Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! I gotta ask you, are you excited for “Thor: Ragnarok?” If you are, great! I personally am somewhat excited, although slightly worried. However the reviews for what I’m aware of, have been outstanding thus far, so you never know what could happen. In preparation for that, I figured it would be appropriate to go back a number of years and review the “Thor” movies prior to “Ragnarok” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Today, I’m starting off the series by reviewing the original installment, “Thor.” It came out in 2011, it received decent ratings, however it doesn’t mean some people don’t have issues with it. Without further ado, let’s start the review!
“Thor” is directed by Kenneth Branagh (Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Henry V) and stars Chris Hemsworth (Rush, Star Trek), Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon), Natalie Portman (Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, V for Vendetta), Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls, The 40-Year-Old Virgin), and Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager, Kong: Skull Island) and is the story of a god, Thor, who lives in the world of Asgard. He and his brother, Loki, were told when they were young that only one of them would ascend to a rightful place on their own throne. Later on, he’s cast out of Asgard and forced to live with humanity on Earth, or as Asgardians call it, Midgard.
If you have been following this blog for awhile now, you may be aware I did a countdown on my top 10 favorite films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Thor” was on that list as #5. By the way, out of all the films in the MCU’s first phase, I considered this one my favorite. So I bet you could imagine I was ready to watch this movie again. So I rewatched the movie for the second time, and upon this watch, I can’t really say the second time was as entertaining as the first, but I’m still going to give the same rating I gave the first time I watched the film. I won’t say it now, but you’ll hear it later on.
Since there are more positives than negatives in this movie, I’ll bring up some negatives first. The first negative I have is Kat Dennings’s character of Darcy Lewis. In the movie she had nothing really striking about her. She was just there with Natalie Portman and her character didn’t really add much to the story. Although based on my memory, I thought she was worse in “Thor: The Dark World,” a review which you’ll be able to read a week after this one you’re currently reading is published, so stay tuned! Despite how this is supposed to be a section where I display myself as a negative Nancy, I’ll bring a positive here and say that the CGI in this movie is glorious! As far as phase 1 of the MCU goes, this is the best CGI of all the movies released in said phase. It’s colorful, it’s fluid, it’s vivid! I love it! BUT… there is bad CGI that stands out. Now I will say, if that CGI was from a video game, then I’d say this would be understandable, but this is a movie. Nevertheless, it looks great!
Now let’s talk about the man who plays Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth. Out of all the Australian actors working today, Chris Hemsworth is the one who is probably the most talked about of all them as far as this decade goes. Part of that is due to the fact that he’s in this movie as the starring role, the fact that he’s in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the fact that he’s proven to be a good actor, and according to many opinions, his good looks. Now, I’m a straight male, so I don’t really have much to say about attraction as far as myself goes, but I imagine chicks dig him. I mean, he was the secretary, ahem sorry, the object in “Ghostf*ckers” 2016. To avoid going on a tangent, let’s stay focused on the character of Thor. At one point, this character was chosen to rule Asgard, but due to his arrogance, he was cast out of the realm. The way this was set up was smart. You see Thor as a kid, he’s with his brother and his father, the two are aspiring to rise to the throne. One gets the rightful place as time passes, then Thor goes with other Asgardians into battle, and he’s basically gone from being a guy named Thor, which is already a killer name, to Superduperkickassthunderdomeonastick. Yes, that’s one word, and I don’t care! While we watch Thor beat the hell out of some Frost Giants and it does come off as pure fun, Thor’s father, Odin, doesn’t approve of his actions because Thor is being too arrogant. Due to this, Loki has taken Thor’s place. While I will say I can understand Thor’s father for casting him out because of how he handled the situation which was upon him, I will also say I felt sorry for Thor not just because of the situation at hand itself, but also the fact that he was trying to preserve peace. Sure, he did it violently, but at the same time, you can get why Thor did what he did.
Now let’s talk about Thor’s brother, Loki. When it comes to Marvel villains, they’re usually not great for one reason or another. When I say that, I mean they either just don’t unleash much of anything interesting or they’re forgettable. This is the case I found with MCU movies like “Doctor Strange,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” and “The Incredible Hulk.” Loki, is not one of those villains. I will say he has been in multiple movies both as hero and as a villain and I believe he shines best in “The Avengers,” where he appears as the main antagonist. Here, he was effective. Part of what makes him a great villain is not just simply the fact that he’s Thor’s brother, but some basic elements of how his character is written. Also, I’ll bring it up again, they kind of had a sibling rivalry when they were younger, because one was destined to be king.
“Thor” happens to have a cliche that ultimately works. That my friends, is the fish out of water story. Now when I say that, I don’t think it’s a horrible cliche, it’s just there. When Thor arrives on Earth, he is not familiar with how its folks behave. This brought some moments of humor into the mix. For example there’s one scene in a cafe when Thor is with characters he met on Earth and he drinks coffee for the first time.
