The God of Thunder makes his big screen debut and gives the Marvel Cinematic Universe another hero to follow as it works to build the Avengers in “Thor.” Chris Hemsworth stars as the future king of Asgard in the third origin story of the MCU, after “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk” and the fourth film overall. This film introduces two beloved characters in Thor and Loki as well some others who’ve made crossover appearances; like Lady Sif on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and Darcy Lewis on “WandaVision.” It’s a solid outing, but it’s far from the spectacular films we’ve come to expect from Marvel.
There was a time when this was my least favorite origin story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It felt like a film they had to have to explain why his and Loki’s characters were important to the then upcoming first “Avengers” film. Thor has obviously grown over the years and his appearances in “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame” have been absolute joys. But, here at the beginning, it felt like the film was just there to appeal to those who hadn’t read the comics. In the first wave of origin stories, this one was my least favorite. I now enjoy “Dr. Strange” less than this one, but this is second from the bottom of my least favorite origin stories.
There’s some nice tie-ins between “Thor” and previous MCU films. The appearance of Agent Coulson was an excellent addition and brought thing back to the moment in “Iron Man 2” when he’s leaving Tony Stark’s home and mentioned he had some business to take care of in New Mexico. While there were definite connections between the two “Iron Man” films and “The Incredible Hulk,” this is the one that makes it feel like more than just a shoutout to a previous work, but a truly shared universe.
Some praise definitely needs to be given to Chris Hemsworth for how he stands equal to some actors with some serious credibility in this film. Sir Anthony Hopkins plays his father; Odin, Rene Russo plays his mother and Tom Hiddleston plays his adopted brother, Loki. Those are three impressive actors for someone who wasn’t a big star outside of Australia at the time this film was being made. He’s a big star now, and rightfully so, but at the time, he was an unknown starring with some heavyweights. It’s the method Richard Donner used to make Christopher Reeve stand out as Superman, and it works again here.
Of the three “Thor” movies, this one falls right in the middle for me. It holds up better than “Thor: The Dark World” but isn’t nearly as good as “Thor: Ragnarok.” It helps build worlds outside of our own and serves as interesting part of the Avengers storyline. While, it’s far from my favorite origin story, it’s a middle of the road MCU film, which means it’s decent overall. It’s definitely worth a re-watch.
Ranking: 3 stars out of 5
What did you think of “Thor?”