The pressure was on for Marvel to take a third stab at making a decent Thor movie. With actors Jeff Goldblum, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson and Mark Ruffallo joining returning favorites Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins, Thor: Ragnarok was easily one of Marvel's most star-studded projects to date.
Thankfully, New Zealand-born director Taika Waititi was more than capable of taking over the Norse god's story and making it his own. Injecting some well placed humor into the franchise, Waititi made the best use of Thor's otherworldly setting and cast, showcasing vibrant new characters and environments, and reminding fans (and Marvel itself) why Thor is such an amazing character in the Marvel universe. And now, with the embargo lifted, we finally know exactly what the critics think of Thor: Ragnarok.
Currently the film stands at an awe-inspiring 98% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 42 reviews, with the site's consensus stating:
"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".
The Hollywood Reporter: "Thor's third outing is his breeziest by far".
The Hollywood Reporter's Sheri Linden liked director Taika Waititi's approach to #Thor, loving the visuals, the story and the "fun" tone of the film.
With Taika Waititi at the helm, the clash-of-worlds CGI extravaganza blasts free of the previous installment's leaden Dark World. Giant fire monsters in stygian underworlds notwithstanding, even the story's central bad guys are silly fun, hammed to the hilt by Cate Blanchett and Jeff Goldblum.
The Verge: "A joy to watch".
The Verge's Bryan Bishop also praised Thor: Ragnarok, attributing much of its success to its director Waititi. The writer even compared it to Deadpool 's writing:
Thor: Ragnarok is like Deadpool, only charming and light, rather than R-rated and nihilistic. Yes, these characters can get a little silly at times, Waititi seems to be saying, but that doesn’t have to stop us from having a good time.
Variety: "Easily the best of the three Thor movies "
Despite calling the third Thor movie "skippable", Variety's Peter Debruge did enjoy the freshness of Waititi's film and that the director added more personality to Thor in this film than what we had seen in his previous two movies:
Waititi has managed to finally imbue Marvel’s dullest Avenger with a personality — even if said personality is little more than stony stoicism, best revealed in comedy riffs with hot-headed rival/ally the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, whom we first meet trapped in mean, green, all-CG mode).
USA Today: "The goofiest Marvel superhero movie".
USA Today's Brian Tutt felt that the movie failed to strike a balance between its fun, comedic and serious drama side, which ultimately effect the over all movie as a whole. He did enjoy it more than other superhero films, giving it 3 out of 4 stars.
By far the best of the solo films starring Chris Hemsworth as the hammer-wielding warrior, Thor: Ragnarok is a fantasy romp infused with director Taika Waititi's signature goofiness.
Forbes: "Quality Popcorn Entertainment".
Forbes' Scott Mendelson was a fan of the movie, calling the sequel "witty". Although he wasn't oblivious to the faults in the film, he too felt that it was #Marvel's most interesting film in quite some time.
Thor: Ragnarok is an 8-bit video game come to life in ways good and bad. It offers gorgeous and colorful visuals and a sense of gonzo action fantasy that brings to mind Nintendo classics and would-be Star Wars knock-offs like Flash Gordon (the 1980 movie, not the original serials) and Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone. It does also suffer from a lack of drama and a tone so light and jolly that it threatens to become flippant. In the end, it does float like a butterfly even if it forgets to sting like a bee.
Entertainment Weekly: "The movie is fun."
Chris Nashawaty was a fan of Taika Waititi's take on the Norse god but felt the storyline was a hot mess. The critic still gave the film a B grade, explaining how it's one of the most entertaining films Marvel Studios has produced.
With the exception of Deadpool and the Guardians of the Galaxy films, Ragnarok may be the only Marvel-hero movie that feels like it’s first and foremost a comedy. And on those terms — and those terms only — it’s a triumph.
The Wrap: "A screwball delight".
The Wrap's lead movie critic Alonso Duralde, enjoyed the ridiculousness of the movie, and praised the acting and direction of the film.
You don’t have to have seen the lead-ups to “Thor: Ragnarok” to enjoy yourself, nor will your delight depend upon another five future movies to be announced later. There’s little pomp and even less circumstance, but its goofy pleasures are more than enough.
The Guardian: "Winningly, unpretentiously funny."
The Guardian's Steve Rose gave the film three out of five. Rose loved the films' ability to laugh at its own absurdities though he admitted it was also the largest flaw in the film.
Comic-book movies have spent a long time striving to be taken as serious, grownup entertainment but Thor: Ragnarok is almost an admission that you can’t play this material straight.
IGN: "Flippant and flashy".
IGN gave it a 7.7 out of 10, with it's Film Critic Jim Vejvoda prasing the film's cheesiness but remarking that that often took a toll on the storyline. He ultimately summarized:
"Thor: Ragnarok is a goofy, kitschy-but-fun romp and the most purely entertaining of the three Thor movies, marked by its distinctive designs, '80s synth score, and assemblage of spirited characters."
Empire: "The most outrageously fun film Marvel has yet produced. "
Empire's James Dyer enjoyed Ragnarok, giving it four stars out of five. He loved the use of comedy and felt that the Thor films had finally found a direction to go in.
Like a cosmic fever dream, Ragnarok is a disorientating cocktail of riotous colour and batty antics that seem almost unreal after the fact. Try to fit it into an established mould at your peril, but roll with this and you’ll discover not only a top-tier addition to the MCU, but one of the most flat-out enjoyable comedies of the year.
It certainly seems as if Marvel has another hit lined up on the superhero deck. The film is set to earn a $100 million in it's opening weekend, and with critics raving about the film, Thor: Ragnarok is clearly going to rule the box office for some time.
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