Thor Ragnarok DVD Reviewed By Jon E Clist

The Premise
Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his home world and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.

The Review
This has to be my most intensely anticipated film of 2017. Not only because I love the Marvel films and Thor is one of my favourite characters from the franchise, but also the whole Taika Waititi connection. Despite the more recent mockery of Taika supposedly being a traitor to New Zealand and his own playing up of it, he is “Kiwi As”. In fact, the way that he pokes fun at the way people have accused him of being unpatriotic is actually so very kiwi in itself.

This kiwi comedic attitude is well placed within the script and brings a wonderfully playful feel to what could have been seen as the serious part of the Marvel Universe. When we look back at the first two Thor films there has been a more dramatic approach to the stories. Of course, you are going to head that direction when you put a well-versed Shakespearean director at the helm in the likes of Kenneth Brannagh and then follow it up with a director who has been living in the serious world of Game of Thrones (Alan Taylor) on the sequel. That darker serious nature still made for brilliant movies and helped to set up the mythologically drenched world of Asgard. Of course, for the third Thor outing there needed to be a lot more levity to balance out the whole end of the world kind of threat that we see in most Marvel films.

With the success of the Guardians of The Galaxy films, Marvel has seen box office love increase in films that backed up their story and action with increased levels of comedy and hence you could see this ticking over in the minds of the bosses at Marvel Studios and the realisation that even the Thor films would need to follow suit. Hence the need for someone who could take it to a whole new level, Taika Waititi. If you have seen any of his previous films you know that he is the master of quirky comedy and has the ability to get some great performances out of his cast.

A timely adjustment to the direction of Thor’s journey. A little bit of comic book nerd trivia, 2017 marks the 55th anniversary of the debut of Thor (August 1962) and The Incredible Hulk (May 1962), as well as the centennial of their co-Creator Jack Kirby. What an epic thought and the brilliant irony that Hulk and Thor debuted the same year and now co-star together in this magical Marvel outing. And can I say to great comedic value!

As always the cast is brilliant and have each taken their roles to a new level. Chris Hemsworth had to bulk up again for his role as the mighty god Thor. He had to follow a strict diet, and workout six to seven times a week, and eat around six thousand calories a day. Chris Hemsworth's trainer, Luke Zocchi, revealed that Hemsworth put on twenty pounds of muscle for his role in the film, taking his weight over two hundred pounds for the film, by following an "old-school bodybuilding regime lifting a large weight-load for small number of reps". Zocchi revealed Hemsworth's favourite body part to train was his biceps, saying, "We design the workout around the body parts he's gonna be showing off the most, he's gonna have his arms and shoulders showing (through the sleeveless armour), so that's the thing we really focus on building up. He probably bicep curls thirty kilo dumbbells on average, each hand, so one hundred twenty pounds total. We always do seated incline curls, standing curls, and hammer curls. We started lighter and slowly, progressively get heavier." Zocchi said they are trying to deliver Hemsworth's best physique yet for this film and holy moly they certainly did that.

However, while the existing Thor characters are smashingly great, the new additions bring some magic to the core. Cate Blanchett is out of this world as a villain and Jeff Goldblum is so funny and visually alluring on the big screen. In fact, his role of Grand Master is one of my two favourite characters in this film. The other being Korg as played in his native kiwi voice, by Taika himself.

The music is so cool in the film and while the majority of the music is eighties style underscore, there are several well inserted classics along the way. The song heard in the first trailer is Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song". It was specifically chosen because its lyrics make mention of Norse religion and as such it shows up several times in the film and is by the far the most perfectly placed song (Next to maybe Cashmere in Godzilla)

So here’s the thing, it looks great, sounds great, feels great and is super funny! A winner on all accounts! Here is some bonus interviews from Newshub to have a wee laugh at...

The Verdict
Another smash hit from Marvel and I love this film beyond all other films in 2017. Funny, endearing and a smashing good adventure!

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 7th March 2018
Rating: TBC
Duration: 130 minutes 
Genre:  Sci-Fi, Marvel
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo, Jeff Goldblum
Director: Taika Waititi (Boy, Hunt for The Wilderpeople)

The Extras
Thor's "friend from work" line about the Hulk was suggested to Chris Hemsworth by a Make-A-Wish child who paid a visit to the set on the day the scene was filmed.

According to Producer Kevin Feige, this film plays a significant role in setting up Avengers: Infinity War (2018).

In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is translated as "Twilight of the Gods". The myth tells of the eventual destruction of the universe and mankind, as well as the deaths of several key figures in Norse Mythology, such as the gods Odin, Thor, Loki, Heimdall, Freyr, Sol, and Tyr, and the monsters, a.k.a. jotun, Fenrir and Jörmungandr. A new generation of gods, the children of Odin, Thor, and Sol specifically, will take the place of the old ones, as the cycle of the world starts anew.

Mark Ruffalo has hinted that his appearance in this movie will primarily be as Hulk, not as Bruce Banner and the Hulk equally, as it has been, in his previous appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This film contains three members of the Secret Defenders superhero group: Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Doctor Strange is the founding member of the Secret Defenders.

Cate Blanchett's youngest son Ignatius Martin Upton, acquired a cameo role in the film.

This is the first film that Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum have appeared in together since Jurassic Park (1993).

To prepare for her role as Hela, Cate Blanchett studied capoeira, a Brazilian martial art.