Thor: Ragnarok may be the best Marvel Superhero film yet

Tessa Thompson is Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok. (Marvel Studios)

Tessa Thompson is Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok. (Marvel Studios)

In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to escape the alien planet Sakaar and get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok–the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization–at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger–the Incredible Hulk!

Thor: Ragnarok is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Thor, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World and the seventeenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Taika Waititi with a screenplay by Eric Pearson and the writing team of Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost

Chris Hemsworth stars as Thor, Tom Hiddlestonas Loki, Cate Blanchett as Hela,Tessa Thompsonas Valkyrie, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange, Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster,  Karl Urban as Skurge , Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, with director Taika Waititi as Korg, Clancy Brown as Surtur, Ray Stevenson as Volstagg, and, of course Stan Lee as ….. you’ll have to see.

Tessa Thompson is Valkyrie, a tough, hard-drinking Asgardian warrior based on the mythological being Brynhildr, who was once a member of Odin’s elite troops and now works as the bounty hunter Scrapper 142 for Grandmaster while hiding out on Sakaar.

Thompson felt the various versions of the character from the comics “left us a lot of leeway” in creating the version in Ragnarok, adding that Waititi “has a healthy respect for the comics but also a total irreverence in the sense that he’s like, ‘Let’s create something new.'”

About Valkyrie’s inclusion in the film, Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige said, “[Thor’s] relationship with Jane [Foster] may have evolved in unexpected ways in between The Dark World and Ragnarok and we wanted to pit him against a character who was much more his equal and in many ways his superior.” Feige also stated that Valkyrie has spurned her Asgardian heritage elaborating, “Thor thinks maybe that will create a bond between them and, on the contrary, she wants to forget it all entirely.”

Waititi stated that Thompson’s casting was not just about creating diversity explaining, “I’m not obsessed with the idea that you have to cast someone just to tick a box… You should cast people because they’re talented. [With Valkyrie] I wanted to make sure we weren’t making a female character that was boring and pretty. What I wanted was someone who was going to play the opposite and be even more of the ‘guy’ character than the guys.”

Regarding Valkyrie’s wardrobe, Thompson said, “she’s such a bad ass that she doesn’t need a lot of metal to protect her. I’m essentially in leather.”

Thompson stated that she was inspired by pictures of Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day while training for the role. Thompson, who is American, worked with dialect coach Andrew Jack to create the character’s accent, coming up “with something that simultaneously honors Asgard by sharing similarities with Thor’s accent, but also feels distinct from it since she’s been away from there for so long.” Thompson will also appear in future Marvel films.

Idris Elba as Heimdall in Thor Ragnarok

Idris Elba as Heimdall in Thor Ragnarok. (Marvel Studios)

And, yes, Idris Elba is back as Heimdall, the former all-seeing, all-hearing Asgardian sentry of the Bifröst Bridge, based on the deity of the same name, who has gone into self exile. Of Heimdall’s character arc in the film, “he’s gone from this elder statesmen, the gatekeeper to Asgard, to this badass warrior-wizard character who lives in the hills and kicks a lot of ass throughout the entire film.”

The Critics Consensus is that the film is exciting, funny, and above all fun. Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful cosmic adventure that sets a new standard for its franchise — and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 96% of 118 reviews were positive for this new adventure. As counted on the Rotten Tomatoes website as of Monday, October 30, 113 gave it Fresh ; and only 5 Rotten.

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone described the film as “the most fun you’ll ever have at a Marvel movie” while praising the film’s changing tone and direction as well drawing a similarity on its tone and humor to the Guardians of the Galaxy. Peter Debruge of Variety said, “Thor: Ragnarok is easily the best of the three Thor movies.” Alonso Duralde of TheWrap wrote, “Both the banter and the fighting, it should be noted, are excellent, so whether you go to superhero movies for the glossy escapism or the pulse-pounding action, you’ll get your large soda’s worth.”

Thor: Ragnarok is rated PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive material) and runs 130 minutes. Thor: Ragnarok premiered in Los Angeles on October 10, 2017, and was released in Australia on October 25, 2017. The film is scheduled to be released in the United States on November 3, 2017, in 3D, IMAX and IMAX 3D.