Marvel's "Thor: Ragnarok" has that perfect mix between Marvel Cinematic Universe chapter and everything that it's been missing in the last nine years.
Chris Hemsworth turns in his best performance as the Lord err God of Thunder to date in Ragnarok as he plays several different roles between God, Prince, King, lovestruck prisoner, warrior and friend. Oh, and he's absolutely goofy and witty as all hell in this movie.
Director Taika Waititi should definitely earn some big paychecks following this one, because he managed to pack everything a big blockbuster had into this big blockbuster.
Marvel pushed a lot of its own boundaries in Ragnarok, and I truly believe it couldn't have turned out better. Now, will this go down as the most important MCU movie? No, of course not, and that's why it incorporated the tone it did.
This movie was built on its characters, its ever-changing tone, beautiful visuals and a couple of unpredictable characters. Shoot, it even squeezed in a worthwhile Stan Lee cameo, but I won't even spoil that ear-lowering moment.
It featured a consistent Hulk -- that felt so damn good to see -- and offered many answers to questions that had fans clamoring after Captain America: Civil War.
We'll start to dip into some minor spoilers below the movie poster, but before we get there: Go see this movie, it's fun, ridiculous and full of badass action, evil characters and even some worthwhile semi-original incarnations.
Back to answering some of those questions from Civil War that Thor Ragnorak handled quickly and in graceful fashion. Bruce Banner has been stuck as Hulk for two years (since Ultron) fighting as the Grand Master's (Jeff Goldblum) Grand Champion. There are hints of Planet Hulk vibes when on Goldblum's planet, no not Earth, and it just feels so right for this character that has cinematically been treated so wrong.
Mark Ruffalo was actually allowed some real time to further that character development that starting taking place what feels like a million movies ago. That noteworthy scene where Hulk is seen clashing with Thor is just about as badass as you expect, and what follows is just comedic gold between the two Avengers.
When Thor (Chris Hemsworth) meets up with Hulk on Sakaar, the two are allowed to build upon the chemistry that viewers have been teased with. The comedic chemistry is there, and let me just say, their fight scene against each other is the tasty MCU cocktail of hilarious, thrilling with a low-key kickass score in the background.
I try to avoid a lot of the dirt sheets heading into big Marvel, DC or Star Wars type movies, and I'm glad I did because I truly had no idea Benedict Cumberbatch's Dr. Strange would make a brief, but god damn classic, cameo as he spun Thor's mind while truly messing with Loki.
What that scene went to prove, was that Hemsworth and his version of Thor can do it with just about any character thrown at him on the screen. He's gold with Loki and Hulk, and there is some potential for some more confusing scenes of Wizardry in the future.
Now, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and 2 both felt like more true "comedies," but there was just something about Ragnarok that had my sides hurting for the majority of the movie. The wittiness, the dirty jokes, the Devil's anus and so on and so forth.
With all that said, I don't try to fully spoil movies so I'll move on to the new characters introduces, and let the podcast(s) deal with spoiling this MCU hit. Don't be fooled by the high ratings, because this exceeds them in this nerds' mind.
Between Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie warrior -- and Thor's infatuation with her and her feminist past -- and Cate Blanchett's downright evil, terrifying and supremely kickass Hela I'm not sure who to start with.
Thompson's Valkyrie better get some more god damn MCU roles because holy shit she steals so many scenes that she becomes a part of. It's almost as the focus shifts to her anytime she enters a scene, between playfully rolling around with Hulk or drunkenly falling off her ship's ramp, I loved everything she brought to the fold.
Now, here is one spoiler, Jane is gone. As Thor calls it, a "mutual breakup" with Natalie Portman not being part of the MCU moving forward. If they move Thor and Thompson's character further anymore, there is some real potential here between the two because I have the feeling audiences will be wanting more.
As for Hela, god damn. She brings as much to the story and death and destruction as advertised. There is so much to love (hate) about her character that you feel sympathy for her story and what Odin put her through. Blanchett did a great job making her own evil character and not just falling into the tried and trued blueprint of the past. When she reveals the old mural Odin painted over, got damn, you'll feel me on the perspective sympathy.
Quick shoutout to Idris Elba for having a meaningful role in a movie that didn't suck. We still like you here at the Court of Nerds.
All in all, Thor: Ragnarok might represent one of the most fun times at the movie theaters in 2017. It's ridiculous, fills so many holes and features Tom Hiddleston's Loki. What more could you want?
(There are two post-credit scenes: one quickly into the credits that isn't long but features an intense reveal and the other at the end that is Goldblum being Goldblum)