Thor: Rag­narok

The Coast - - ARTS - —Tara Thorne

It’sone thing to cast Robert Red­ford or Michael Keaton as un­ortho­dox vil­lains in su­per­hero films—veter­ans play­ing against type, a bit of cap­i­tal-A act­ing in with all the Chrises and women just col­lect­ing pay­cheques. It’s quite an­other to make the Big Bad Cate Blanchett, who is more awe­some—in real-life tal­ent and here in Thor: Rag­narok— than all of The Avengers put to­gether (with awe­some to spare). It’s the kind of cast­ing that makes you root against the good guys.

Blanchett’s Hela is the se­cret sis­ter of Thor (Chris Hemsworth, in full-on Ghost­busters mode) and Loki (Tom Hid­dle­ston, look what you made me do), whom Odin (An­thony Hop­kins) has kept hid­den be­cause she’s so evil she makes Loki look like Den­nis the Me­nace. She set to un­leash her rage on As­gard, but Thor’s busy be­ing forced to fight the Hulk (Mark Ruf­falo) by Jeff Gold­blum.

The Thors are eas­ily the best su­per­hero prod­uct on the mar­ket, be­cause they’re funny (imag­ine!). There’s the usual fam­ily por­tent and shoe­horned love story ( Creed’s Tessa Thomp­son has a ter­rific turn as a drunk war­rior), but these films move with such light­ness and wit that their cookie-cut­ter fight scenes are just bridges to the jokes. The New Zealand di­rec­tor Taika Waititi de­liv­ers on zero of the mar­ket­ing cam­paign’s neon aes­thetic—

Rag­narok is stan­dard-look­ing—but boosts what should, by now, be a sag­ging fran­chise through old-fash­ioned comic tim­ing.

And then there’s Blanchett, look­ing like a goth Malef­i­cent in her form-fit­ting cat­suit slashed with nu­clear green, bust­ing Thor’s ham­mer into chunks, hav­ing de­li­cious fun. Now we need more: Thor’s had a good run, let’s get Hela lit.

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