The first reviews are in for ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ – and, would you believe, they’re overwhelmingly positive.
The critical embargo on the Marvel Studios sequel was lifted at 5pm BST, and at the time of writing the film has a 100% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, based on 30 counted reviews from major outlets. This score will almost certainly fluctuate as more reviews are counted, but this should be enough to definitively declare ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ as certified fresh.
Update: as of 9am 20 October, the score is 98% based on 45 reviews, only one of which was negative.
James Dyer of Empire says ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is “the boldest, most outrageously fun film Marvel has yet produced.” Eric Eisenberg of Cinemablend declares it “the best of the Thor features and impressively one of the better MCU offerings,” whilst David Jenkins of Little White Lies suggests “it just might – might! – be the greatest Marvel movie.”
All early indications had been that, by contrast with the previous two ‘Thor’ films, comedy would be far higher on the agenda here – a logical move, given director Taikia Waititi’s background (‘What We Do In The Shadows,’ ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’) – and most reviews agree this is ‘Ragnarok’s key strength.
Dave Schilling of Birth.Movies.Death describes the film as “Marvel majesty via Monty Python,” whilst Alex Godfrey of GQ calls it “a glorious carnival of nonsense.” Kevin Harley of Total Film notes, “Anytime there’s a danger of someone giving a cliched, worthy speech about power and responsibility there’s a one liner delivered like a slap to the back of the head.”
Some reviews do note weaknesses: Geoffrey McNab of The Independent says it “doesn’t have any dramatic urgency whatsoever,” and Scott Mendhelson of Forbes complains of “generic plotting, a padded midsection and a lack of drama;” but as Brian Truitt of USA Today remarks, “even tonal issues can’t upend the magic this movie taps into.”
If ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ can maintain this critical momentum, it will surely prove to be the best reviewed entry in the series: 2011’s ‘Thor’ sits on a 77% Rotten Tomatoes score, while its 2013 follow-up ‘Thor: The Dark World’ scores 66% (the lowest score for any Marvel Cinematic Universe entry).
Indeed, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ currently has the highest RT score of any MCU movie, with 2008’s ‘Iron Man’ coming in second at 94% – but again, the scores will almost certainly change as more reviews are counted.
‘Thor: Ragnarok’ stars Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Cate Blanchett, Karl Urban, Tessa Thompson and Jeff Goldblum. It opens in UK cinemas on Tuesday, 24 October.