Hold Up! I Don’t Remember The First Thor Being This Good!
Sometimes all it takes is a little distance, some time (like 2190 days), and watching something again, under a different lens, to make you appreciate it. I watched Thor for the first time, in what has to have been six years, and I was utterly, and pleasantly surprised!
Now, before I start singing the praise of the one and only Thor, guardian of the Nine Realms, and the one true wielder of Mjölnir (sort of), I want you to stop what you’re doing and watch the brand new trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, if you have not done so already! It’s set to release on November 3rd–you can check it out by clicking on the image.
Awesome…am I right, or am I right?
Thor (Number One)
Here’s why I felt so compelled to write this. It’s because up until now, I thought that the first Thor movie was absolute garbage! Ok, garbage might be too strong of a word, but I definitely thought that it wasn’t as good as the rest of the Marvel cinematic adventures. It just didn’t have that super-cool wit, and bravado from Iron Man; the explosive, blast-from-the-past appeal from Captain America; the sheer awesomeness that was The Avengers–to be fair, no Marvel movie does–it was just…subpar.
So who was to blame for this lack of my movie enjoyment? Kenneth Branagh (the director)? Chris Hemsworth (the…Thor)? I didn’t care long enough to answer the question, but after watching Chris Hemsworth reprise his role as The Mighty Thor in The Avengers (2012), and the second Thor movie, Thor: The Dark World (2013), my faith was restored…for these two films anyway. Thor number one still left a sour taste in my mouth.
Now let’s fast forward three more years to present day. My buddy Elton, aka Eltron (as in Age of Eltron); my wife’s soon-to-be brother-in-law, which (I think) makes him my…uncle…(just kidding); wants to watch all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies–which is just the greatest idea that he’s ever had–so naturally, I was game!
The first MCU movie (Iron Man) came out in 2008. It’s now 2017. Guess how many movies there are now? Sixteen! Now, I’m not including the soft reboot of The Incredible Hulk (with Edward Norton), because…well, it just doesn’t count. But if you do count the releases scheduled for this year, then you’re looking at sixteen movies. May 5th was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, July 7th is Spider-Man: Homecoming (Go Spidey), and then, all the way in November is Thor: Ragnarok. We certainly have our work cut out for us!
So I started to make the playlist and 86’d the not-so-important movies because, one: that’s one “helluva” popcorn-eating, superhero binge watching session to get through, and two: some of the sequels aren’t pertinent to the over-all story of the MCU. So I needed to weed out the expendable movies, or trim the fat (as they say)–and that’s what I did.
We started with Iron Man, which is still (to this day) a wicked movie; then Captain America: The First Avenger (not as good as Iron Man, but still decent), and then Thor–I must have been intoxicated when I saw it all those years ago because it was pretty damn good! Much better than I remember. Eltron and I had our significant others with us, and they enjoyed Thor as well. I was shocked, and a little embarrassed, because I told them (beforehand) that this Thor was nothing special; but as it turns out, I was totally wrong.
The sequel, Thor: The Dark World, was always the better film in my mind. It’s like Marvel Studios took all of the lessons that they learned from the previous films (not that they had much to learn, mind you), especially Avengers, and used those lessons to create a much better Thor movie. The Dark World still sits on the great precipice of Marvel movies–not everyone would agree with this–but now I definitely have to change my stance on the matter of the first Thor.
Why The First Thor Is Just So Splendid
Here is just a few key reasons as to why I enjoyed Thor this time around. This might be spoilery, but it’s been six years so “deal with it.”
Odin, The King of Asgard, Played by Sir Anthony Hopkins
Forget HBO’s Westworld–BTW I actually don’t see why everyone talks about that show. It’s just ok–Marvel got Sir Anthony Hopkins himself to play Thor’s father, King Odin! Say what you will about Marvel, but anyone that has the power (or money) to convince such a revered and noteworthy actor to make a comic book movie deserves praise.
Tom Hiddleston’s Portrayal of Loki
As far as villains go, Loki is easily the best the MCU has to offer. Tom Hiddleston does a bang up job of playing Thor’s evil step-brother (especially in The Avengers) and I hope we get to see much more of him as this Marvel Cinematic Universe comes to a close.
