When I was younger, I enjoyed classic mythology. Greek, Roman, Egyptian, or Norse it didn’t matter to me. The stories I read interested me. It was years before I realized that Marvel took some of those stories and created characters in their comic universe. When Thor was released in 2011, I was invested in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and wondered how Thor and this fantastical world would fit into that more grounded world.
Thor answered that question with one quote. By saying “Your ancestors called it magic and you call it science. Well, I come from a place where they’re one and the same thing.” Thor himself opened the MCU to fantastical elements and allowed them to stand right next to Iron Man and his technology.
Thor has an incredible list of characters with significant screen time. Chris Hemsworth plays Thor as he’s about to ascend to the throne of Asgard.
Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, a human astrophysicist.
Tom Hiddleston as Loki, younger brother to Thor who only wants to prove himself in the eyes of Odin.
Sir Anthony Hopkins plays Odin, the Father of Thor and Loki and King of Asgard.
Stellan Skarsgård and Kat Dennings play Erik Selvig and Darcy Lewis, respectively, colleagues of Jane Foster.
Clark Gregg reprises his role as Phil Coulson from Iron Man and Iron Man 2.
Idris Elba is Heimdall, the all-seeing protector of Asgard.
Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Joshua Dallas, and Jaimie Alexander are Thor’s friends Volstagg, Hogun, Fandral, and Lady Sif.
A few of these actors put in some amazing performances. While most are solid, there are a few that are above the rest. Anthony Hopkins shows how good of an actor he is in every scene. There is one monologue he gives where he shows why he’s one of the greatest actors of his time.
The other top performance is by Tom Hiddleston. He has this scene with Anthony Hopkins where he not only holds his own but is able to show love and anger in the same emotion. Hiddleston is also able to go from rage to sadness in such a short time that he can really show what is going through Loki’s mind and how he thinks he’s speaking the truth.
Asgard itself is shown a beautiful place. With futuristic architecture plated in what appears to be gold. Intervals are shown as lavish and full of luxury. Every visual of Asgard is stunning, be it Loki sitting on the throne or the Bifrost when it freezes.
Speaking of the Bifrost, there are some lines in the beginning from Volstagg that set the movie up right away. One is about leaving the Bifrost open and what it would do but the other is said directly to Loki. The idea of asking the Trickster God if his “silver tongue has turned to lead” amuses me greatly.
After all these years, the CGI shows signs of age and doesn’t fully hold up 7 years after release. The Rainbow Bridge that leads into the Bifrost looks like it is made of a material that shimmers with different colors within it, but looks like something that is more material instead of a pure rainbow. And the beam that comes out of the Bifrost has a multicolor tinge to it that fits that rainbow idea.
Overall, this story is about a person coming into himself and finding out who he really is. Thor starts out as a man who would rather fight than negotiate and figure out why something is happening. He eventually finds his way to caring for others above himself.
Throughout the film, Loki acts like the typical child who feels like he’s being overlooked by his father. He feels like he has to do something to show Odin that he is worthy of, not only the throne, but Odin’s love.
Once Thor is banished, he finds himself in a situation he doesn’t understand. He eventually runs into Jane who, after only meeting him a few minutes before, starts acting like a lovesick puppy. This action turns her into more of a plot element than of a full character. While on Earth, he runs into our first crossover that is more than just a cameo, SHEILD’s Phil Colson from Iron Man. During this time you see that somehow Odin has stripped Thor of his natural Asgardian abilities of super strength and durability until he can prove himself worthy of lifting Mjolnir.
Speaking of the hammer, we also see that when Thor gets close to Mjolnir that a thunderstorm brews quickly. This is never explained and makes me ask exactly what the hammer is to Thor. There is one battle with Loki where Thor puts Mjolnir on his chest. While Loki is not worthy of the hammer he is unable to move it but at the same time, it does not crush Loki.
Thor was a good introduction to the character. The dialog of the Asgardians makes the film feel Shakespearian and, while different, it fits in the universe well. And the loss of Loki, even with what he did, was a painful situation for everyone.
The comedy, for the most part, hits well. One, in particular, is about Facebook and seeing this come out ‘3 years after Iron Man’s Myspace’ joke made me smile.
I enjoy this film, though looking at it now not everything still fits in the current universe. While looking at the overall layout of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I do not think this is a film that is needed to catch you up to where we are now. I do think that it is a film that helps you understand exactly where Thor comes from and I do recommend it for all audiences.