Thor (2011)

“Brother, however I have wronged you, whatever I have done that has led you to do this, I am truly sorry. But these people are innocent, taking their lives will gain you nothing. So take mine, and end this.”“Brother, however I have wronged you, whatever I have done that has led you to do this, I am truly sorry. But these people are innocent, taking their lives will gain you nothing. So take mine, and end this.”

“Brother, however I have wronged you, whatever I have done that has led you to do this, I am truly sorry. But these people are innocent, taking their lives will gain you nothing. So take mine, and end this.”

Next stop for the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1: Shakespeare in… space, or as close as we can get to Shakespeare. The next logical hero to have an origin story while teasing The Avengers is The Mighty Thor. Leave it to Kevin Feige, I mean, our lord and savior Kevin Feige to make this film with the aesthetics of a Shakespearean tragedy of a Norse God that we all can somewhat relate to. Well, not the God aspect of it but, the human side of Thor we can relate to. The family tragedy he deals with in his half-brother, as well as the internal struggle to live up to the standards that are expected of him as king. Marvel could have gotten a seasoned veteran actor to play the title role of Thor, instead we get a relatively unknown actor in his first leading role. I’ve said it before, and I will most likely sound like a broken record after I review the entire Infinity Saga; Marvel hits it out of the park with their casting choices and Thor is a prime example of that. The best thing about the MCU besides the talent is the vow to stay true to the comics and give the fans the best story possible while maintaining continuity.  

Jane and her colleagues Erik and Darcy are chasing an anomaly in the New Mexican desert when the readings spike and Darcy hits a person with the truck they are driving. The realms switch to Odin teaching his two sons Thor and Loki about the history of their home Asgard and the mighty (pun intended) battles against king Laufey and the Frost Giants. Thor and Loki both wish to be the next king after Odin but, Thor is the first born, therefore he is next in line to be king. During his ceremony, Frost Giants invade Asgard and attempt to steal the device that gives them power back but ultimately fail. Thor plans to attack the Frost Giants but Odin doesn’t agree, Odin implores Thor to act justly and not bring war to the realm of Asgard. Thor doesn’t listen and persuades Loki, Lady Sif, and the Warriors 3 to join him in a battle against Jötunheim. Odin saves all of them but, the damage is done, Odin strips Thor of his powers and banishes Thor to Midgard (Earth) without his hammer Mjolnir. With Thor gone, Loki being the god of mischief takes over as King of Asgard putting Odin in a deep sleep.

Thor (Chris Harmsworth) tries to adjust to life without his powers and his hammer. Jane (Natalie Portman) Erik (Stellan Skarsgård) and Darcy (Kat Dennings) attempt to help Thor in his journey back to his Powers even though they get off to a rocky start hitting him twice with their van. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) shows up to the crater where Mjolnir landed and discovers a group of people attempting to lift the hammer; all prove to be unworthy. Thor learns of what some are calling a satellite and decides to go after what he believes is rightfully his. Thor promises to explain everything to Jane after flying out of the crater but, he doesn’t make it that far. He gets to Mjolnir but is still proven unworthy. Thor gets captured by S.H.I.E.L.D after failing to lift his hammer proving him unworthy. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) visits Thor while in custody and brings him grave news from Asgard. Erik comes up with a plan to rescue Thor from S.H.I.E.L.D and the two go out drinking but Thor being a god, out drinks Erik.

Lady Sif (Jamie Alexander) and the Warriors three (Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Josh Dallas) decide it’s only right to go save Thor and bring him back to Asgard. Heimdall (Idris Elba) catches wind of the plan and decides he is going to help by leaving his sword in the Bifrost. Loki sends the destroyer after Lady Sif and the Warriors who than attacks Thor and the group destroying the small New Mexican town. Thor by saving others and making sure civilians flee to safety gets attacked by the destroyer after pleading with Loki to only fight him. By doing this, Thor becomes worthy again, gets his hammer back and defeats the destroyer. Loki realizing, he lost the destroyer, invites King Laufey (Colm Feore) to Asgard to finally put an end to Odin. What Laufey doesn’t notice is Loki set him up to look like the Hero of Asgard and kills Laufey. Thor, Lady Sif, and The Warriors three return to Asgard aided by the recently unfrozen Heimdall and Thor and Loki battle over Loki attempting to destroy Jötunheim. The only way Thor can win is by destroying the rainbow bridge thus destroying Thor’s access to get back to Midgard and waking Odin from his coma.

This first Thor movie is absolutely underrated as far as MCU origins go. Even before we got films like Guardians, Ant-Man and Black Panther, Thor spans multiple genre’s. Chris plays the role with so much confidence and charisma even when he’s lost everything that he cares about. The lesson of the headstrong boy learning to become more than what his power is molds this character for future films while giving the character more depth. There is no way this film works if Thor doesn’t learn what it is like to be a leader. Chris is perfect for this role, not just because his physique and preparation are top notch, (have you seen his workout videos?) but he has the range of Thor going from arrogant to humble from scene to scene. We see that struggle the most in the first half when is only reaction is to go to war and fight. He doesn’t think the way a King would and that costs him dearly. The supporting cast is pretty solid especially the high caliber actress in Natalie Portman playing Jane. Unfortunately, The Jane character is written poorly, and I don’t blame Natalie at all, she did the best with what she is given. Kat Dennings’ character Darcy is actually a delight bringing in majority of the humor balancing the intensity of Thor and Loki.

The one thing I wish we got more of in this film is Asgard itself, I fell like we spent too much time on earth (some of the weaker scene’s in this film) and not enough time learning about the history, lore and mythology of this realm we have only seen in the comics. That first shot of Asgard made me want to see more of the castles, towns and even the back alleys. We only get a sample size and I wish we got more than just a tease. I loved the Stan Lee cameo as a man trying to pull the hammer from the crater but pulling his truck bed apart instead; it baffles me that he isn’t worthy. These cameos are such a fun quick escape from the story and its always pleasing to see the smiling face of Stan “The Man”. We also get a Hawkeye cameo as well as a view of the actor that is playing the famed archer. Another thing I love is the imagination the director brought to this first film having it mirror a Shakespearean tragedy having that background himself.  

Let’s talk about that end credits scene. We see Erik Selvig walk down a dark corridor to meet the one and only Nicolas J. Fury. Fury shows  “power” and what we will learn to be the Tesseract (Stay tuned for the next MCU review) to Erik who reveals himself to be Loki thus proving Loki is still alive and still the God of mischief. This is the second to last film before we get the ultimate team up comic book film The Avengers, so this end credit scene is extremely important in setting that up. If you have read the early Thor comics like I have, you would notice the Donald Blake Easter egg. For those who don’t know the history of the Thor comics, Dr. Donald Blake is an M.D who finds a magical staff that once he taps it on the ground he becomes the God of Thunder for an hours’ time He also falls in love with Jane thus the reference that Jane calls him her ex. It’s a cool nod that Marvel sprinkles in their films that the comics fans can appreciate. If I were to rate Thor I’d rate it a 3.8 out of 5.

So, tell me guys, have you seen Thor and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.

Thor is directed by Kenneth Branagh is Rated PG-13 and has an 77% on Rotten Tomatoes. Thor was released on May 2nd, 2011 and has a runtime of 1 hour and 55 minutes. Thor can be streamed on Disney Plus.

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Thor will return in The Avengers

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