I lose track of who’s supposed to be dead at the end of the previous movies, but Loki is alive all through this one, Odin (Anthony Hopkins with an eyepatch) dies here, unleashing Thor’s evil sister Cate Blanchett from interdimensional prison, she’s presumably dead at the end of this since she gets her power from the planet and it’s destroyed by Ragnarok, and Thor is ok at the end, with a new hammer, now wearing an eyepatch like his dad, but they also said his power comes from the planet so I dunno if that’ll be important in later movies. Almost everyone on Asgard dies, including the warrior who becomes a lackey for Cate (Karl Urban: Bones in the new Star Treks), but Idris Elba and some refugees make it onto a spaceship.

So, Thor gets stranded hammer-less on a planet run by game-show-master Jeff Goldblum, teams up with a reluctant Tessa Thompson (the last Valkyrie) and a reluctant Loki, and a very reluctant Hulk, who somehow also ended up here, to steal a ship, fleeing an army led by Rachel House (social services in Hunt for the Wilderpeople) and return to Asgard to fight the rogue sister.

Other highlights: Bruce Banner wanders around confused in a Duran Duran t-shirt, the director plays a hilarious rock monster, Hopkins is entertained by a royal play starring Luke Hemsworth, Matt Damon and Sam Neill as Thor/Loki/Odin, the fun bright colors, the makeup and headgear and some mythic shots that are composed like religious paintings. Mostly we came for Guardians-style entertainment, and this totally delivered – seems like the most rewatchable of the Avengers movies.

Sam Neill as Anthony Hopkins:

Fun comedy with spot-on performances, a step up from What We Do In The Shadows. Family crowd-pleaser with some harsher realities than most (Ricky Baker’s foster mother / Sam Neill’s wife’s death was horrifying, as was Sam having to shoot his beloved dog after a boar attack). Misfit orphan Ricky is homed with Bella, who dies soon afterward, so he tries to run off into the woods and grumpy old Neill ends up joining him, both of them on the run. Not enough of the director himself (he plays a priest) but we get a good dose of Rhys Darby as a foil-hatted master of disguise who helps our guys nearly escape at the end. In the coda, Ricky and his new family adopt Neill, kind of an obvious wrapping-up but it works.

Ricky previously appeared in a Sam Worthington movie about an international paper plane competition. I haven’t seen Neill since Sally Potter’s Yes. Bella was Rima Te Wiata, of recent comedy/horror Housebound. Rachel House, dedicated child-services Ricky-pursuer (who helps draw connections to Moonrise Kingdom) was in Waititi’s Eagle vs. Shark.