Thor - Avengers: Infinity War Marvel MCU Marathon
Once again, before we start, there may be spoilers for Thor (and other Marvel movies) in this entry.
I LOVE Thor. It is one of my favorite Marvel movies and my favorite of the Thor films. Thor is also one of my favorite Marvel heroes. So, to see him standing on screen in all his glory made me smile from ear to ear. And I still feel the same way watching it again.
This film established the first Marvel Chris in Chris Hemsworth as Thor who I still think is every bit as iconic as any of the other MCU heroes. Credit has to be given to Hemsworth for making us believe in Thor. The film also establishes one of the MCU's favorite villains in Loki (Tom Hiddleston) who has appeared time and time again. And there is a reason why we have come to love Loki as well and that's because of Hiddleston's commitment to the role. He gets the nuances of Loki.
Credit should also be given to Thor's constant companions Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and the Warriors Three - Josh Dallas (Fandral), Tadanobu Asano (Hogun) and Ray Stevenson (Volstagg). They added a lightness to the brewing family drama.
But who gives this film gravitas is Sir Anthony Hopkins as Odin which was an inspired bit of casting. And, honestly, so is Idris Elba as Heimdall. While they cast a person of color, he reminds me exactly of the comic book character. His performance is beautiful.
Admittedly, the first part of the film is just eye candy to me. This is when we are in Asgard and it felt like a love letter to Jack Kirby, co-creator of Thor. I was originally worried how they'd do Asgard, but they really committed. And they were able to create a Rainbow Bridge that looked modern, but still like a rainbow. Look no further than the Destroyer to see one of his designs really come to life.
When we truck into Asgard, it is a wondrous sight! Life on Asgard is as Shakespearean as it can get, complete with political intrigue and family drama. Kenneth Branagh did an amazing job in creating two different worlds between Asgard and Midgard. The Asgardians are as big in their bravado as is worthy a god.
I wish Thor kept his iconic helmet on. He only wears it when he comes in for the coronation. He looks amazing in it. I also love they used Olivier Copiel's design featuring chainmail (something he loses in other movies).
This film is the first time we see the Tesseract which we also see in Captain America: The First Avenger and Marvel's Avengers. But we don't really know it's an Infinity Stone until the end credits of Thor: The Dark World.
When Thor: Ragnarok came out, I heard people say the attack on Surtur and the Fire Giants in Muspelheim is the kind of battle Thor should have been engaged in that was missing from the other films. It's a great scene for sure, but I am also dumbfounded because you have to look no further than the attack on the Frost Giants in Jotunheim in Thor to find a battle as exciting. When Thor spins his hammer for the first time, I was almost in tears. And I still get a lump in my throat. It is during this scene that Loki realizes he is really a Frost Giant adopted by Odin and he feels betrayed. While he was already jealous of Thor, now he is angry with his whole family.
But when Odin arrives riding his eight-legged steed Sleipnir, it's like we're watching some magnificent Wagner opera.
My favorite scene in the film is Thor's being cast out of Asgard. It's such an iconic scene in Thor's comic origin. So to see it played out with such beautiful performances gives me goosebumps. Hopkins really commits to the anger Odin feels and delivers that dialogue so amazingly.
When Thor lands on Earth, he meets up with (or hit with a car twice by them) Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), her intern Darcy (Kat Dennings) and colleague Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård). This is where it turns more into a "fish out of water" story and it also turns into a comedy and love story. To me, much of the comedy works. His fighting off the hospital staff like they were Frost Giants only to be sedated, his bravado for more coffee and his looking for a large dog to ride at the pet store. Also, the tribute to Dr. Donald Blake, who was his secret identity on Midgard in the comics, was fun.
I found Natalie Portman serviceable as Jane Foster. I think she is a great actress, but truth be told, her work in science fiction and fantasy seems insincere. If Anthony Hopkins can make the All-Father believable, you'd think Natalie Portman could have committed more. Darcy is okay, but could start getting annoying. Skarsgår is great as Selvig.
Back on Asgard, Odin went into a sleep and Loki took over telling the people that Thor killed his father. This is where we see him as the Prince of Lies.
And on Midgard, news gets out that Mjolnir had landed in a crater in the middle of the desert. Everybody tries to pull it out of the ground to no success. Thor makes his way there, sure he will be able to wield it. But, by then, S.H.I.E.L.D. has tented the area and Thor has to break in. He tries to lift it, but it doesn't work. Hemsworth delivers a wonderful performance as he is saddened, angry and frustrated he can't lift it. This is the scene where the introduce Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. It's a short scene, but I think more successful than the introduction of Black Widow in Iron Man 2.
Thor is then taken to a S.H.I.E.L.D. interrogation room where he meets Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) who we knew was sent to New Mexico in Iron Man 2. Loki arrives and tells Thor that he (Thor) killed Odin and this is where we see we see Thor broken. The first time he expresses compassion and humility.
While most people won't know who I'm talking about, but this is also the first appearance of Agent Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández) who had small roles throughout the movies and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. He was later revealed to be an undercover Hydra agent in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Back on Asgard, Loki brings in some Frost Giants. At first, it looks like Loki is going to have the giants kill Odin. But Loki actually wants to kill his father and look like a hero so he can be worthy of the Throne.
Back on Midgard, Thor tries to explains the Nine Realms to Jane. It's a nice moment and probably the most sincere love scene.
Just as the Midgardians begin to understand Thor, Sif and the Warriors Three come to Midgard. At the same time, Loki unleashes the Destroyer. Thor and the Asgardians fight the Destroyer to no avail. Thor asks for compassion and that the Destroyer take him instead. At first, it looks like Loki will stop the Destroyer, but instead deals a near fatal blow. Odin weeps in his sleep and sends Mjolnir to Thor where he becomes worthy once more and defeats the Destroyer.
Thor and the Asgardians must return to Asgard where he must defeat Loki. In the process, the Bifrost is destroyed, cutting off his access to Jane Foster.
Bonus, we know there is a "fake" Infinity Guantlet (which caused confusion until Thor: Raganrok) in Odin's TreasureRoom. But I also saw a giant Eye of Agamotto from Doctor Strange.
Stan Lee Cameo: Townfolk who tries to pull Mjolnir using his truck and his bumper falls off.
Honestly, as much as I loved Ragnarok, this is my favorite. It just has a specialness to it with fantastic performances by the Asgardians. I also think Patrick Doyle's score is one of the best in the MCU. I wish they would have incorporated more of it into the other Thor movies. Its majestic and beautiful.
Okay. On to Captain America: The First Avenger.