Thor (2011) Review

Rating: 3.5 Stars

The following review contains spoilers.

Overview:

Odin, King of Asgard, is looking to retire and needs to name a successor. He has two sons, one is a handsome and popular warrior named Thor, and the other is Loki, God of Mischief. What a choice! He’s about to crown Thor as King when some frost giants from Jotunheim attack and disrupt the ceremony. Thor seeks vengeance, and almost sparks open warfare between the realms, causing Odin to strip him of his powers and banish him to Earth. Loki, who leans he’s secretly an adopted frost giant, takes the throne himself when Odin goes into one of his apparently regular comas. Loki realizes life is a lot better for him without his dumb jock brother around, so he maintains the banishment.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Thor has to learn humility. He hangs out with pretty ladies, beats up SHIELD agents, and is generally a badass, so maybe not super humbling? When Thor’s friends come to Earth to find him, he realizes that Loki must have been behind everything, allowing the frost giants into Asgard in the first place, and manipulating Thor into attacking Jotenheim. Loki sends the Destroyer, a big old explodey space robot, to Earth with orders to kill his brother, and Thor gives himself willingly to save the others. This gesture – though it’s not really amply demonstrated that the old Thor wouldn’t have given his life to save his friends, which honestly seems like exactly the kind of ultra-macho heroic nonsense he’d totally do whenever, and so it’s not clear how this shows Thor is truly a changed man – causes him to be worthy of his godhood once again, and he kicks the Destroyer’s ass, then goes back to Asgard to have words with Loki. They have a big fight, then Odin wakes up because the movie’s almost over, and Loki pretends to kill himself to get out of being grounded.

Best Parts:

Chris Hemsworth is perfect for Thor. He’s got the look and the size, and he’s also charming and a decent actor. And Tom Hiddleston is great as Loki. Some really lucky finds for Marvel.

Anytime Kat Dennings is in a scene, that scene is at least a 50% better scene. She’s my favorite part of this movie. Darcy is just a comic relief character, but she’s really good at it, and this sometimes too serious movie desperately needs her.

The Destroyer in New Mexico, taking on Thor and his buddies, is a fun action scene. It didn’t bother me that it took place in such a small town. I think it’s nice to not have every super hero battle involve knocking down skyscrapers or destroying freeways.

Cosmic Cube!

*smashes coffee mug* “Another!”

“Myeuh-meh? What’s Myeuh-meh?”

“They even took my iPod … I just downloaded, like, 30 songs onto there.”

Worst Parts:

Asgard is a boring place. And half the movie takes place there, and it’s just not interesting. There are these CGI frost giants, and you’ve got Odin yelling about gobbledygook all the time, and big magical-looking buildings, and yadda yadda who should be king, and the Odinsleep, and maybe it all works for some people, but it didn’t work for me.

Hawkeye is sort of a blank, but that’s Jeremy Renner for you. He has no impact on the story and is basically an Easter egg with a little dialogue.

Thor is banished for being impulsive and almost starting a war, and he’s redeemed by being willing to sacrifice himself for his friends. These do not match in any way and so his redemption doesn’t carry any weight. It would be more meaningful if he was banished for putting his friends/comrades in harm’s way and not caring, or he if was redeemed by choosing non-violent negotiation. What does Thor actually learn from his banishment?

If Odin adopted Loki to help create peace between the Asgard and Jotunheim, then why keep Loki’s identity a secret? Don’t people have to know who he is for that sort of thing to work?

“Your ancestors called it magic, but you call it science. I come from a land where they are one and the same.”

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