Thor: The God of Marvel
– A Hero Corner Catch-up Review by David 2
Marvel Studios continued their journey towards assembling “The Avengers” with their 2011 movie “Thor”, directed by Kenneth Branagh.
“Thor”, of course, is both the legendary Norse God of Thunder and also a longtime Marvel comics character. Simply put, he’s Marvel’s version of Superman. He is mighty, he wields a formidable weapon, and it also helps that he looks like a blond Adonis.
Chris Hemsworth plays the titular character, with an all-star cast of Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, and Rene Russo joining in with Tom Hiddleston, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgård, and returning actor Clark Gregg. We are also introduced to another future Avenger, Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner. And, yes, Stan Lee shows up too.
We start with Dr. Jane Foster (Portman) and her scientific crew literally running into a blond man (Hemsworth) in the middle of a sudden sandstorm in the New Mexico desert. As the sand clears, we zoom up and away to the legendary land of Asgard, home of the Norse Gods. We learn that the blond man that was hit by Jane’s car is, in fact, Thor, and we see why he was sent to Earth. After frost giants from another realm interrupt Thor’s ceremony to be named heir to the throne, Thor is convinced by his brother Loki (Hiddleston) to attack the frost giants in their home world along with their longtime friends, Lady Sif and the Warriors Three. Thor’s father Odin (Hopkins) is forced to intervene to stop an all-out war with the Frost Giants, and, after an argument with Odin over his reckless actions, Thor is stripped of his title and mighty hammer and cast out to Earth… where he is promptly hit by Foster’s car.
While Thor is carrying out all the stereotypical antics of a seemingly crazy man in modern society, SHIELD Agent Coulson (Gregg) is investigating the appearance of a strange hammer in the middle of the desert that nobody and nothing can move. SHIELD also confiscates all of Jane’s research and notes, because that’s what jackbooted secret government agencies do, even in Marvel movies. Thor discovers where the hammer is and he convinces Foster to take him there. Thor goes through several SHIELD agents to reach the hammer, while being observed by Barton and Coulson, only to find that he cannot lift the hammer. Following Odin’s instructions, Thor is no longer “worthy”.
While in SHIELD custody, Thor is visited by Loki, who tells him that his father is dead, and part of the condition for peace with the frost giants is that Thor must stay on Earth forever. And then he tries to lift the hammer himself and obviously fails.
And while there is obviously more to this story, I think I’ll leave it here so I won’t spoil it for you.
There was much to be said about the casting of this movie, especially the role of Heimdall, as played by Idris Elba, who clearly did not look like a Norse deity. But in deciding to give this movie an unbiased look, I found little to complain about with this portrayal. Elba did a fine job as did all the other actors. The characters were well portrayed and the story kept things moving.
My only real complaint with the movie is that the music seemed somewhat subdued at points where it really needs to be epic. The action and the drama are there, but the music itself isn’t. That undermines the climactic scenes.
As with all the other movies, “Thor” also has a post-credit scene featuring a certain character already known for making post-credit appearances, although it also provides a mysterious preview of something that we’ll see more of in the next two movies. What is it? Well you’ll just have to wait until the next review of the Mighty Marvel movies!