THOR: (tasting coffee for the first time) This drink… I like it!
DARCY: I know, it’s great right?
THOR: ANOTHER! (throws coffee mug on ground, shattering it)
Another funny moment is when Thor walks into a pet store.
THOR: I need a horse!
PET STORE CLERK: We don’t have horses. Just dogs, cats, birds.
THOR: Then give me one of those large enough to ride.
Throughout this story Thor meets characters like Darcy Lewis, who I recently brought up. However let’s talk about her friend, Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman. In this movie, Foster is an astrophysicist, unlike the comic books where she’s mainly known by a number of readers to be a nurse and a doctor. Out of all the characters he met on Earth, Thor had the strongest connection with Jane. Portman’s character is the love interest, she slept with Thor, and no, the movie doesn’t contain a sex scene for those who are wondering. In fact, I could be wrong, but I believe the only movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that has something resembling a sex scene is the first “Iron Man.” Even though Jane may have stood out amongst the Earthlings here, there is another one that intrigued me.
Who was I intrigued by? Well, that would be Erik Selvig, played by Stellan Skarsgård. The thing that intrigued me about him the most is actually something I constantly think about. Selvig is a very science based person, which does make sense given how his character is an astrophysicist, but based on the writing, his personality, and the lines the character gives, his character is probably the most scientific of everyone written in the script. It’s almost to the point where he’s closed minded. I’m a little bit different in this aspect, because while I do follow science, and I actually follow whatever science tells me (OK, maybe not everything, some people might just make up something and call it science) I do try to keep myth and legend in mind. Although I will say when it comes to religion, that’s something that I personally am conflicted on. There’s a part of me that wants to follow certain religious teachings but at the same time some of them are either outdated, unscientific, or crazy. You can believe in it if you want, you have your own life and you can do what you want with it, but I’m just saying. Although I don’t want to go into it, this is a MOVIE BLOG, where I talk about MOVIES, not RELIGION.
Much like this movie’s effects, I gotta say the film’s action is probably the best as far as the MCU’s first phase goes. It’s shot well enough for you to be able to tell what’s going on, it’s immersive at times, it’s got great sound effects accompanied to it, and you can even say that the effects enhance the experience. This is shown in the climactic sequence with Thor and Loki on the Rainbow bridge, or moments featuring the robot Loki’s controlling. By the way, that robot sounds AMAZING on a Blu-Ray disc. Every single action sequence was either entertaining, fun, or meant something, which made the movie more interesting in the long run. This is also probably the most investing climax in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since “Iron Man.” The movie ends with the brothers fighting each other, Odin, the father of the brothers, who died partway into the movie, comes back to life, and eventually Loki sacrifices himself. It’s a great death, or was it? Because if you stick around for the end of the credits, Loki’s actually still alive!
In the end, “Thor” is probably the most underrated movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I don’t have many problems with it, there are some nitpicks, but it’s nothing colossal. Chris Hemsworth is great as Thor, it has beautiful CGI, the camerawork is not bad, the Earthlings for the most part are interesting. The romance, while somewhat forced, was believable. It’s not to say the romance wasn’t intriguing, but it was somewhat forced. Overall, if you’re looking for a superhero movie to watch on a movie night, I’d say give this one a shot. I’m gonna give “Thor” a 9/10. The review’s technically over, but I still have one more thing to do. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Stardust!
I would like to take this time to let you know about this cool new app called “Stardust.” It’s a nifty little app that basically combines elements of IMDb and Snapchat. What you do on “Stardust” is you can find a movie or an episode of a TV show, record a video of yourself talking about it, and let the world see it! In fact, one neat thing about Stardust is that you don’t even have to say you witnessed the episode or movie because “Stardust” allows you to confirm whether or not you’ve watched something. You can also follow other people who have the app to see their latest reactions and thoughts in the realm of TV and movies. By the way, if you’re interested, find my Stardust handle, JackDrees, follow me, and you’ll get to see reactions to movies you’ll find reviews on for this blog like “Blade Runner 2049” and you’ll also get to see reactions to movies I never get to talk about like “Sucker Punch.” Thanks for reading this review, since we’re on the topic of “Thor,” I will say that “Thor: Ragnarok” comes out on November 3rd, which is the weekend of my birthday, so I don’t know whether or not I’ll actually go see it right away, although the weekend after is Veteran’s Day weekend, and I’ll be at Rhode Island Comic-Con, so if I have some free time on my hands during my visit, I’ll go see it then. I mean, I’d rather see “Thor: Ragnarok” as opposed to “A Bad Moms Christmas,” which comes out the same weekend as “Thor: Ragnarok.” WHY THE F*CK WOULD THEY MAKE THAT S*IT?! Nevertheless, stay tuned for more reviews! So I’ll ask you right now, what are your thoughts on “Thor?” Are you excited for the upcoming installment? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!