Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is the arrogant heir to the throne of Asgard. When his kingdom is invaded by a small group of Frost Giants, he, his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleson) and his friends Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), Hogun (Tadanobu Asano), Fandrall (Josh Dallas), and Sif (Jaimie Alexander) go to the home of the Frost Giants, breaking the fragile peace. As punishment for his actions, the king of Asgard, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), removes Thor’s remarkable powers and banishes him to Earth.
After the more grounded Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and the more “out there” The Incredible Hulk, Marvel released their riskiest film of Phase One in Thor. Where the previous films are more science-fiction, Thor is a full on fantasy. Under the helm of Kenneth Branagh, it worked. I like to see that J. Michael Straczynski helped with the story. At the time, he was the writer of the comic book Thor. Who better to help write the character than the person who eat, sleeps, and breathes Thor? The special effects are hands down the best of Phase One, particularly the sprawling cityscape of Asgard. The only word I can use to describe it is “stunning.” Thor follows a similar formula to Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk where is shows the character’s strength in the beginning. In the previous movies, they showed Tony Stark’s engineering skills and Bruce Banner’s scientific skills. Here it literally showed Thor’s strength, by having him fight a bunch of Frost Giants.
The Frost Giants were minor villains. Mostly they were used to flesh out one of the best aspects of the movie: Loki, played fantastically by Tom Hiddleston. Hiddleston brings Loki to life, becoming relatable and empathetic. I almost began rooting for him. Chris Hemsworth does great opposite Hiddleston as the titular Thor, too. The connective thread between the Phase One films, Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson, has a few funny moments, which is nice given he isn’t seen very much. Hawkeye makes a cool cameo, but unfortunately he isn’t seen in action. Thor was Marvel’s biggest risk to feel out what their audiences were willing to see, paying off greatly due to breathtaking visuals and two great lead actors, paving the way for Marvel’s more outlandish films several years later.
Also check out my reviews for the other films in Marvel’s Phase 1: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers.
Cast & Crew
Kenneth Branagh – Director
Ashley Miller – Screenplay
Zach Stentz – Screenplay
Don Payne – Screenplay
J. Michael Straczynski – Story
Mark Protosevich – Story
Patrick Doyle – Composer
Chris Hemsworth – Thor
Natalie Portman – Jane Foster
Tom Hiddleston – Loki
Anthony Hopkins – Odin
Stellan Skarsgard – Erik Selvig
Kat Dennings – Darcy Lewis
Clark Gregg – Agent Coulson
Colm Feore – King Laufey
Idris Elba – Heimdall
Ray Stevenson – Volstagg
Tadanobu Asano – Hogun
Josh Dallas – Fandrall
Jaimie Alexander – Sif
Rene Russo – Frigga
Adriana Barraza – Isabel Alvarez
Maximiliano Hernandez – Agent Sitwell
Nice review, I did enjoy this film, mainly because I love Natalie Portman and have a man crush on Chris Hemsworth.
Thanks. Both are valid reasons. 🙂
Thor is quite possibly my favorite Marvel Phase One film, or at least the one that I find myself rewatching the most.
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My favorite Phase One (other than The Avengers) is definitely this, or Captain America: The First Avenger. I can’t decide which, I love ’em both!
Great review! I had only just started getting into the superhero films when Thor came out, but it was the first film in years I went to see twice on the big screen. I loved it!
Thanks, Allie! What a great gateway superhero film for you. That’s excellent, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it so much!
Thanks for commenting. 🙂