The Comical Relief of Darcy, Played by Kat Dennings
It’s Kat Dennings…what more is there to say? If you know her work from 2 Broke Girls then you know what she’s capable of. She helps provide the humour as Jane Foster’s (played by Natalie Portman) assistant, and does a good job doing it. Trust me, once you hear her pronounce Thor’s hammer’s name as “Mew-Mew,” you’ll know what I mean!
The Theatrical Debut of Lady Sif, Played by Jaimie Alexander
Lady Sif is a force to be reckoned with, and (in my opinion) she should be the one true love of The Mighty Thor. (She very well may be; the story isn’t finished yet.) Nothing against Jane Foster, but Lady Sif is a feared warrior, and a much better match for the Asgardian Avenger. She even knows it, as she tried to rekindle their romance in The Dark World, but Thor did not succumb to her advances. Better luck next time Sif; until that time I look forward to your possible return in Thor: Ragnarok!
More adventures of Lady Sif can also be seen in early seasons of ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD–the best show on TV, I might add!
The Townspeople Trying To Take Thor’s Hammer
The MCU is filled with many humourous moments of different people trying to lift Mjölnir, Thor’s hammer, and it never gets old. Unbeknownst to him, The Hulk tries (in The Avengers), and fails epically. All of the Avengers, in Age of Ultron, jokingly try to lift the hammer at Tony Stark’s party–and one of them came close! It’s all just shits and giggles watching this again and again, but the rules are in place. Only the one deemed worthy, by Mjölnir, can lift and wield the mighty hammer of Thor.
But chronologically it was the the townspeople of New Mexico, in the first Thor, that took turns and tried to take the mysterious hammer that came crashing down to planet Earth. I totally forgot about this hilarious scene–it was amusing watching it again!
Heimdall, Played by Idris Elba
I can’t talk about Thor and not mention my boy Idris! The English actor; slash, musician; slash, DJ; slash, all-seeing and all-hearing Asgardian, is one of the most interesting characters in the movie. He’s the guardian of the Bifrost Bridge (you’ll have to watch the movie to learn about what that is), and he can see and hear everything that happens in the Nine Realms. He stands guard and he watches…that’s all he does, and his bright and shiny gold armour is something to behold.
Agent Phil Coulson, Played by Clark Gregg
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Marvel’s Agent’s of SHIELD is the best show on TV! SHIELD plays a huge role in the MCU; they’re the whole reason the Avengers exist in the first place. At the forefront of it all was Director Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson), and almost always, right behind him, was his right hand man Phil Coulson. In the beginning, Phil had little to no screen time on the big screen, but in Thor (and especially in The Avengers) he got to make much more of a splash in the universe–and he had his Captain America collector cards to show for it!
Unfortunately Phil’s big splash ended in The Avengers, but the good thing was that his untimely demise was what brought the Avengers together in the end. In life, and in death, Phil was the glue that held everything together…even in the (much later revealed) Marvel television spin-off that aired in 2013: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD!
MCU fans rejoiced everywhere because, to everyone’s surprise, Agent Phil Coulson had miraculously returned (to life). There was no explanation, whatsoever, he was just back. It was, without a doubt, the one burning question that got people to tune into the show. Why was Phil back, and how?
Well, I won’t get into it, but we eventually got our answer, and it was a good answer; but I digress. Phil has a much bigger presence in Thor so do yourself a favour and check it out.
And last, but not least…
Thor, The Prince of Asgard, Played by Chris Hemsworth
You’re probably wondering why I didn’t start with Thor in the first place. Truth be told, I wasn’t going to add him to this list. The idea was to focus on the incredible supporting actors alone. I mean, Chris Hemsworth is great, which makes Thor great by default. So it truly goes without saying, but I suppose I should throw him in for good measure. After all, it is his movie.
So, I’ll close with this: No other actor, in my mind, can play The Mighty Thor as well as Chris Hemsworth. That’s it…go watch Thor if you haven’t seen it. If you have, but you didn’t think much of it (like I did), then go watch it again because you just might be surprised by how good it really is (six years later)!