Rating 12 Length 1h52 Release 30.10.2013 Director Alan Taylor About Thor sets out on a journey to defeat Malekith, the leader of the Dark Elves when he returns to Asgard to retrieve a dangerous weapon and fulfill his desire of destroying the Nine Realms. Moon: no moon sighting Where to Watch: Disney+ Trailer:
I wish I’d been reviewing films around this time because of late, I was of the opinion that I absolutely hated this instalment, even when watching it that first time. However, upon watching it this time, I’m not so sure it was the case.
It is still a clunky start, however you don’t feel it so much because you know the characters.
This film keeps London looking grim. I love that. It would have been too easy to give the rest of the world this sunshine and glamour tint to the UK’s capital, however the clouds, the rain… that’s much more real and strangely makes me happy.
Darcy and Selvig are back and give the audience the biggest laughs. You know who needs to meet in this universe? Darcy and Luis! Seriously, their banter would be the best. Anyway, Darcy brings the one liners and kills it with the commentary. Stellan Skarsgard is a joy to watch playing Selvig as a man who has truly lost him mind because of Loki.
Loki, Loki, Loki. What a performance. We get everything in this film. We get playful Loki, charming Loki, angry Lo… you get the picture. Loki is such a complicated, layered, character. One which is perhaps going through an identity crisis. I’m not sure I could imagine anyone other than Tom Hiddleston playing him better.
Watching the films so close together does point out some recycled plotlines. The method of destruction used by the dark elves is way too similar to the bad guys in Iron Man 3. It’s a shame, because it might not have seemed so obvious had they not followed each other directly.
Christopher Eccleston. Now, Christopher Eccleston is MY Doctor. I will watch anything and everything he is in (I’m talking Gone in 60 Seconds, G I Joe and even The Others, despite not liking other people in the cast.). However, he should never have taken this part. You can tell he’s phoning it in. With a role like this, if anyone it not committed the audience can tell, never mind when its Christopher Eccleston uncommitted. It’s truly heart breaking, because when he’s on form, he kills it.
Still not a fan of Natalie Portman as Jane. Cannot put my finger on it, because I do quite like Portman. I guess it’s that I don’t see someone who is so invested in her work would become so loopy over a guy she’s known for 72 hours, 2 years previous?! Feels very Disney fairy-tale to me and Jane Foster deserves better.
Gratuitous topless shot of Thor. Hey, I love it and I appreciate it as much as the next person who finds Hemsworth attractive. However, in the philosophy of equality, I have to call out all gratuity when I see it. There’s literally is no point to it other than showing the audience those beautiful rock hard abs.
Shipping Lady Sif and Thor. Why though? Lady Sif is this badass that the film decides to soften with the longing looks and unrequited pining.
Much better than I remembered it. Loved how the film gave the audience a non-shiny London and brought back all our favourites.
Rating 12 Length 2h23 Release 26.4.2012 Director Joss Whedon About Nick Fury is compelled to launch the Avengers Initiative when Loki poses a threat to planet Earth. His squad of superheroes Moon: no moon sighting Where to Watch: Disney Plus Trailer:
This was the film in the franchise that truly got me into Marvel. The second Joss Whedon was signed on, my fan-girl self was propped up like a meerkat waiting for any and all scraps made available in the run up to the release. Back then his shitty side was still a cloaked rumour and this outing was a hit. Then Ultron wasn’t so good and as Whedon left, he made sure he wouldn’t be asked back. Now we know he’s truly a douchebag and slime ball. I think I’ve been stalling my rewatch of this, thinking the film would be tainted.
This has one of the smoothest opening to a Marvel movie to date. Which is even more impressive when you consider the sheer character count involved. It helps that the dialogue helps with those transitions. It’s all rather clever as it also drip feeds the information regarding the Tesseract to the audience too.
Agent Coulson is the MVP for me in this film. He’s the heart, the comedy and the geek in all of us. Clark Gregg plays it perfectly and you really feel the weight of his loss after his intermittent appearances so far.
The film has the DNA of Whedon; his pop culture references, smart and quick dialogue and wicked action sequences. This film works so well because it gives the audience what it wants: the answer to the ultimate question “who would win in a fight between x & y?” The best signature scene would have to be right after Nat has worked out Banner is Loki’s play. The group’s in-fighting had been perfected by Whedon on Buffy and this scene works like a charm.
I love that we finally have a Bruce Banner that works. Mark Ruffalo gives us the ideal Banner that blends the intellect, temperament and regret into a believable character. We also have to give credit to Ruffalo for The Hulk too. Through motion capture, we’re able to get the balance, or rather imbalance, between the two egos. If we are ever going to see Avengers fight with each other, you need to have The Hulk in the mix.
I absolutely love the film score and the introduction of the Avengers theme music. Alan Silvestri has composed many iconic themes, but this has to be my favourite. Not only is it well used here, it is something that has appeared in many other MCU films.
I do not like the scene in which Rogers hands Fury money. Mainly because it’s clear Rogers has been debriefed by Fury, so knows who he is. So other than it being a racist stab at the ‘man out of time’ aspect of Cap, I can’t see it’s purpose.
Coulson is the reason I have trust issues. Obviously this is not so much about this film, but things that came out after the fact. I cried when Coulson died. I saw Assemble in the cinema at least 6 times over the summer of 2012, and I cried every time. Then Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D came along and resurrected my favourite MCU character. Yes, on one hand, I was happy. However, it has implications. It makes any death in the MCU reversible. It takes away the importance of his death in this film upon a rewatch. It’s actually so problematic that there are debates about whether Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D is cannon. It also means I always second guess any other death that occurs in the universe. Loki’s timeline (even pre-tv show) further cements this emotional detachment. There’s a character much further down the line that I know I would have sobbed at their demise. However, I don’t trust that they’re really gone.
Still as enjoyable as the first day I watched it. There’s enough other people involved to be able to see it as a brilliant film without the skank of Whedon.
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+ Trailer:
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.
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.
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.
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.