Continuing my journey on my Marvel movie marathon quest! The 4th film up in the Marvel movie marathon: Thor.
Just to catch you up on what I’m doing with this Marvel movie marathon in case you missed my first post about Iron Man:
I am in the process of watching every MCU film from start to finish in release order, and of course sharing my thoughts. And bonus for my blog readers – since I’m watching all of these films with my new Marvel correspondent (he doesn’t know he has this title yet), you actually get two different perspectives on the movies. Tony (not Stark) has seen all of the films multiples times and knows a lot of the behind the scenes info and comic book origins. I, up until this point, have been a casual Marvel fan and have seen most of the movies once, though some of the early ones not at all.
Even though we actually watched all of Phase One in one weekend (phew!), I’m spacing out my blog posts a bit, which means today we are on to film #4:
Release date: May 6, 2011
MCU phase: phase one
Run time: 114 minutes
Box office: $449.3 million
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 76%
“As the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), king of the Norse gods, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will soon inherit the throne of Asgard from his aging father. However, on the day that he is to be crowned, Thor reacts with brutality when the gods’ enemies, the Frost Giants, enter the palace in violation of their treaty. As punishment, Odin banishes Thor to Earth. While Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thor’s brother, plots mischief in Asgard, Thor, now stripped of his powers, faces his greatest threat.”
Becky’s knowledge prior to watching: I had not seen this movie before. I knew a bit about Thor from the Avengers movies, and I saw Thor: Ragnarok (the third one in the series) when it came out. Everyone I talked to said that you really didn’t need to watch the first two Thor movies to see the third one (or any of the other Marvel movies) so I never made a point to go back and watch it. Given that perspective I didn’t have particularly high hopes for this film.
The hero: Thor
Thor himself is… fine in this movie. He’s not a particularly interesting or outstanding character. He goes through a pretty predictable character arc where he starts off as arrogant and somewhat obnoxious, but learns and grows til he becomes a better person.
The villain: Loki
I’m coming at this movie from an interesting perspective because I just recently finished watching the Loki season 1 TV series, but had never seen this movie previously. I had kind of pictured Loki as more of a “trickster” than a true villain or a bad guy, but he’s pretty evil here. He betrays both his father and his brother (Thor, who has actually loved him like a brother) so that he can take over as King of Asgard. He even let the bad guys into his homeland – that’s pretty bad. Oh, and then tries to kill Thor who has really done nothing to him personally other than being next in line for the throne (hello, Scar killing Mufasa). I do like Loki as a villain because he’s not just strength, he’s smart and clever. But I feel like later on in the MCU they try to soften him a bit when at least from here it seems he has pretty evil inclinations.
The romance: Jane Foster
At least in this film Jane Foster has to be one of the most boring people ever. Her character feels like it has a lot of potential – she’s a female scientist and she could have been such a cool character! But instead they make her bland. A lot of the plot involves her trying to get her “research” back, but by the end of the movie I couldn’t even tell you what type of scientist she was because they’d rather focus on her more as a pretty face. Natalie Portman is a decent actress but they really didn’t give her anything to work with in this movie and it’s the typical “they fall in love instantly at first sight.” And even though they know each other for about three days it’s apparently a long lasting forever sort of love. Right.
There are some elements of the story and the way it’s told that feel very Shakespearean. This isn’t super surprising considering this movie is directed by Kenneth Branagh, who has a lot of experience in that area. I also sensed some parallels to The Lion King, which again is not surprising since that movie is (very loosely) based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The problem with this sort of technique is that the story and the movie overall never feel all that interesting. It seems like very surface level stuff, involving the same few characters the whole time, and ultimately it ends up being pretty forgettable. We don’t see enough character development for me to really feel connected to it. There were some funny moments and this could have been played up more, like we see in Ragnarok.
Tony (not Stark) says:
“When they made this film they really weren’t willing to embrace who Thor is as a character. It doesn’t have enough character development for anyone. While it’s enjoyable to watch, it doesn’t leave an impact. Also I constantly feel like I need to tilt my head while watching this… or maybe just tilt my TV for the whole film.”
10 random thoughts I had while watching Thor:
- Thor is kind of a jerk. I don’t like him very much.
- I wonder if any of the backstory will be at all like the Loki book I just read, since it was published by Marvel…nope, pretty much none of this backstory is the same.
- Oh, Lady Sif! I know her from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!
- Darcy! I know her from WandaVision!
- Phil Coulson is here! This movie already got better than I expected with him in it.
- Wait… is Hawkeye also here? What is happening?
- New Mexico is certainly an interesting setting for this movie. I mean, it’s not New York or a major city.
- Hmm, Thor and Jane fell in love pretty quickly. Is this just how it happens for two extremely good looking people?
- I feel like this film should have been more of a comedy. We know Chris Hemsworth is hilarious in Thor 3 – if he played this like Will Ferrell in Elf I think that would have been great.
- I know a lot of people loved the Loki TV show but I’m having a bit of a hard time reconciling that character with this one. This Loki is pretty darn evil.
Becky: 6.5 out of 10
Tony: 6.5 out of 10
What do you think of my Marvel Movie Marathon Thor thoughts?