Thor (2011)

thor poster 2011 movie chris hemsworth
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

The Asgard parts were good, the dynamic between Loki, Odin, and Thor

The Earth parts, Warriors Three, Natalie Portman & her obnoxious friend

Movie Info

Movie Name: Thor

Studio: Marvel Studios

Genre(s): Comic Book/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): May 6, 2011

MPAA Rating: PG-13

thor odin loki chris hemsworth anthony hopkins tom hiddleston

Hey kids…surprise! Loki, you’re adopted and Thor, you aren’t worthy.

In Asgard, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself nearing ascension to the throne from his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins).  When the ceremony is interrupted, Thor goes on a forbidden expedition to Jotunheim with his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Sif (Jaimie Alexander), Fandral (Josh Dallas), Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), and Hogun (Tadanobu Asano)…which leads to the break of a long truce.  Now, Thor finds himself banished to Earth by his father and without Mjolnir.  Researchers Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård), and their intern Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) discover Thor and question if his tales of gods and magical lands are just figments of his imagination.  Things are afoot in Asgard, and the real culprit will be revealed!

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, Thor is a Marvel Comics superhero movie.  Following Iron Man 2 in 2010, it is the fourth entry in the first phase of Marvel Cinematic Universe.  It was met with mixed to positive reviews and a strong box office.

thor mjolnir hammer chris hemsworth

It was just Gorilla Glue the entire time!

The character of Thor is a tough sell in many ways.  It is often full of faux “thee and thou” dialogue which can feel like a rip-off of real Shakespeare.  He’s very powerful and requires worthy opponents that are a match for him.  You also must decide if the story is primarily an Asgard story or a Midgard (aka Earth) story.  Thor tries to duck and weave around these different concepts, but it doesn’t quite succeed.

Branagh is known for his Shakespearian work and translations and wanted to turn Thor into a Shakespearian play between the dynamics of Odin, Thor, and Loki.  When Thor is in Asgard, it works.  The science-magic combines with this kind of traditional story of trust and betrayal between father and sons and between brothers does work…then Thor goes to Earth.  Much of the Earth portion of the story was borrowed from J. Michael Straczynski’s Thor (he also helped sculpt the story and has a cameo).  I was not a fan of Straczynski’s Thor and the movie seems to die there for a while until the end battle.

thor heimdall loki idris elba tom hiddleston

Freeze, sucker! (Loki needs a catchphrase)

Chris Hemsworth is a good Thor but in this outing he doesn’t seem to have much of a grasp on the character and hasn’t made it his own.  Later movies and sequels, Hemsworth looks comfortable and seems to connect more with the dialogue.  Tom Hiddleston however dives into his role and has made Loki a live character from the beginning.  Anthony Hopkins does his Anthony Hopkins thing by barking lines, and orders and it works for the character.  I’m not a big fan of how the Warriors Three (played by Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, and Josh Dallas) and Sif played by Jaimie Alexander are portrayed.  I also find Kat Dennings annoying in general, but she is better than when I first saw this film.  Idris Elba makes the most of Heimdall’s rather small roll and the movie serves as an introduction to Hawkeye with Jeremy Renner having a cameo.  Samuel L. Jackson also reprises his Nick Fury role in a post-credit scene with Clark Gregg returning in a larger role here.

thor destroyer chris hemsworth

Klaatu, Barada, Nikto?

Thor does work visually.  I like the portrayal of Asgard and the idea of this shiny land.  I was unsure how they would portray the Rainbow Bridge, but I believe it was done in the best way possible.  I also do like the contrast of the very monstrous Destroyer wandering through the dusty desert town like Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Thor was one of the weaker entries in the MCU and the following Iron Man 2 showed some danger that the Marvel Universe might not have the legs it expected.  This of course was proven wrong by a slew of movies that followed Thor.  The MCU continued with Captain America:  The First Avenger (also released in 2011) and Thor had his own sequel (which some consider one of the worst of the MCU) in Thor:  The Dark World in 2013.

Related Links:

Thor:  The Dark World (2013)

Thor:  Ragnarok (2017)

Thor:  Love and Thunder (2022)

Thor:  Tales of Asgard (2011)

The Avengers (2012)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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