Leave it to Marvel to make the end of the world so colourful and such good fun. Ragnarok was said to be a winter that lasted three years akin to Game of Thrones Long Night, but the higher ups at Marvel decided to make the Norse Apocalypse vibrant and set to the sound of Led Zeppelin.
ABANDON ALL COMPLAINTS OF SPOILERS, YE WHO READ THIS!
After leaving the Avengers, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been searching for Infinity stones and has been having recurring nightmares about Asgards destruction. Freeing himself from the clutches of Surtur, the fiery lord of Muspelheim, Thor returns to find his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleson) impersonating Odin. Departing together in search of their father, Thor and Loki meet Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) who assists them and they find Odin (Antony Hopkins) on a Cliffside in Norway. Odin is dying, before departing he warns his sons of the return of Hela, Goddess of death… and Odin’s firstborn daughter.
Upon Odin’s death, Hela (Cate Blanchett) (Not too far from the Lady Galadriel) returns and effortlessly destroys Thor’s hammer Mjolnir. Following Thor and Loki, Hela returns to Asgard, where her power increases greatly, while the brothers were cast off the Bifrost on-route to Asgard. Finding them on the planet Sakaar, Thor is a prisoner and Loki a guest of the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Thor opts to fight the Grandmaster’s champion to earn his freedom in the gladiator area, only problem, the champion is fellow Avenger Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).
During the fight, Thor discovers his new ability to channel the power of thunder through his body without the need of Mjolnir. Meanwhile back on Asgard, Hela has taken over, slaying all who oppose her and resurrecting her old army and war-mount Fenrir, a giant wolf, to continue the conquest she and Odin began thousands of years ago. Thor persuades Hulk to help him retake Asgard along with the help of Loki, other Sakaar gladiators and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), a former shield maiden of Asgard who fought Hela once before. While those four plan plans and make wisecracks, Heimdall (Idris Elba) organises a resistance on Asgard and keeps his sword, the key to the Bifrost Bridge, out of her hands.
Marvel (pun intended) as Ragnarok breaks out all your favourite tropes, wisecracks, epic battle scenes, world building and of course the obligatory shirtless hero scene, twice in fact, and introducing… the Hulk’s bare green buttocks, even the mighty Thor is powerless before it. Speaking of Hulk, he speaks mostly full sentences now and his friendship with Valkyrie is adorable. Between Cate Blanchett flaunting her godly presence and Jeff Goldblum chewing the scenery, it’s amazing the sets stay upright. But the real emotional core is the brotherly love between Loki and Thor, with the redemption arc from Dark World coming full circle. Karl Urban’s Skurge is a great reluctant villain and Thor’s gladiator buddies provide comic relief just by existing. By Odin, once again Marvel provides another solid entry in their ever expanding universe.
(If only DC’s upcoming apocalypse in Justice League looked as fun)
(So Tessa Thompson is Valkyrie and Michael B. Jordan is Killmonger in the upcoming Black Panther movie? Set sails fair shippers!)
By Daniel Murphy