Thor is imprisoned in a gladiator contest against the Hulk
and must escape to save Asgard from the goddess of death.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Directed by Taika Waititi
Written by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo,
Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins, Karl Urban, Taika Waititi,
Clancy Brown, Rachel House, Benedict Cumberbatch
Sequel to 2013's Thor: The Dark World
and 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron
Based on characters from Marvel Comics
Thor hasn't exactly been the MCU's biggest franchise, always falling short of Iron Man and Captain America both critically and financially. But Thor: Ragnarok is something special. It takes a page out of the Guardians of the Galaxy's book and injects some much-needed natural comedy into a franchise known for its darker tone. Director Taika Waititi has undoubtedly saved the Thor franchise and made the God of Thunder a character worth watching all on his own.
The story introduces Thor's long-lost sister Hela, the goddess of death, who has returned to claim the throne of Asgard. After fighting her, Thor loses his trusty hammer and ends up trapped in a gladiator game run by a Jeff Goldblum-esque character called the Grandmaster. The story feels far more natural and well-thought out then the previous sequel's, and I think the exclusion of Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings in favor of newcomer Tessa Thompson and Avengers regular Mark Ruffalo had a lot to do with that. The world of Sakaar, the Grandmaster's world of contest, brings up memories of Flash Gordon and other early sci-fi B-movies. The performances are impeccable and hilarious, with Waititi encouraging improvisation to develop a more realistic camaraderie.
Thor: Ragnarok is one of Marvel's most entertaining films and easily eclipses Guardians 2 and Spider-Man to be the best Marvel movie of 2017. It's one of the last MCU films before Infinity War and the post-credits scene suggests that Thor may enter the third Avengers film less than whole. I can't wait to see where this franchise goes next, as Thor has finally become a franchise to be excited about again.