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Family ties and family lies come home to roost for Thor in the third solo adventure for the immortal Avenger. With Chris Hemsworth's thunder god initially in the clutches of a demonic fire giant ranting about the end of Asgard (or Ragnarok in Norse parlance), you might be expecting a grim, doom-laden instalment. However, a shackled Thor coolly cracking quips like Bruce Willis in his pomp is a sign of things to come, for this fabulous fantasy is the Marvel Universe at its funniest. OK, death goddess Hela (played with haughty relish by Cate Blanchett) banishes Thor and his slippery sibling Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to a faraway planet where life and death depends on surviving a gladiatorial arena overseen by a louche Jeff Goldblum. But once a not-so-mighty Thor - shorn of hammer, costume and hair - encounters old sparring partner (and missing Avenger) the Hulk in the ring and the shellackings have been handed out, a hoot of a buddy movie ensues - think
or a Hope/Crosby
movie, only with a god and a rage monster in bickering tandem. Kiwi director Taika Waititi (
What We Do in the Shadows
) serves up a hugely entertaining, laugh-out-loud romp with brilliant brawls, humour delivered with deadpan finesse (not least by Waititi himself as hilariously random rock beast Korg) and plenty of in-jokes. Meanwhile, Hemsworth proves a dab hand in his double-take double act with Mark Ruffalo as Hulk's alter ego Bruce Banner and there are tasty performances from Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Strange and Tessa Thompson as a feisty warrior woman. Some may bemoan the unabashed light-heartedness but a game-changing reckoning on Asgard awaits Thor and his cohorts in a typically cataclysmic climax.
Cast & Crew
Bruce Banner / Hulk
Skurge, the Executioner
Dr Stephen Strange
DVD and Blu-ray
24 Oct 2017
Full Episode Guide
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