Benjamin Wollmuth is a lover of literature who enjoys sharing his thoughts on everything from movies and video games to books and music.
This is your friendly neighborhood spoiler warning for all things MCU related.
You have been warned.
If you have been rewatching the MCU in chronological order along with me, then we have technically already been introduced to the cosmic side of things with Captain Marvel. However, in terms of release order, this is where the MCU really started branching out. Thor made it clear that Marvel did not just want to focus on Earth long before Guardians of the Galaxy was released. Even while this is the case, this movie still needed to focus on Earth in order to make Thor's inclusion in The Avengers make sense. While I do enjoy Thor -- and Kenneth Branagh's vision -- I do think that this movie can be a tad boring. Let's get into it.
Firstly, I wanna state the obvious: Chris Hemsworth is perfect for the role of Thor. He's also a hunk. But again... isn't that obvious? Anyway, let's get back to the review.
The reason this film feels boring sometimes is because we don't get to see much of Thor doing Thor things. Do not get me wrong: I think the fish-out-water scenario Thor finds himself in is quite funny and is important for his character arch. However, I sometimes find it hard to take the introduction of a hero seriously when he isn't taken seriously himself. Not only that, but the movie titled Thor focuses a lot more on its villain... (which isn't a bad thing) but I'll get to that later.
Let me restate that this story is important for Thor's character arch. Thor starts off as a very arrogant (and may I say annoying) character, but that is the point. He IS arrogant, and his arch is centered around how his adventures on Earth with "mortals" makes him a bit more modest and likable. His trip to Earth and his loss of power are important to how he becomes a better hero and a better candidate for being the king of Asgard. While I recognize this as important, I also find it a bit boring in a story that is supposed to introduce the god of thunder into the MCU. We get to see his true potential at the beginning and at the end, but I wish we could have gotten just a little bit more, because... well... his second movie doesn't do much to help him. Instead, this movie focuses on its villain...
...the frost giants! I'm just kidding of course, but I want to get them out of the way before I talk about the true villain. The frost giants of Yodonheim look good. That is literally all I have to say about them.
Now let's talk about Loki! Perfectly captured by Tom Hiddleston, Loki quickly became the love of many MCU fans' lives, even as the villain. He's mischievous, yet charming. He's convincing. He's given almost as much attention as Thor, and for good reason: Loki is a great character. His arch -- which spans from Thor until his death in Infinity War (and that's just this timeline's Loki) -- starts here, where he grows tired of standing in Thor's shadow. Being a trickster, he masterfully takes things into his own hands and easily becomes one of the best villains the MCU will ever see (until he conforms and becomes somewhat of an anti-hero). Marvel had to have known what they wanted his future to look like because they give him so much attention. Maybe it's because they wanted to set him up as the big bad of The Avengers, or maybe they knew that he would go on an ever-changing journey. I like to agree with the latter, but I don't know for sure. Either way, Loki is my favorite character of this film and proves to be an equal foe to the almighty god of thunder.
As I mentioned in the intro, this movie opens the MCU up into a larger universe. We learn a lot about the 9 realms, which come into play in Thor: The Bad One. We learn a lot about the idea of magic being a science that humans just do not understand. We get to see how SHIELD is full of assholes who like to take other's things without asking. We get to see more than just Earth. This movie is a huge step -- more like a leap -- that the MCU took.
In terms of what I liked and didn't like, I have pretty much said it all. The movie can be boring at times. Luckily, when the movie starts to get boring, we are brought back to Loki, and the intensity picks back up. I think the inclusion of Hawkeye was a little forced -- it could have been left out entirely. I like Jane Foster and am excited to see Natalie Portman come back in Thor: Love and Thunder. I enjoy what this movie brought to the MCU as a whole... it's just not my favorite film to rewatch.
I do not think this film is bad in the slightest. When I am not semi-bored, I am intrigued by the character development this film provides. I am glad that it expanded the MCU into being about more than just Earth. I think the frost giants are forgettable, mostly because Loki completely steals the show. I like Thor's arch even if we don't get as much Thor as I would have liked. All-in-all, this film brings a lot to the table. And hey, I don't really mind the excessive dutch angles that much.
I do like this film a little more than The Incredible Hulk, and definitely more than Iron Man 2, so I am going to give Thor a 7.5/10.
Next up is The Avengers! I can't wait to rewatch that film (it's one of my favorites of all time). I will see you then!
© 2020 Benjamin Wollmuth