Thor: Ragnarok ★★½

After a fruitless search for the Infinity Stones, Thor returns home to find out that Loki is alive, Odin is banished to earth where he is dying, and his sister Hela is ready to to confront him for the throne of Asgard.

The third installment of the MCU where the God of Thunder is the protagonist, is an unwelcome foray into outright comedy and an homage to campy space operas from the 80's, in the vein of "Flash Gordon".
Now, I have no problem with humor in any kind of film, but with one indispensable condition: the jokes must be funny. What we get here instead is a lot of sophomoric slapstick gags and cheap puns that are literally cringe-worthy ("Revengers" anyone?).
Not only is the humor not funny, it also undermines any sense of urgency. It's hard for the average viewer to care about the imminent destruction of the world when our heroes seem more interested in cracking bad jokes than preventing the loss of their home and their loved ones.
There is also that "little" continuity problem with Hulk, whom we left crash-landing somewhere in the Pacific at the end of "Age of Ultron" and suddenly we find him here at a distant planet, with no explanation in sight.

Chris Hemsworth gives a game performance as Thor, but unfortunately his character has been compromised. The script turned him into a buffoonish braggart. Hiddleston is excellent as usual and Blanchett's presence as Hela is a luxury for such a silly movie.
I know I'm in the deep minority on that one but I think Jeff Goldblum was embarrassing as Grandmaster. When it comes to awful jokes, he was the biggest culprit.

One can appreciate the fact that Marvel tried to tinker with its winning formula for this film. Unfortunately for them, we are all judged by results, not intentions. "Thor: Ragnarok" is technically flawless and certainly never becomes a chore to watch. But we have come to expect more from the studio that gave us "The Avengers" and "Captain America: Civil War".

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