Thor (2011) was the fourth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a crucial part in the build-up to The Avengers (2012). Up until this point, we had only really become familiar with Tony Stark in Iron Man 1 & 2, so Thor really got things moving in regards to expanding the universe and setting up the crucial story-line of The Avengers.
Thor has always been a favourite of mine granted, it was probably the first MCU film I actually watched and back then I didn’t really know that these new superhero movies were even connected. For this reason, Thor has always had a special place in my heart, and I am always so sad he doesn’t get as much love as Cap or Tony. Even in his first movie, Loki completely stole the hearts of most of the fans (on Tumblr anyway).
Eight years on I’ve given the film its first re-watch since the third Thor movie, Ragnarok (2017). Given that Ragnarok was such a welcome change in tone for the Thor films, I was rather interested to see just how odd it would be to go back to the origin of Thor, considering it has been a solid favourite of mine for many years.
I have heard so many people over the years cruelly dismiss Thor and I don’t know if this is partly due to its lacklustre sequel The Dark World (2013), or simply because it was such an odd jump from Iron Man.
I mean I get it, going from this ultra-cool billionaire in a metal suit who also happens to love AC/DC to some pretty blonde dude in a cape in a magical space land. It is a bit of a dramatic shift in tone for Marvel. However, this is what I love about Thor; and you have to admire the director, Kenneth Branagh for creating what he did; this epic tonal mash-up of Shakespeare, The Lord of the Rings and Norse Mythology that then plonks itself down on Earth in New Mexico.
Thor was Marvel’s first real venture into fantasy, and I do think that it is a success, the world building is fabulous, and Asgard is truly a magnificent sight to behold. The tone is set immediately, I knew nothing about Norse Mythology when I first watched this film, but The Fellowship of the Ring-like prologue makes you feel right at home. I can understand how some might find it jarring, at times I do feel like Branagh went a little bit ‘too fantasy’, yet it was their first true move away from earth and I think it’s an admirable effort.
Thor: Ragnarok is probably one of my new favourite MCU films, and I think it may have pushed Thor from its pedestal, but watching Thor now, it is great to see how much the characters has developed, I mean, looking back Thor is so irritating, which just shows how well rounded his character is now, and damn that hair was just awful…those bleached eyebrows as well…*shudder*.
Although Thor as a character has done some excellent development, one thing that truly upsets me is the treatment of Jane. Jane Foster is a damn treasure and she is so awesome. First of all, Natalie Portman. Secondly, she is an amazing intelligent Astrophysicist. Thirdly, I’m gonna reiterate my first point, Natalie Portman. She was genuinely amazing in the first film and was just handled terribly by Marvel. All I’m going to say is that she deserved more… #JusticeforJane!
My rewatch of Thor (2011) was an experience filled will constant tilted cameras that reminded me of a Myspace selfie from 2006 and an amazing growl from Sir Anthony Hopkins that I completely forgot about. I would consider this to still be in at least my top ten MCU films, purely for nostalgic reasons. But since 2011, Marvel has taken far more risks and produced films that have surpassed Thor, yet it is always important to remember how it all started.
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Clark Gregg, Stellan Skarsgård, Kat Dennings, Idris Elba