Stan Lee — who does his usual (and best ever) Marvel movie cameo — created Thor. We first saw the God of Thunder in Journey Into Mystery No. 83 in August of 1962. One has to wonder if at that time Lee and the other now Marvel masters had any clue their characters would end up as a billion dollar publication, movie and television franchise.
No doubt they didn’t.
Thor: Ragnarok is the third Thor movie. He’s also in all of the official — and the soon-to-number three — Avengers movies. Ragnarock picks up Thor’s story just after 2013’s The Dark World.
Odin decides it’s time to give up the ghost, and when he does the God of Thunder’s heretofore unknown sister Hela pops onto the scene. Since she’s the oldest of Odin’s kids, Hela claims the throne and wants to conquer the nine realms.
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Thor doesn’t think it’s a good idea. That leads to a bitter and bloody civil war. While trying to escape their very powerful sister, Thor and Loki end up on a world where Jeff Goldblum’s Guardian rules and conducts arena games similar to those found in ancient Rome.
To win his freedom so he can return to Asgard and defeat his sister, Thor is forced to battle the Guardian’s best beast who — ironically — Thor already knows. And knows well.
Most super hero films are serious to the point of tedious. They drag you through the mental gymnastics of conflicting egos before a predictable conclusion that destroys a city, a nation or a planet. This one is a laugh-a-minute fun fest and one of the best — if not arguably the best — of Marvel’s movies.
A lot of the credit for the film’s sense of humor is a changing of the directorial guard. New Zealander Taika Waititi, who did last year’s wildly entertaining art house fave, The Hunt for the Wilderpeople, infuses his unique sense of humor into a script done by three Marvel TV franchise scriptwriters.
Chris Hemsworth — as he proved in the new Ghostbusters movie — is a terrific comedian. He brilliantly tosses off some zingers that will have you howling. His co-stars — including new addition Cate Blanchett as Hela — have the same kind of fun with their parts.
Also, catch this one in 3D if you can. It’s terrific. If you can get near an IMAX-like screen, that’s even better.
Movie name: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’
Director: Taika Waititi
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stan Lee, Sam Neill, Luke Hemsworth, Matt Damon, Taika Waititi, Clancy Brown
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, some violence. It’s playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas Pasco and Queensgate 12s and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.