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MOVIE REVIEW: Chris Hemsworth is no longer the star of Thor.

If you come at Thor, God of Thunder and a card-carrying member of The Avengers, you had best not miss.

Even if the only thing you’re throwing at him is a lengthy dose of film criticism and a look at how his adored character has fared in his third big screen, leading man outing.

ThorRagnarok premiered across the world to critics and special guests last week, and will open in cinemas Australia-wide next week. However, anticipation levels for fans are already sky-high, especially here in the land of Vegemite and ridiculous plebiscite postal votes.

After all, the latest Thor instalment was shot here on our very shores and stars former Dancing With The Stars contestant (his greatest unsung role) turned Hollywood action star Chris Hemsworth as Thor himself and too good for this world Cate Blanchett as his sister from hell (literally, she’s the Goddess of Death) with the great wardrobe, Hela.

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And while these two silver screen favourites shine in their roles, there’s another character who overtakes them both. A character whose storyline is so good, and executed so perfectly in the hands of the actress chosen to play her, that she almost blows main man Thor out of the water.

And that character is Valkyrie, played by the incredible Tessa Thomspon.

In Thor: Ragnarok two years have passed since the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. In this film, Thor finds himself fighting to save his homeland of Asgard from the clutches of Hela, an all-powerful entity with a taste for blood and more than a few daddy issues.

His first showdown with Hela leaves him trapped on a rubbish filled-filled planet on the edge of nowhere, where he is imprisoned and forced to compete in a deadly gladiatorial contest. A fight to the death where he is matched against The Hulk, his “friend from work” who is trapped in his monstrous form with no trace of Bruce Banner left in sight.

Tessa Thomspon as Valkyrie. Source: Disney.
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It's on this trashtastic planet (ruled by a perfectly accessorised Jeff Goldblum) where Thor first encounters Valkyrie.

Her introduction to the audience easily goes down in history as the best entrances ever bestowed upon a Marvel character, as she alights from her space craft in a flurry of majestic power, before hilariously falling sideways in a drunken stupor while also being skilled enough to take down a crowd of foes and capture a fumbling Thor.

The thing about Valkyrie is that she's more than just a leather-clad, cookie cutter "strong female" and more than a damsel in distress or a filler love interest.

Her story arc is easily the most fulfilling and wide-reaching in the film, thanks mostly to the fact that she's been given just enough screen time to let it properly unfold. Which was a wise move from the Marvel Gods That Be. After all, as beloved as Thor and Loki are, we as the audience are so steeped in their history already that pulling back on their narratives and allowing them to just be swept up in the action and their own brotherly hijinks was a smart move.

The other point in Valkyrie's favour is that her truly traumatic past and tough exterior are also intersected with brilliant moments of humour and perfect comedic timing, fuelled by her wit and high-functioning alcoholism. Add in the fact that she's in no way impressed by Thor and his godly powers means that he has to prove himself to her throughout the course of the movie.

And after seeing his all-powerful character on screen in four other films, it's nice to keep him on his toes.

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In fact, the entirety of ThorRagnarok has a much lighter, more humorous and heartfelt feel than previous Marvel movies, thanks to the stroke of genius that was putting the blockbuster in the hands of a Taika Waititi, the New Zealand director responsible for What We Do in the Shadows (watch it immediately on Netflix if you haven't seen it already) and Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

Under his direction, a film that could have been a run-of-the-mill blockbuster franchise entry turns into a zany, brightly coloured and other-worldly adventure, one where Thor and Hulk transform from brooding superheroes and into a double comedy act, more goofy than they are glowering.

ThorRagnarok is a fast paced, fun-filled addition to the Marvel universe, one with a whole lot of winks to the audience and special cameos thrown in (a small hint, stay in the cinema right until the end of the credits). But the best part of the movie is the addition and execution of Valkyrie.

Not only is she the hero we deserve, she's the hero we need to see more of.

You can follow Mamamia Entertainment Editor and host of The Binge podcast Laura Brodnik on Facebook. 

Thor: Ragnarok is in cinemas Australia-wide from Thursday, October 27.