My rewatching of the Marvel movies ahead of Avengers: Endgame has slowed a little, and I was questioning which movies I might skip. Thor and Captain America are the next two on the list, but also felt like ones I’d seen quite a lot (by dint of being older, and not ‘rubbish’) – and sure enough, Thor has been on the telly (twice!) in the past week – I guess I’m not the only one thinking of a rewatch. Well, in that case, might as well…
Following a couple of Iron Mans and another attempt at a Hulk movie (the Edward Norton one, still least-favourite of the entire MCU, alas), Marvel took another gamble by taking the series to another planet. Asgard, to be precise – home of Odin and the Norse pantheon. It also marked a shift from the science-based (however out there!) storylines of the previous films to a realm of ‘magic’ and fantasy.
What worked: casting Chris Hemsworth as a very buff Thor, and Tom Hiddleston as new fan-favourite Loki. Also, getting Shakespearean luvvie Kenneth Branagh to direct, as the story fit very well with the Bard’s kind of tales: king’s two sons vying for the throne, mischief and treachery abound, and the heir apparent being stripped of his powers for being an arrogant hot-head.
Sent to Earth, Thor must of course learn humility blah blah in order to be worthy blah more blah. Y’know what? It’s not a bad film. It’s perfectly enjoyable with enough daftness to get through the slightly unoriginal story. Everyone is taking it seriously enough that you’re not rolling your eyes at some of the less believable stuff, and it is easy to get caught up.
Still, Thor is an odd tone in the MCU. The sequel stands as another low point in the series, but then along came Ragnarok and it made even this perfectly enjoyable one less so in comparison.
However, in terms of the 20-movie-‘arc’, and even in the original 6 ‘Phase 1’, Thor is actually quite essential viewing. Mainly because it introduces us to Loki, who not only drives the first Avengers team up, but was such a favourite with the fans that he’s (spoiler, I suppose?) shoehorned into the sequel. It also brings SHIELD and Agent Coulson more into the light, and introduces another new character, Hawkeye (although I’ll admit when I first saw the movie I could sense the ‘importance’ of the intro, while making utterly no sense of it at the time).
The post-credit scene leads into Avengers (Assemble), but also needs a little more explanation – perhaps from Captain America…
Released: 27th April 2011 (UK)
Viewed: 17th February 2019 (most recently)
Running time: 115 minutes
My rating: 7.5/10