FEEDBACK: Thor (2011)

This Friday, it is our monthly MCU review with Wai Ting & I reviewing Thor from 2011.

Please leave your feedback, comments, and topics to discuss on this Friday’s show for members of the POST Wrestling Café.

Before I get to Thor: Rest In Peace Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. The artistic talent and creativity of these men brought joy and entertainment to so many people over the years.

Thor is commonly regarded as one of the “middle of the pack” Marvel films, and I think that’s a fair assessment. Chris Hemsworth is great as Thor and he continues to improve every outing. Unfortunately, there is very little chemistry between him and Natalie Portman, and this movie suffers for it.

Kenneth Branagh has a talent for Shakespearean theatrics, and that translated well with the Asgardian scenes and characters. The earth scenes however are uninteresting, and much of Thor’s relationships and experiences on earth feel somewhat contrived. I think this movie would be remembered much more fondly if Marvel allowed Branagh to play to his strengths, and set the entire movie on Asgard.

Ian from Watlington, UK

I remember binge watching the Phase 1 Marvel films over 3 nights before Avengers hit theatres and Thor was the film that I was least looking forward to seeing. Now, I know this will be a contrarian viewpoint but Thor is probably my favourite standalone Marvel movie (back when that actually meant standalone), and definitely my favourite phase 1 film. While this will certainly be against the grain, I think the reason why it works so well is because of the small scope of the film itself. 2 brothers, both vying for their father’s approval, which is so relatable that it established Loki as the only villain Marvel bothered to bring back over and over again until a babyface turn was needed.

The brash brother for whom everything came so easily and resulted in a brashness, carelessness, and entitlement - that’s some real character development for our protagonist. It’s a far cry from Marvel’s current need to make every hero a quip factory.

I teach film studies and for the past six years, I have used the set piece inside the military facility when Thor unsuccessfully tries to retriev Mjolnir as a test of their understanding of technical fundamentals. It’s that well done.

I have seen the film a good 15 times and it’s got a heart and warmth to it that no other Marvel film (save for perhaps Spider-Man Homecoming) has been able to duplicate. It’s a shame that Dark World has tarnished everything before Ragnarok as being dull. The first Thor is a superhero movie, across galactic spheres, with universal consequences, played out in a small New Mexico town and this juxtaposition doesn’t detract from the film, it enhances it.

God bless you Stan Lee, Excelsior!