God of Thunder Strikes Again

“Thor: Ragnarok” enlivens moviegoers as the Marvel era continues.

Ethan Hurlburt, Columnist

“Thor: Ragnarok” was released on Nov. 3 and enjoyed an opening weekend racking up $427 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

In the movie, Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, the god of thunder. He finds himself in captivity on the planet Sakaar without his hammer and has to duel his longtime friend, Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), in order to return to Asgard in time to stop Hela (Cate Blanchett) and attempts to start a jet using a voice-activated password. He needs to make a getaway from a planet, he’s neck-deep in trouble, and identifies himself as the “strongest Avenger.” Thor might have had better luck cracking the code if he’d copped to being the “most boring Avenger.”

With a charismatic star like Chris Hemsworth, who moviegoers have seen time and time again, the Thor series needed a revamp of a more modern approach. The upstaging antics of his brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are difficult for Thor to combat, after all, and “Ragnarok” tries hard to change that profile of being tedious. It instead succeeds by knocking its big, blond beauty from previous predecessors down to a size that results in a movie everyone can enjoy.

Marvel could have made the film a bit grimmer, broodier, and sterner, but that isn’t its onscreen way, so it has made Thor sunnier, sillier, and funnier. It’s a good fit, at least for this particular installment. Like some other superheroes, Thor has been good for the occasional light, mocking laugh, often hooked to his otherworldly identity; he’s a god, son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), but that doesn’t mean he’s perfect.

Compared to previous Thor films, including the original 2011 “Thor” film and 2013 “Thor: The Dark World,” this Thor film was goofier than ever. “Thor: Ragnarok” reminded me of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” series, with the preface of a more comedic approach, but still having that Marvel action we all love to see as action fans.