‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Film Review: Cate Blanchett’s Performance as Goddess of Death is an Instant Classic
”Are you coming to have a ’ragnarööki’?” asked the smiling doorman guarding the fort to the press screening as if he was Heimdall the guardian of Asgard, home of the gods in Norse mythology. “Rööki,” means a cigarette in Finnish, and it was if his humorous remark was an omen of what would be waiting on the big screen.
Thor: Ragnarok (or Thor 3) is seasoned with witty humor, and Director Taika Waititi (known mostly as a TV director) and the screenwriters have got the timing right. We have powerful people falling comically, men screaming like women and bisexual madmen making numerous jokes about Asgard, excuse me “Ass guard.”
Strong focus on humor seems to be all the rage in superhero movies these days (Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Deadpool), which adds a welcome layer on the journey of a hero. The hero in this case, of course, is Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the god of thunder, son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), who is the god of so many things that my fingernails would start bleeding while attempting to list them all. Let’s just say that he is the ruler of Asgard. Or, maybe, was? (As you already know, no spoilers here.)
Ruler of the underworld Hela, played by Cate Blanchett, has set her deadly spears, axes and swords against Asgard, in an attempt of a takeover. By casting Blanchett in the role of the epic goddess of death takes the Thor saga to a whole different level. Blanchett, who is an Academy Award-winning actress, notable for character-driven performances in films such as Manifesto (2015), Carol (2015), The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Veronica Guerin (2013), and much more. Wearing a dark make-up based on the British punk singer Siouxsie Sioux (who according to Blanchett ‘had all that energy’) and donning the headdress of Hela, Blanchett delivers a jolting performance.
In addition, Waititi and the team are keen on creating gung-ho battles, such as the one with Thor and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Who saw that coming? In turn, Tessa Thompson, who played Sylvester Stallone’s protege Adonis Johnson’s girlfriend in Creed (2015), adapts the role of fierce Valkyrie: heavy on the bottle, swift with the fists.
Thor: Ragnarok is a cocktail of characters from all walks of life, which definitely adds to the appeal of the film. It’s an another enjoyable ride in the superhero universe in the comfort of a soft seat and good company. The 130 minutes are more than worth it.
Thor: Ragnarok premieres in cinemas November 3.
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