As an actor, Chris Hemsworth has come a long way since his big screen debut back in the 2009 reboot of Star Trek. Nevertheless, Thor was undoubtedly the Australian’s breakthrough role and has catapulted him to a level of international fame and stardom on a scale which not many could have predicted. It’s fair to say that Hemsworth has grown into his role as the God of Thunder and this is particularly evident in the recently released, Thor: Ragnarok, which many are claiming is the best film in the franchise by some distance – quite a claim considering the overwhelmingly positive reviews that the first two movies received.
Released back in 2011, the first Thor film was about as true to the character’s comic book roots as humanly possible – Thor is portrayed as a strong but pretty serious and arrogant character, who mostly enjoys shouting and smashing things when given the opportunity. Hemsworth’s ability to bring Thor to life has been widely praised but as a result, the first movie, although a very solid effort, doesn’t leave much of a lasting impression and often lacks the fun and comedic elements of the Marvel Universe, which has made the franchise such a juggernaut over the last decade or so.
Fast forward to November 3 this year with the release of Thor: Ragnarok, and both Hemsworth and Thor have undergone a complete transformation. The film’s director, Taika Waititi, has managed to play heavily on Hemsworth’s renowned and much-loved comedic chops whilst still staying true to the original character, resulting in many laugh-out-loud moments which were definitely missing from the previous two movies in the franchise. Thor’s newfound comedy and self-awareness lend themselves to the big screen very well, particularly since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World has been often criticized for being much too dark and not befitting of the light-hearted nature of the Marvel Universe.
Hemsworth isn’t the only star of Ragnarok however, as Tom Hiddleston’s performance as Loki is instrumental in the back and forth banter between him and Thor. Whether it’s in the Thor and Loki online slot game, where teamwork between the brothers is imperative if you are to make it through the various levels, or the light-hearted Lego Marvel’s Avengers video game in which Thor and Loki’s connection is an integral part of the storyline, the tumultuous relationship between the brothers has long been a prominent part of Thor’s story arc. The fact that this has been more accurately represented in Thor: Ragnarok can only be a positive for the Marvel Universe moving forward and reflects the evolution of not only Thor and Loki, but the franchise as a whole.
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With Ragnarok grossing $122,744,989 and an impressive $793,548,853 worldwide since its release four weeks ago, it seems that fans are also reacting positively to what almost feels like a standalone movie in its own right. The natural evolution of Thor has certainly played a part in the latest instalment being labelled the best film of the franchise and whilst this can be put down to a masterful display from Hemsworth, Taika Waititi must also take a great amount of credit – the New Zealand born director may well have a few more knocks at his door soon if this latest effort is anything to go by.