Marvel have done it again! Just when you start to wonder if they can keep up the high standard that we expect from the studio, they hit you with this gem of high energy entertainment. (I hope you are listening DC?)

I think the main reason we like to go to the cinema is to be entertained so we can lock all our worries away in that little alcove in the back drawer of our brain and drift off into another world.

Much of this praise is due to the employment of New Zealand director and comedy actor, Taika Waititi. You may be familiar with his work as director and actor in the Independent Kiwi movies, What We Do in the Shadows (2014). A horror spoof on a ‘fly on the wall’ documentary about a group of Vampires who share a house in the suburbs and Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) a comedy / drama starring Sam Neill which is a sort of live version of Disney’s UP (2009) as a grumpy old man and a young boy go on a wild adventure.
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Director Taika Waititi and Chris Hemsworth on set

Both these small films achieved cult status and the attention of Hollywood. Hence Waititi being asked to director the big budget which was to be Thor: Ragnarok.

The last time we saw Thor (Chris Hemsworth) he had gone off on his own to look for the Infinity Stones.

But now his efforts have turned to more pressing matters with his home planet of Asgard under threat. Thor’s Father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) has warned him and his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) that their older sister Hela, (Cate Blanchett) known as ‘The Goddess of Death’ has been unleashed from her incarceration and is out for revenge and intends to dominate and rule Asgard.
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Tom Hiddleston as bad boy Loki

In his first confrontation with Hela, Thor gets inadvertently propelled to the planet of Sakaar, ruled by the Grandmaster (A brilliant turn by Jeff Goldblum who apparently was allowed to improvise by director Waititi) a pleasure-seeking hedonist who organises the Gladiator arena to appease the masses.
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Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster

The Grandmaster sees Thor as a worthy adversary to fight his current champion, a certain green monster! It’s here on Sakaar, that we meet a new character in the form of a stone / rock built Gladiator called Korg, who steals the show with his hilarious one liners in his Kiwi accent, voiced by the director himself (Taika Waititi).
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Kiwi Gladiator Korg (voiced by director Taika Waitit)

After an amazing choreographed fight sequence in the arena between the two mighty Avengers. The pair team up to escape Sakaar with the help of the last of the race of Asgard’s Valkyrie’s, called simply Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) who is a hard drinking sword wielding warrior.

The stage is then set for the final showdown between Thor and his Sister Hela. But can Asgard be saved?

In my opinion, this Marvel episode is probably one of the most entertaining that I have seen. It’s right up there with the Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 1 and Vol 2.

The film is relentless in its pace and doesn’t let the audience get distracted for a second. Your eyes are fixed on the screen for the whole 130 minutes, which passes quite quickly.

Director Waititi, wanted to create a movie in the vain of the Buddy Buddy movies such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and the 70’s and 80’s style inspired films such as Midnight Run (1988), 48 Hours (1982), Big Trouble in Little China (1986) and Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1986).
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Thor, Valkyrie and Bruce Banner

The director also wanted to show off Chris Hemsworth comedic quality. In the original Thor movie Hemsworth played the role as a serious character (or God!) but his comedy timing is spot on and this also goes for his pal Bruce Banner / HULK (Mark Ruffalo) who bounce off each other perfectly.
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We must not forget The Hulk.

Tom Hiddleston is also back as double crossing sleazeball Loki, although the audience seem to have an odd empathy towards the character.

Idris Elba returns as Heimdall, former gatekeeper to Asgard who now leads the rebellion with the citizens of Asgard.

There are a couple of new faces with Skurge, (Karl Urban) and Asgardian Warrior who changes allegiances to Hela as her executioner and bodyguard. We also have Topaz (Rachel House) who was Paula, the corrupt child welfare officer in Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) and last heard as the voice of the Gramma Tala in Disney’s Moana (2016) who is bodyguard to Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster.
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Cate Blanchet as the not so ugly sister Hela

But it is Cate Blanchet’s character Hela which is the first main female villain in any Marvel movie (so far). Blanchet looks great in her S&M body suit, sporting headgear with retractable antlers. A formidable adversary for Thor and his team.

I had to give this a 5 out of 5 on the Foker On Film enjoyment meter.

In UK cinemas from October 24