Following production troubles on Thor: The Dark World and a crowded call sheet on 2 Avengers movies, in 2017 Taika Waititi brought Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder back with a bang in Thor: Ragnarok, a fresh, funny and colourful take on a sci-fi superhero epic.
We followed Thor as he returned to Asgard to find his long-lost warmongering sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) making a bid for the throne, the prophesied Viking apocalypse Ragnarok on the horizon. De-powered and enslaved to fight aliens for sport on the planet Sakaar, Thor was tasked with winning his freedom and gathering allies (both willing and reluctant) to take back his home realm.
Primarily known as a director of comedies, Waititi imbued his distinctive sense of humour into his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in a lot of the oddball dialogue exchanges, but Ragnarok was also pretty boldly iconoclastic: it fully embraced Jack Kirby’s wild comic book designs, and even snuck a fair number of big emotional beats and some weighty subtext into the film as well.
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10. Strange House Call
While searching for their missing father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), who Loki (Tom Hiddleston) had hypnotised and dumped in a now demolished retirement home on Earth, Thor and his trickster brother get called to the Sanctum Sanctorum at 177A Bleeker Street for an audience with Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch).
Midgard’s mightiest magician proceeds to flummox and bewilder his demigod visitors by shifting reality around the brothers, teleporting the bothersome Loki into a bottomless pit and serving Thor a bottomless beer as they talk. He eventually offers them the information they are seeking and conjures a portal to take them to Norway, but not before Loki tries to stick a dagger through him out of indignation as he had “been falling for 30 minutes!”.
9. RIP Mjolnir
Almost immediately after Odin Allfather says goodbye to his sons and passes on to Valhalla, his hitherto unknown first-born Hela (the Goddess of Death) escapes her prison, faces off with the other offspring of Odin (to Thor: “You don’t look like him” / to Loki: “You sound like him”) and puts her plot to reclaim her birth right into motion.
Her first act is to completely emasculate the overconfident Thor and essentially send him right back to his unworthy starting position by catching and crushing one-handed his unstoppable magic hammer Mjolnir (he takes this badly). Then, while they flee her in the Bifrost to Asgard, Hela easily dispatches both brothers in two hits and sends them hurtling off to the junk planet of Sakaar.
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