‘Thor’ manages without Mjolnir

Four years after the not so well-received “Thor: The Dark World,” “Thor: Ragnarok” looks to move the God of Thunder’s franchise to a more fun, hilarious and exciting environment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In this third installment of the “Thor” series, Thor’s sister, Hela the Goddess of Death, comes back to Asgard to seek the end of all Asgardian life and the rest of the realms that she and Odin set out to conquer. Thor is imprisoned on another planet, where he’s forced to fight as a gladiator against his “work friend,” the Hulk, with his trusted hammer Mjolnir now destroyed.

Thor’s mission is to find a way off the gladiator planet with the help of his friends and brother, Loki, so they can stop Ragnarok, the Asgardian apocalypse that Hela will cause. However, he does it with humor and style, considering Taika Waititi is the director.

It’s incredible how a successful studio like Marvel can keep making great films, even with people sparking debate on whether the superhero genre is relevant anymore.

“Thor: Ragnarok” weaved playful banter and out-of-your-seat action well enough to create a film that has more entertainment than that of the first two “Thor” films.

This is the 17th Marvel Studios film to date. It is also one of the most risky films that Marvel Studio’s president Kevin Feige has taken by hiring a director who has only worked on mainly independent comedies thus far. Luckily, the risk paid off.

Taika Waititi has worked on previous films such as “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” and “What We Do in the Shadows.” These international films have brought attention to Marvel Studios, which helped Waititi land his role in bringing the God of Thunder to the more light-hearted side of the MCU.

Waititi said in an interview with MTV News that “Thor: Ragnarok” was mostly ad-libbed.

“I would say we improvised probably 80 percent of the film, or ad-libbed,” said the director. “My style of working is I’ll often be behind the camera — or right next to the camera — and just yelling words at people: ‘Say this! Say this! Say this! Say it like this!’

While Marvel takes tremendous care of its property, the risks of change are what help it succeed in being a good film.

We get more of the Thor that we have seen in “The Avengers,” which is the kind of tone that people seem to enjoy most, both critics and fans alike.

The improvisation worked on screen, and it may be the funniest MCU movie — even funnier than “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

The most appealing factor of “Thor: Ragnarok” is, yes, the humor – but it is still a superhero movie. With that, we need superhero aspects such as capes, over-the-top action and either science-fiction or fantasy elements of strength.

That is the one thing the “Thor” series has not run out of steam with yet: the fantastical component of Thor’s stories.

Although fantasy isn’t the most down-to-earth genre in terms of our own reality, the actors, throughout the board, help put “Thor: Ragnarok” in a place of realism. Cate Blanchett sticks to her persona of the Goddess of Death and tries to eliminate a city while Chris Hemsworth, as Thor, uses his powers of lightning and thunder to stop her. There’s nothing “real” about this, but what the ensemble does is create a fun atmosphere and immerses the audience into a fake world that they care about.

Out of all the original Avengers, Thor hasn’t been the most popular. “Thor: Ragnarok” will change that because of how it brings a character who has been in a relatively dull and bland-toned franchise into what we now view as a more colorful Marvel world.

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