Marvel Studios, 2011
Thor’s initial outing lightning in a bottle for Marvel superhero
Thor has always been a fan favorite in Marvel circles. Whether it’s the pseudo-Shakespearean vibes of Asgard or Thor and Loki’s relationship, there’s something about Thor that entices. And, it does well to keep you entertained in the first outing for the God of Thunder.
Thor sets up the story of the titular god (played by Chris Hemsworth) and his quest to rule Asgard as his birthright. Thor’s father, Odin, previously battled the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, defeated them and took their prized possession – the Casket of Ancient Winters. During this time, Odin also found and spirited away an infant Loki, raising the abandoned Frost Giant child as his own. The Frost Giants attempt to retake the Casket, after secretly being allowed in by Loki. They are repelled but Thor decides to take the fight to them, against his father’s wishes. After Odin intervenes to save Thor and his group, he exiles the wayward and brash prince to Earth without his godly power and his beloved hammer, Mjolnir, which is protected by an enchantment that only one worthy may lift it.
Once we get into the meat of Thor is where it gets fun. Thor, as a character, is fun. You already know Thor is a hero. You can see it as soon as you get a glimpse of him. However, it’s the journey of him learning to be worthy that makes this film more than just a passing fancy. It’s your usual “the power was inside of you all along” kind of tale, but what makes this a good origin story are the characters. Thor is the hero and shines brightly – weird blond eyebrows and all – and the supporting cast has fun riffs and moments that make you glad Thor has support among his friends in Lady Sif, Jane Foster, Eric Selvig, Darcy Lewis and the Warriors Three. Chris Hemsworth is sublime as Thor, and not only has the brawn required for the role, but also the range required to play the character as more than a meathead with a heart. The support is great as well, with Natalie Portman doing a serviceable job as Thor’s love interest in Foster.
But let us get to the real breakout star here: Loki. So much has been said about his development from beginning – here – to end – Infinity War – that it’s almost a waste to retread it. But we cannot talk about the first Thor film without mentioning the scene-stealing brute force of nature that is Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of the God of Mischief. Hiddleston glides in and finesses the movie away in his favor in every scene he’s in, whether he’s the focus or not. It’s an effortless, quiet theft whether he’s brooding or plotting or both that takes you by surprise and delights. This was Hiddleston’s role of a lifetime – as evidenced by the fact that he’s still playing the character – and he knows it.
Thor’s origin story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has all of the right ingredients and still shines 12 years later. There’s been more Thor stories since and nearly every character has gone on to other things or Valhalla, but this was a great way to get the Asgardian god started. This particular version of Thor showed his brand was deemed worthy of more to come.
Like the comics: 8.5
Total: 25.5/30 or 8.5
HOW WE GRADE
We score the properties in three categories: Casting (or voice acting in cases of animated), plot and similarities to its source material. Each category receives points out of the maximum of 10 per category and 30 overall. The percentage is the final score.