Thor (2011) Review

Rating 12
Length 1h55
Release 27.4.2011
Director Kenneth Branagh
About Thor is exiled by his father, Odin, the King of Asgard, to the Earth to live among mortals. When he lands on Earth, his trusted weapon Mjolnir is discovered and captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.
Moon: Full moon behind clouds as Jane and Thor talk outside.
Where to Watch: Disney+

The Good

  • The wonderful thing about this outing, or origin, of Thor is the Shakespearian richness of it all. There’s just something about Kings and heirs, betrayal and madness that lends itself to the tone of The Bard. If there was ever going to be a director that could accomplish this, it’s Kenneth Branagh. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and perhaps it hasn’t aged as well for how it stands out from the others, but I still have a soft spot for what Branagh brought to the MCU.
  • As with most of the Marvel projects, this is well cast. Doubly so when you consider your protagonist and antagonist. Both up and coming actors and relative risks. Both hold their own and make this film the joy that it is to watch. We know both are now capable of the humour too, from their long standing returns to the universe, however I’m glad we didn’t get their full range here. The story would not have fit the journey both Thor and Loki needed to go on.
  • This film’s strength is the emotional scenes. In particular those that contain whatever combination of Thor, Odin and Loki Branagh chooses to give us. Without the gravitas and the weight behind those words, this film could have been ridiculous.
  • Two of my favourite Marvel characters appear in this film: Agent Coulson and Erik Selvig. Both very much human, thrown into all of this and handling it all very well. The thanks obviously need to go to the men behind those characters, Clark Gregg and Stellan Skarsgard respectively. Their interaction together when Selvig goes to collect Thor is genius.

The Bad

  • Some of the camera angles made me a little motion sick this time. The asymmetry works on a big screen, but my eyes didn’t like it so much when at home.
  • I’m not sure I liked how the film opened. The sort of cold open is usually saved for episodes of tv shows once characters are established, so meeting Jane, Selvig and Darcy briefly to almost flash back. It didn’t work for me the first time I saw it and it never gets any better the more times I watch.

The Unworthy

  • I am not so happy with how Clint Barton aka Hawkeye is introduced. Yes, I’m sure comic book loyalists would have got it straight away. However, you have to play to your whole audience. I’m not talking about adding much, but I don’t even recall his name even being mentioned.
  • Why are Lady Sif and Darcy so unworthy?! Darcy needs her show with ya man from Ant-Man and give Sif everything! It was amazing seeing her in Loki, but we need MORE. I don’t know what it was about Phase 1, but our female characters get built up so we want more. But then nothing happens.

Final Thoughts

A comic book origin story of Shakespearean magnitude. Must admit this was the film in my marathon two years ago that stopped me watching any more. I really didn’t enjoy it and found it a slog. This time though, I found it charming and rich with Easter eggs.

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