Looking back at the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is always a fun thing to do. Seeing how the Marvel films have come is still mind-boggling. Today we’ll be looking back at the fourth Marvel film, Thor. Is it better than we remember? Or does it fall flat to the newer Marvel movies? Well, lets put the hammer down and find out [sorry]!
Thor begins with a great scene showing us the battle between the Frost Giants and the Asgardians. Anthony Hopkins’ narration really makes it feel even more epic. It sets the stage for what we’re going to see next. We then jump to an adult Thor getting ready to become king of Asgard. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is a very cocky, brash, and arrogant person. Everything’s come easy for him and he thinks he’s invincible. He’s a lovable jerk, something Marvel seems to do quite often. It does work here though. Hemsworth delivers a great performance here, and his chemistry with Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Those three carry the movie. There’s a scene between Odin (Hopkins) and Loki that still might be the most emotional scene in the entire MCU. The film is at its best when it focuses on Thor, Loki, and all of Asgard. It makes you want to live in that world; you want to travel the nine realms with Thor and his friends, seeing what other adventures they will go on next. Unfortunately, when the films move to earth things start to slow down.
After the first 30 minutes, the majority of the film shifts to earth, I mean Midgard. Thor meets scientists Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard), along with their intern Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings). The stuff on earth is cute, and seeing Thor be a fish out of water is fun, but it pales in comparison to the stuff on Asgard. It’s great to see the MCU really show their interconnectivity here with S.H.I.E.L.D. showing up. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) is always great and it’s a delight seeing him on screen. Director Kenneth Branagh really brought this world to life in a way I didn’t think possible. The film feels small in comparison to later Marvel films, but that’s a good thing. It’s what I love about Marvel’s Phase One and I hope they go back to that style. Come to think of it, they did with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Branagh managed to tell the hero’s journey, a Shakespearean epic, and establish a new section of the Marvel Universe in just under two hours.
Thor is really everything you could want in a solo film. It’s a fun time, even if it slows down a bit in the middle. The performances were great, the setting is great, and it made me really want a sequel. Imagine a sequel set entirely in Asgard. It would be amazing. Maybe we’ll get that film one day.
Thanks for reading! Our countdown to Thor: Ragnarok continues tomorrow with a review of Hulk (2003)! For more on Thor, the Hulk and everything else in Marvel Entertainment, stay tuned.
Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters November 3rd.