The Thor saga has always been the Achilles heel of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For this third (and last?) Part of the saga, Marvel Studios has therefore decided to play it all for all while entrusting the reins to Taika Waititi, a New Zealand director little known to the general public but who has already proven his worth with several comedies. A journey that resembles that of James Gunn, director of the two Guardians of the Galaxy. Once again, the risk paid off.
Thor Ragnarok takes the first two parts against the grain, this time adapting the Planet Hulk arc , adored by fans. The story of Greg Pak published in 2006 sees our green giant propelled onto a strange planet where, like Spartacus, must fight in the arena to free himself from his chains. This time, it is the Nordic God, driven from Asgard by Hella (Cate Blanchett) who finds himself stranded on the planet Sakaar. If the story has been heavily modified for the needs of the adaptation, the atmosphere halfway between Flash Gordon of Mike Hodges and Gladiator of Ridley Scott is indeed present, just like Hulk.
Thor Ragnarok is definitely one of the funniest movies in the MCU, lining up the right words like tatan shots. Waititi offers us more of an action comedy or a buddy movie than a real science fiction or superhero film. The characters, even minors, are all entitled to their well-felt valve, sometimes bluntly mocking other MCU films. A mastery of rhythm reminiscent of that of James Gunn, just like the colorful universe, deliberately fictitious to support the crunchy aspect of the adventure. Add to that some well-written characters (except the villainous, bête noire of the Marvel movies) and a soundtrack that is deeply rooted in the 80s and we have a film that is as fun as it is enjoyable.
The scenes follow one another as quickly as the floodgates in a film with potentially countless cult moments. The arena scene, already seen in the trailer, is for example one of the best of all Marvel movies combined. Likewise, the cameos (a little forced, of course) have something to satisfy the most demanding fans.
However, Thor Ragnarok crawls around a few flaws that will make these picky onlookers cringe. If the film manages to detach itself from the heritage of the first films of the series during the sequences on Sakaar, it reconnects with its demons as soon as it returns to familiar ground. For example, the mayonnaise turns a little bit during the sequences on Asgard. We’re a long way from the horrific Thor in The Dark World in these sequences, but no matter how hard Waititi struggles, he fails to create the spark in these scenes.
Likewise, it drags all the balls of the Marvel movies, like a story on rails that never deviates, a knee-soft antagonist, or an episodic format that doesn’t allow you to enjoy it without seeing the studio’s other productions. Finally, Thor Ragnarok has a flaw that is not his fault: he passes after two Guardians of the Galaxy films . With the same aesthetic as well as the same humor that seeks to twist the codes of the MCU, it inevitably has less impact than the adventures of the raccoon and co. But that does not detract from its humorous qualities.
Arriving to give a boost to the somewhat marginal saga of the MCU, Ragnarok brilliantly adapts the mythical arc, adding enough new things to surprise and entertain. More than a successful adaptation, Ragnarok is an excellent film with a colorful atmosphere and humor that hits the mark every time. The biggest regret remains the last third rather weak compared to the rest of the adventure.