Out of all the Marvel properties, it was commonly acknowledged by bloggers and comic book fans that Thor would be the most difficult character to successfully translate to the silver screen. How can Marvel Studios update a somewhat hokey character, who speaks like he’s in a Shakespearean play, and make him compelling to the general audience? Well, it turns out the answer is to cast Chris Hemsworth and have Kenneth Branagh direct.
“Thor” is a remarkable film because it takes the disparate elements of the character and his supporting cast and blends them together very well. The central theme is a feud between brothers which provides much of the compelling drama, but it also adds humor with a classic “Fish out of Water” story. The result is an exciting adventure movie featuring swashbuckling action, plenty of laughs, and a solid drama about family at its core.
To be honest, the movie wouldn’t work without the brilliant cast throughout.
Chris Hemsworth is perfect as Thor. He’s charming, physically imposing, has great comedic timing and is more than a little cocky. Veterans, like Anthony Hopkins as Odin and Stellan Skarsgard as Dr. Selvig, provide gravitas to their respective roles. However, Tom Hiddleston as Loki steals the movie.
As mentioned in other reviews on this site, Marvel movies suffer from a problem with their villains. Many of the films have a bland or uninteresting antagonist and Marvel’s penchant for killing off characters exacerbates the issue.
Hiddleston’s Loki is undoubtedly the greatest villain Marvel Studios has produced thus far because the audience can relate to him. He starts off as a well-meaning character but, once his origin is revealed, viewers can understand his reasoning, even if it is twisted.
“Thor” isn’t without problems however. The love story between the titular character and Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster felt rushed. It’s one thing that the characters would be attracted to each other, but the way they behaved at the end, like they were madly in love, was contrived for the amount of time they spent together.
Another complaint is that, while the action sequences were great, the centerpiece brawl occurs early during the film. The fights between Thor and The Destroyer and Thor and Loki are over pretty quickly so there isn’t that satisfying payoff like “The Avengers” has. Kat Dennings is funny initially but her character becomes grating as the film goes on.
Overall, “Thor” is one of my personal favorite MCU films because I knew so little about the character and the film did a great job introducing him to audiences. The cast is splendid, particularly Hemsworth and Hiddleston, and the film produces laughs without compromising the dynamic between Loki and Thor.
I do wish we spent more time on Asgard ,since I’m a huge fan of the Jack Kirby aesthetic, but this was just a taste of what Marvel can do.