Bringing the Norse mythology to the Marvel universe. Far away on the planet of Asgard, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is next in line to be king. When he decides to break a treaty with the Frost Giants, his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), decides he must be punished for his arrogance and exiles him to Earth without the powers of his mythical hammer. He must learn a lesson in humility if he wants to return home. Back when we were in Phase 1, this was the movie where things could have gone horribly wrong. Even though we have been dealing with superheroes, the stories so far have had a toenail in the realm of realism. Introducing gods into this team of humans could potentially make everything fall apart. That said, this was well before the time that we knew that Marvel could successfully do whatever they want, and they largely succeed with the origin of the god of thunder.
Again, this was all well before we knew of the vast extent of these movies.
One thing that I’ve loved about Marvel throughout the universe building is that they always get an eclectic list of directors that they utilize. For this, they got Kenneth Branagh of Shakespeare fame, and he brings a different touch to what we have seen thus far. He does overkill it on the Dutch angles, though, but that isn’t something that the everyday movie watcher will necessarily notice. I do like how they address the fact that the folklore is a bit silly, and when they bust out the picture books, it just puts a punctuation mark on the point. There is a strong sense of pathos because Thor has to be humbled, and he is hot-headed and arrogant at the start, so you do connect when he gets knocked back a few pegs.
Because of this movie, I am always tempted to be impolite, break mugs and shout “another!” when I am finished with a beverage.
What Thor has that other Marvel movies don’t is the gem of a villain that is Loki. I don’t think I enjoyed Tom Hiddleston’s performance back when I first saw this back in 2011, as I thought he was overacting, but in retrospect, I can now respect what he brought to the table. He has a lot of fun in the role, and he is character that should have a stronghold in future stories to be told. While some of the movies like The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 may not have held up through the years, I feel like Thor has very much so, especially on revisiting it.
Thor (2011) ***1/2
– Critic for Hire