This was a fun movie to screen because I was able to bring my family with me (and the kids were excited) so I was in a good mood. I was also happily full – we’d gotten Mexican food for dinner. But my expectations for the movie were moderate to low, because past films had firmly made Thor my least-favorite Marvel character.
All that changed with Ragnarok.
FOOD/DRINK BEFORE SCREENING: burrito bowl and water
EXPECTATION OF MOVIE: moderate to low
I won't even try to explain the setting or plot because, like the other Thor movies, Ragnarok is otherworldly in ways I still don't entirely understand (or care to.)
Suffice to say, Thor and Loki's home planet Asgard is in danger and they're tasked with saving the day. The dysfunctional siblings are joined on screen by returning characters Odin and Heimdall.
We’re introduced to Hela, who’s exquisitely played by Cate Blanchett. She's fierce and stunning and kicking lots of ass at age 48, thank you very much.
Jeff Goldblum also joins the cast as the "Grandmaster," a delightfully casual yet lethal ruler of a new planet.
There’s also a slew of smart cameos, including a second Hemsworth – keep your eyes peeled because his role is very meta.
As for star Chris Hemsworth, he’s possibly the most muscular Thor yet - which I mention simply because there's one scene where he's unnecessarily but fantastically shirtless for a solid minute.
I won't objectify him though - because the real takeaway from Hemsworth’s performance is that he's a great comedic actor. He has impeccable timing for the character’s self-referential humor.
What's especially great about this movie isn't the action (though it's big and bold) or the CGI (though it's imaginative and convincing.) It's great because filmmakers finally figured out the right tone for Thor films.
Like the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, the Thor universe is a little tough to love when it takes itself too seriously.
So they don't take anything seriously in Thor: Ragnarok.
Thor's battles are balanced by physical comedy, including one hilarious scene where he gets hit in the face with a ball.
Loki's evil inclinations are more mischievous than deadly.
Even the bad guys are in on the joke. And it all works.
It's also terrific for kids because even though it's rated PG-13, the comic book violence isn't gory or scary and there is virtually no bad language.
My review for Thor: Ragnarok is four out of four hammers (which isn't a real thing but rather a way of saying it's the best version of the story it can be.)
Laugh-out-loud funny, weird and colorful - Marvel has once again produced a movie worth the price of admission. It won't change your life, but you'll enjoy every moment.
And, as always, stick around for the credits - there are two extra scenes after the movie ends.
WHAT IS “HONEST REVIEW”?
I’m a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. I interview actors and filmmakers. I’ve worked in broadcast television for 20 years.
I’m also a Seattle wife and mom who works full-time and sits in an hour of traffic (minimum) every day.
Sometimes I’m tired when I screen a movie. Sometimes I’m traveling and I miss my kids. Sometimes I’ve had a glass wine when I should have had a glass of water.
All of these things can impact my reaction to a film. Because I’m human.
So in an effort to write an Honest Review, I’ll always list the external factors that might affect my enjoyment of the movie. Then, I’ll give you my review. Then, you can decide if it’s useful or not.
What do you think of Honest Review or Thor: Ragnarok? Let me know at @kimholcomb.