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Thor hammers the laughs


Rating PG 13+

Thor: Ragnarok

5 stars


HAMMER of the Gods! 

This film is such a glorious riot; it smashes the previous format and sneaks a cheeky wink at us as it flies into the fray.

The Thor franchise seriously needed someone with fresh eyes to zap it with the lightning bolt that was necessary to give it new life.

Thank the Marvel Gods we finally have someone to resuscitate the franchise with a bit of flair and tongue-in-cheek self-awareness.

Director/Actor Taika Waititi has thrown the handbook out the window and scrubbed our live action comic book heroes right back for a fresh and frequently funny reinvention to the series.

Often stealing the scene, Taika also voiced one of the CG animated characters, playing a giant talking pile of rocks with a gentle Kiwi accent.

And so the story goes: Thor is back in outer space, a chained-up captive dangling in some dank cave.

Keeping his cool, Thor defeats a fire giant who wishes to destroy his home planet of Asgard and bring about the end of times: Ragnarok.

He returns home only to find his trickster brother Loki has been up to his usual mischief, and quickly sorts all that out, just in time to see his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) before he disappears in a puff of sparkles and goes onto the next world.

I don’t want to ruin this for anyone, so I won’t be going into any further detail of the story.

But I will share a little about some of the new characters we can add to the Marvel Universe.

There is a new villain in the fabulous female form of Cate Blanchett, who obviously relished every minute of her part, a Goddess of death fresh out of Helheim and just a little bit more than miffed.

And Jeff Goldblum soaks up all our love as he graces the screen as a madcap master of a bizarre garbage planet where galactic gladiators entertain aliens of all kinds with their brutal sport.

There is also a booze swilling Valkyrie who drags a freshly shaven Thor into the games, to reunite with the big green guy The Hulk (no spoilers, the trailers have been playing up this bit for months already).

And of course, there are countless cameos of our favourite characters scattered liberally throughout the film to tickle the fans, and yes, be sure to look out for the traditional Stan Lee pop up we must admit we are hoping to see.

With a decided nod back to the sillier Flash Gordan style of comic book hero movies, and a sound track replete with Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song belting out more than once, you will be Ragna-Rocking in your seat.

About Tracey Fox

For the past nine years Tracey has been the smiling face at reception. She takes care of the classifieds and trades and services sections for the paper but she is also our reviewer. For the past eight years her movies, books, theatre and food reviews have entertained our readers. She loves the fact the Echo is a small paper and its staff have a genuine interest in local issues because they are locals. Tracey says it is great working at a paper she wants to read.

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