By Travis J. Klemann
This sci-fi action adventure which doubles as both the third Thor film as well as the seventeenth entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is undoubtedly the most hilarious superhero movie yet. Director Taika Waititi takes audiences on an emotional roller coaster journey throughout the galaxy for a total of 130 minutes.
On his quest to uncover the Infinity Stones, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) ends up imprisoned by the fire demon Surtur, momentarily. It's revealed that the whole ordeal was in fact a mission to obtain information regarding the visions Thor has been experiencing since Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Said visions were the prophecy of Ragnarök, the destruction of Thor's home realm of Asgard.
After a brief cameo from Matt Damon, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) unveiling himself, the humorous first time meeting between Doctor Strange and Thor, the story is shifted to a sudden serious scene in Norway. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) explains to his sons, Thor and Loki, his death is imminent which will free his firstborn, Hela, from a prison of his creation.
Upon her arrival, "the goddess of death" Hela (Cate Blanchett) easily destroys Mjolnir, the famed hammer of Thor before knocking her brothers off course during their attempt to flee via the Bifröst Bridge. Thus allowing for her return to Asgard where she immediately makes her presence known by resurrecting an army of the dead and employing Skurge (Karl Urban) as her executioner.
Shortly after crash-landing on Sakaar, a trash-ridden planet equipped with wormholes baring similarities to Jakku from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Thor is captured and forced to compete in a Contest of Champions created by The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). After a sabotaged battle with a gladiator version of Hulk, Thor escapes Grandmaster's palace and locates the Quinjet that brought Hulk to Sakaar. A recording of Natasha Romanoff transforms Hulk into Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) for the first time in two years since the events of Sokovia.
Eventually, the trio of Thor, Bruce Banner and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), dubbed The Revengers, borrow a ship and travel to Asgard via a wormhole. Meanwhile, Loki boards a ship containing a revolution led by Korg (director Taika Waititi) which is also headed towards Asgard.
Banner unleashes Hulk in order to fight Fenris, a resurrected giant wolf as Thor battles his sister Hela, resulting in the loss of his right eye. The God of Thunder comes to the realization that in order to defeat Hela, he must bring forth Ragnarök as she draws her power from Asgard.
Loki heads towards Odin's Vault while Hela's army of resurrected warriors wage war with members of the rebellion among the Bifröst Bridge while Heimdall (Idris Elba) helps the citizens of Asgard board the gigantic ship.
After a quick glance at the Tesseract, Loki places Surtur's crown into the Eternal Flame causing the fire demon to be reborn, the size of a mountain not a house. Surtur kills Hela with a penetrating blow of his sword prior to an optimistic Korg suggesting the possibility of rebuilding Asgard until the foundations are utterly demolished. The newly crowned king Thor decides he'll take his people to Earth as the credits begin to (rock and) roll.
4/5 Stars - Highly Recommended
PS: Thor takes his losses in stride at the conclusion of this trilogy - girlfriend, hammer, hair, eye and home. Things can only go up from here, right? Nope, Thanos is coming. Also, since Disney owns both financially successful franchises (MCU & Star Wars) it's interesting how identical the atmosphere of Sakaar and Jakku are, dare I say it seems intentional. #NerdLife