The upcoming “Thor: Ragnarok” is the third film in the “Thor” blockbuster franchise. This film follows in the footsteps of the original “Thor” (2011) and “Thor: The Dark World” (2013), so we have a good idea of what to expect from “Thor: Ragnarok” – especially since the wonderfully talented Chris Hemsworth is returning in the title role of Thor for the fifth time in his career. Here’s what to expect from “Thor: Ragnarok.”
The talent that Marvel Comics lined up for “Thor: Ragnarok” is truly impressive. First of all, you have Chris Hemsworth as Thor. That’s a given. But then you have Cate Blanchett as the evil villain Hela, who is planning on destroying Thor’s world of Asgard. You also have Tom Hiddleston as Loki, the god of mischief, who has been plotting to take over the world of Asgard. Loki has been such a popular character in previous “Thor” movies that the film’s director, Taika Waititi, felt that he had to bring him back.
But that’s not all – you also have Idris Elba (as Heimdall), Jeff Goldblum (as the Grandmaster, one of the Elders of the Universe), Mark Ruffalo (as the Hulk), and Anthony Hopkins (as Odin). Marvel Comics is clearly upping its game here, especially with its introduction of another character, the wonderful Tessa Thompson in the role of Valkyrie, the leader of a group of female warriors.
Tessa Thompson might not have the name recognition of a Mark Ruffalo or an Anthony Hopkins, but she’s won critical acclaim for her work in “Dear White People” and “Creed.” This will be her first action blockbuster, and judging from the trailer, she’s going to be a welcome addition to this remarkable ensemble cast. Just about the only cast member who’s not coming back this time is Natalie Portman, who has played Jane Foster, the love interest of Thor, in previous films.
The fundamental premise of this film is that Thor has been captured and imprisoned on an alien planet, and the only way he can escape is by winning a gladiatorial combat in front of the planet’s leaders. It is only by escaping that he can save his native Asgard from near-certain destruction.
However, it turns out that the person that Thor has been chosen to fight is the Hulk (played by Mark Ruffalo). There’s a funny scene in the trailer that perfectly captures the moment when Thor realizes he’s been selected to fight the Hulk. The people watching the gladiatorial combat are expecting a bitter match to the death between two hulking gladiators. But Thor simply breaks into a big smile and almost laughs when he sees the Hulk. He tells the crowd: “He’s a friend from work.”
Hollywood executives are referring to “Thor: Ragnarok” as a “road movie,” which is a term they used to describe any film in which two or more heroes have a set of extended adventures within the film that takes them to new destinations. And so the two “buddies” in this film will be Thor and the Hulk. They will escape from the alien planet where Thor has been imprisoned, and then travel to other planets in search of adventure.
In order to give its superhero films a slightly different look and feel, Marvel Comics often finds a new director to helm the project. And, in this case, Marvel Comics reached out to New Zealand’s Taika Waititi, who is directing his first-ever blockbuster. He’s actually an actor and writer as well as director, and had a role in the 2011 film “Green Lantern.” But other than that, his work may not be well-known to American audiences. He’s best known for “Eagle v Shark” (2007), “Boy” (2010) and “What We Do In the Shadows” (2014).
In “Thor: Ragnarok” the main villain is Cate Blanchett as Hela, the Asgardian Goddess of Death. She is really the key to understanding the film’s narrative – especially if you’re not an expert on Norse mythology. Hela is apparently all-powerful, and plans to destroy Asgard, which is Thor’s home world. Moreover, there is a connection between Hela and the Valkyries, who help to capture and imprison warriors to compete in the gladiator-style combats. So that’s the link between Thor, the Valkyries and Hela.
From the trailer alone, it’s not clear whether the Valkyries are going to fight for Hela or against Hela (or perhaps both). It’s also not clear what the role of Loki is in the film. According to Thor fans, Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston) is also key to understanding the action. He’s the god of mischief, and in one scene of the trailer, he’s shown sharpening some knives at the gladiator combat event. So he’s apparently linked to Hela somehow. Is he trying to save Asgard or defend it?
And remember, Thor and Loki are related, too, so things might be a little more complicated than we expected. That’s why Cate Blanchett’s character is so important – if we know how other characters relate to her, we’ll know how they relate to Thor.
For most people, Chris Hemsworth is synonymous with Thor. They can’t imagine him in any other role. So it will be interesting to see how Thor changes and evolves in this film. Hemsworth has already given a lot of interviews, and he’s constantly hinting that this Thor is going to be a bit different.
And it goes beyond just having shorter hair – he’s also looking to bring out some of the funnier, lighter aspects of Thor. Moreover, Hemsworth seems to be really excited to be working alongside Mark Ruffalo (as the Hulk) to tie together the narratives involving these two superheroes. But don’t be surprised if this Thor – the fifth time that Hemsworth has played this character in films – is slightly different from how you’ve seen him before.
Movie audiences really seem to be anticipating “Thor: Ragnarok” – and for good reason. This new blockbuster film from Marvel Comics features an amazing ensemble cast, a thrilling adventure narrative featuring Thor and the Hulk, and plenty of epic battle scenes. It’s all layered over some classic Norse mythology and a tale of saving the world from total destruction. Those are all great reasons to see “Thor: Ragnarok” when it comes to movie cinemas in November.