The Venn diagram between Christians and comic book geeks will have a fairly large area of crossover. So when a new Marvel film is released, AND it turns out to be packed with theological themes and references, those of us who sit in that sweet spot are pretty much in movie heaven. No prizes for guessing at this point that Thor Ragnarok, the latest installment in the ever-expanding franchise, is exactly that film.  Indie director Taika Waititi has taken some pretty bold creative choices in his leap from small-but-brilliantly-crafted comedy to blockbuster epic. A gorgeously weird soundtrack (by

independent film score legend Mark Mothersbaugh) straight out of 1970s sci-fi and visuals that evoke cult classic Flash Gordon already set the film apart from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). But perhaps the most significant decision of all is to redirect the far-too-serious Thor series into full-on comedy territory. Aside from its many other virtues, first of all Ragnarok is just hilariously funny, and while a few of the previous MCU films have successfully married action and laughs, I can’t remember one with a hit rate this good. FULL REPORT