After a four-year hiatus, the Marvel series "Thor" comes back to theatres with a comedic twist (distinct from the series' original serious tone), a 3D experience and some members of "The Avengers" in the anticipated film "Thor: Ragnarok."
Returning to Asgard after defeating a fire spewing monster, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) encounters his brother Loki (Tom Hiddlestone), whom he thought was dead. (In the previous movie, "Thor: The Dark World," Loki disguised himself as their father to hide his existence from Thor.)
The pair retreat to Earth to find their father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), only to stumble across another Marvel character, Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who tells them Odin is in Norway.
Once found, Odin discloses a long-held secret: He has a daughter, Hela (Cate Blanchett, "Manifesto"), also known as "the goddess of death," and her escape from a prison-type captivity will prompt Ragnarok, a prophesized "end of days" event.
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Sure enough, Hela appears and she battles her brothers inside a portal stretched across the cosmos, headed for Asgard. Hela knocks Thor and Loki off their course, leaving them stranded on a scrap-yard-style planet.
Thor must find a way off the planet in time to defeat Hela and save Asgard, but he needs to escape the grasp of the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum, "Jurassic Park"), a popular figure who captures warriors and forces them to fight in an arena-style match to the death.
Loki, on the other hand, has some mischievous plans laid out for himself that inevitably impact Thor's mission; they don't call him "the god of mischief" for nothing.
The movie deserves four out of five stars. There is a balance of comedy and serious battle scenes, though some of the jokes are cheesy. The film takes a light-hearted approach compared with the typical dark tone of the comic books. This allows the series to open up to a whole new demographic: Movie lovers who aren't necessarily avid superhero fans to begin with.
For a Marvel Universe newcomer some references, primarily referring to "The Avengers," might fly by without significance. The movie makes up for this by introducing a cast of new characters.
A new director for the series, Taika Waititi, showcases the new direction the Marvel franchise is headed in: comedy filled, action-packed superhero movies.
Though this might be upsetting for hardcore comic book readers, the film stays true to its roots. Fans will still get their Thor vs. Loki feud, and their epic battle scenes up the ante.
"Thor: Ragnarok" provides a refreshing and well-needed introduction to a new era of hero movies.
About the writer:
Hellen Popa, Teenlink correspondent.
Teenlink is an online and quarterly print newspaper produced by and for South Florida high school students. The students work with professional journalists from the Sun Sentinel, South Florida Parenting and Forum Publishing.