The embargo on reviews for Thor: Ragnarok has officially lifted, and unsurprisingly, they're pretty good. Much like the initial reactions to the film, critics seem to agree that Ragnarok is easily one of the funniest superhero films to date, and brings new life to an otherwise muddled franchise.
When Marvel released the first Thor film in 2011, it fared decently, earning an impressive $445 million at the worldwide box office and kickstarting an early franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unfortunately, its followup film, Thor: The Dark World failed to elevate the series and was seen as a critical dud. Despite a stellar cast, many felt Marvel had spent too much time focusing on Earth rather than Asgard, so, it was a nice surprise when Kevin Feige revealed back in 2014 that the third Thor film would be Thor: Ragnarok. At the time, Feige likened the film to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, stating that it would be an important part of the MCU's Phase Three. Judging by the first round of reviews Feige's words seem to have proven true.
The Wrap's film critic called the film a "breathlessly action-packed and comic superhero tale" with plenty of excitement and silliness throughout. Variety called the film a "welcome dose of self-parody" in the character's standalone series. Other critics, like Entertainment Weekly and USA Today were quick to note that while the film is undeniably fun, it doesn't always take itself seriously enough. USA Today points out, "The adventure leans hard into the campy Flash Gordon vibe and slapstick humor, so much so that when the third act save-the-world stuff comes, it doesn’t feel completely earned."
Still, despite the divisiveness over the film's overall tone, Thor: Ragnarok appears to be another hit for Marvel Studios, with the movie currently sitting at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes -- although it'll more than likely settle in the 80%-range by its release -- and is on track for a $90-$100 million opening stateside. Not bad for the third installment of a franchise.
Debuting in theaters on Nov. 3, Thor: Ragnarok is a production of Marvel Studios directed by Taika Waititi and starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett and Karl Urban.