Film Review: Thor

Updated on February 5, 2018
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Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.

Background

In 2011, Kenneth Branagh released Thor, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby as the first film in the Thor trilogy and the fourth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Colm Feore, Ray Stevenson, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, Rene Russo, and Anthony Hopkins, the film grossed $449.3 million at the box office.

Synopsis

When Thor’s headstrong personality and arrogance bring war to Asgard, his father Odin casts him to earth as punishment. Resigned to live among mortals, he must learn what it means to be a true hero in order to return home. Meanwhile, his brother Loki sets out to steal his brother’s place in his parents’ eyes.

Review

Thor is a good film, providing audiences with a fascinating glimpse into the worlds beyond earth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though the aesthetic would be furthered in later films, here viewers are treated to the bright and colorful world of Asgard along with the cold and bleak realm of Jotunheim, home of the Frost Giants. Both of these worlds look much different in comparison to the ordinary colors of Earth, where most of the film takes place. This sets a great visual tone as well as allows for showing whatever other worlds exist within the universe are vastly different from what everyone is used to.

As for the plot, though enjoyable it feels as if more time should have passed within the film. Thor is banished to Earth in the hopes he will learn some humility and Odin makes it so he is unable to wield Mjolnir until he does. This is a good set up and makes for good character development for Thor. However, the entirety of the film takes place of the course of a weekend. Major personality changes can happen within a short amount of time, but learning to be humble and not as headstrong takes a little bit longer than three days. This also makes the romance between Thor and Jane Foster seem a little less than believable. Still, him apologizing for his actions and offering his life to Loki in place of everybody else makes for an exciting climax.

Nevertheless, Loki appears to be the most fleshed out character in the film. Early on, he figures out his true heritage as a Frost Giant rather than an Asgardian and from there, it’s easy to see the gears turning in his head as he’s scheming. Yet, he never fully shows his cards, leaving even the audience wondering just what he’s going to be doing next. His character arc shows him going from his discovery to apparently selling out Asgard to the remaining Frost Giants and him turning against them in a ploy to make him Odin’s favorite son. He is a captivating manipulator and one of the most enjoyable aspects of the film.

4 stars for Thor

Awards/Recognitions

bold indicates reception of award/recognition

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA – Saturn Awards

  • Best Costumes
  • Best Fantasy Film
  • Best Supporting Actor (Tom Hiddleston)
  • Best Production Design

ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards

  • Top Box Office Films

BET Awards

  • Best Actor (Idris Elba)

Costume Designers Guild Awards

  • Excellence in Fantasy Film

Empire Awards, UK

  • Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy
  • Best Male Newcomer (Tom Hiddleston)
  • The Art of 3D

Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association – Dorian Awards

  • Campy Film of the Year

Georgia Film Critics Association Awards

  • Breakthrough Award (Tom Hiddleston)

Golden Schmoes Awards

  • Best Special Effects of the Year

Guild of Music Supervisors Awards

  • Best Music Supervision for Films Budgeted Over 20 Million Dollars

IGN Summer Movie Awards

  • Best Comic Book Adaptation Movie

Jupiter Awards

  • Best International Actress (Natalie Portman)

MovieGuide Awards

  • Best Film for Mature Audiences

MTV Movie + TV Awards

  • Best Hero (Chris Hemsworth as Thor)

People’s Choice Awards

  • Favorite Action Movie

Scream Awards

  • The Ultimate Scream
  • Best Fantasy Movie
  • Best Superhero (Chris Hemsworth as Thor)
  • Best Supporting Actress (Jamie Alexander)
  • Breakout Performance – Female (Jamie Alexander)
  • Breakout Performance – Male (Chris Hemsworth)
  • Breakout Performance – Male (Tom Hiddleston)
  • Best F/X
  • Best Comic Book Movie

SFX Awards, UK

  • Best Film
  • Best Director

Teen Choice Awards

  • Choice Movie Breakout: Male (Chris Hemsworth)

Visual Effects Society Awards

  • Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture (Heimdall’s Observatory)
  • Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture

World Soundtrack Awards

  • Soundtrack Composer of the Year

World Stunt Awards – Taurus Awards

  • Best Overall Stunt by a Stunt Woman


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