HE wears a bright red cape, has a magical hammer and battles aliens and mythical beasts.

Marvel Comics’ version of the Norse God of Thunder is rather silly and so it is only right that the films should reflect that.

Humour was something that was largely missing from the last Thor movie, Alan Taylor’s disappointing The Dark World.

And the team at Marvel Studios seem to have recognised and responded to this with the decision to pull out a wild card for the sequel.

Behind the camera for Thor: Ragnarok is New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi who until now was only known for TV work and a string of acclaimed indie flicks. Waititi directed episodes of Flight of the Conchords and The Inbetweeners and the excellent but little known vampire farce, What We Do in the Shadows, and comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which made it on to many critics’ top 10 films of 2016.

If you have seen Waititi’s bizarre but brilliant work you should know what to expect and although Thor is his first big budget blockbuster the gamble really pays off. You might call it a match made in Heaven...or Asgard. It may be a film about Thor’s quest to prevent the destruction of his homeworld but, where appropriate, Waititi injects every scene with laugh-out-loud moments from quips to just little asides. He almost steals the show himself, playing an easy going but revolutionary stone man called Korg.

The humour offers a welcome break from the big battles and theatrics, which look great on the big screen but can sometimes be a bit overbearing otherwise.

Waititi gets the best out of the cast too including many newcomers. Chris Hemsworth has a muscular presence as Thor which is balanced out with his own brand of cheesy action hero.

And his chemistry and back and forth with Tom Hiddleston as the the ever-plotting Loki is something to relish.

Mark Ruffalo has a lot of fun as The Hulk. Finally he has more than a handful of lines – and just wait for the gladiatorial arena scene. Jeff Goldblum is a great addition to the Marvel universe too as the eccentric dictator, the Grandmaster.

The only disappointment is Cate Blanchett as two-dimensional villain Hela while Idris Elba is underused as the loyal warrior, Heimdall.

You can also expect a number of cameos which hint at how Marvel’s extended universe will come together in future films. There’s life in the old gods yet.

RATING: 8/10