Thor: Ragnarok has arrived in theaters, and we’ll double down on Mike Ryan’s assessment: It’s easily one of the best movies in the whole Marvel franchise. Part of that is director Taika Waititi’s puckish sense of humor, throwing in everything from visual gags to twists on how movies like this deal with exposition. And you may experience some heavy deja vu, thanks to that layered gag. We’ve got spoilers below for both Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: The Dark World, so don’t read any further if you want to stay unsullied by comedy.
Here’s a GIF to see you off:
Still here? OK, so, a quick recap: In Thor: The Dark World, Loki supposedly sacrifices himself for the greater good, and Thor, being a sucker, buys it. Instead, Loki dumps his adoptive father Odin in a New York City retirement home and takes the throne as, supposedly, his dear old dad. The movie recaps all this by featuring a disguised Loki being introduced snacking on grapes and watching a play he’s commissioned, “The Tragedy of Loki.”
This is pretty funny in of itself, turning the end of the last movie into an overwrought melodrama complete with a giant “NOOOOOO!,” but if the actors look familiar to you, well, there’s a good reason for that. Loki got a pretty good cast for his hagiography: Matt Damon plays Loki, Sam Neill plays Odin, and Thor is portrayed by Westworld actor and Chris Hemsworth’s real-life older brother, Luke Hemsworth.
And, if you were wondering, yes, Stan Lee does turn up, as is the tradition. That we won’t spoil, but let’s just say he has a profound impact on Thor that the God of Thunder won’t soon forget.