meet before Infinity War begins in 2018. With so many loose ends and the tension left behind from Captain America: Civil War, comedy was just what the fans needed, and boy oh boy did Thor: Ragnarok deliver.

Thor: Ragnarok takes place two years after the events of the second Avengers film, finally shedding light on the whereabouts of Thor and Hulk during their absence from Captain America: Civil War. To my disdain, the third instalment began in an oh-so familiar manner: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has a vision, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is revealed as a trickster who faked his own death, and a formidable foe enters the scene—Hela (Cate Blanchett). Nothing new. However, while retaining all of the core elements required for a typical Thor instalment, Marvel managed to completely revolutionise the franchise; they shake things up and breathe new life into it.

Almost immediately after the film commences, Thor casually crosses paths with Doctor Strange, Hela makes her entrance and a gladiator match ensues between Hulk and Thor. From this absurd combination of events, my expectations were set incredibly low as I honestly thought that the franchise may have finally hit rock bottom and was just desperately scraping the bottom of the barrel to deliver Thor’s final solo film. However, despite my initial scepticism about the film, I was pleasantly surprised by how perfectly Marvel was able to execute this film without any element seeming awkward, forced or out of place. So, prepare to witness all your much beloved characters in a whole new light, as Thor receives a makeover, Loki learns to be compassionate and Hulk manages to have fun while communicating with his words, rather than his fists.

I’m not going to lie, I did not have high hopes for this film’s attempt at comedy; I assumed that Marvel would resort to cheap laughs and forced jokes. However, that was not the case at all. While the tired jokes and gags that were made may not have been entirely hilarious on their own, there was a certain novelty about seeing Thor, Loki and Hulk at the centre of it all. It was refreshing to finally experience these characters as more relatable beings rather than their usual roles of god, ice giant and scientist-turned-monster-superhero. I would confidently say that every single comedic attempt in this film was hilariously successful, from Thor’s sure-fire method of ensuring that Loki wasn’t just appearing in front of him as an illusion, to Bruce Banner’s insecurity as to whether or not Thor prefers him over his furious green counterpart.

As an avid fan of all things Marvel, it was also heart-warming to witness the little nods made throughout Thor: Ragnarok which referenced previous films—especially when Thor finally tasted the strength of the all-mighty Hulk and Loki was finally vindicated. The comedy and well-balanced storyline of Thor: Ragnarok is solid enough to ensure an enjoyable viewing experience, and, while this film is an excellent final piece of the Thor trilogy, it is still flexible enough for viewers who have not yet experienced the first two films.

Whether you’re a fan or just in need of a laugh, this film will be right up your alley. From its quality comedy to its little heartfelt moments, Thor: Ragnarok truly serves as an excellent final instalment to Marvel’s Thor franchise.

 

Thor: Ragnarok is in cinemas now.