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BlokeBusting The Essentials #39: Thor

Stop, Hammer Time!

#39: Thor

Or

The Day The Earth Stood A Little Still

This will be a fun one to discuss!

First Impressions

This film was one that I remember not really enjoying that much on the first viewing. I had no real knowledge of pretty much every character and actor/actress in the film and I couldn’t fully embrace the Thor character because I felt he was a little stiff. Have I changed my mind? Let’s find out!

The Characters

  • Chris Hemsworth: Thor

    As we all know now, Thor becomes one of the best characters in the entire MCU by Endgame. And that’s not an opinion, he’s genuinely one of the best characters with some of the best character arc bits. And knowing that when re-watching this film can give you some real perspective on how naive the character is. I still stand by my initial assessment that the Thor we get in this film is very stiff (calm down ladies and gentlemen!), I can now understand what I wasn’t getting before. Maybe I just wasn’t ready to think of Thor as a character who had actual character depth (even if his character at the time was as shallow as possible). Ah well, now I know!

  • Natalie Portman: Jane Foster

    Um. She’s…. ok? To be honest, I never liked her in this and on rewatching I still don’t really see her as anything to write home about. Or write an article about. Personally I think that Kat Dennings is way more fun to watch as Darcy Lewis, even though she’s relegated to “sidekick” status here. So yeah, kinda dull.

  • Tom Hiddleston: Loki

    There’s not many characters in the MCU who start as they mean to go on. The actors get comfortable in their roles and can make them come alive more. I think that Hiddleston hit the damn nail on the head here and gave us a Loki who we KNOW will go bad and we also know that he actually has good reason to. The fine line of humour, drama and madness is there from the start and only gets better down the line. Well done Hiddles!

  • Everyone Else: Everyone Else

    As you may guess, there’s waaay too many people to list even all the main characters here without taking 90% of the article length. So here’s the ones I found fun:

    – Odin: A good character for this film but I’m glad he wasn’t on screen more, if that makes sense.

    – Heimdall: Idris Elba. Fun! Next!

    – Sif & The Warriors Three: Kinda fun but basically end up being time wasters by the end. Not a huge criticism, given the run time there was no more room, but still valid.

The Setting

This film was our first introduction to Asgard, the realm of Thor and Norse Gods, within the MCU. And they actually did quite well spending time there, given that tradition would dictate that you get an intro, maybe 20 minutes max, before Thor gets stuck on Earth with minimal screen-time for Asgard after that. At least, that’s what most comic book films did back then, because audiences wouldn’t want to see lots of stuff in totally fantasy realms that they can’t relate to. Or so seemingly ever single studio thought. Not Marvel though. We got LOADS of time in Asgard and even a fair share of time in Jotunheim, the realm of the Frost Giants. I really do appreciate how different this film was to others that came before.

Now the flip side is that I actually get kinda bored with the Earth stuff. There’s a fairly boring location, not really much that happens outside of “Hey, I want my hammer back!” and “Hey, they took my research!” until The Destroyer arrives (though surely simply yelling “Klaatu Barada Nikto” would have ended that fight really quickly!). So funnily enough the exact opposite of what most studios had feared occurs where we get bored with the stuff that should make us connect with the characters on a subconscious personal level and we enjoy more the stuff that we cannot begin to connect with in the same way. Who’d have thought it?

Alrighty, we’ve heard a fair bit from me but my partner-in-crime has yet to chime in. Let’s fix that right now! Take it away Bubba!

It’s been a while since I’ve watched this. In fact, I think I watched it once during the first year of this site and I don’t think I’ve re-watched it since. I do enjoy Thor as a character and a setting as I’m a fan of high fantasy and Thor is a mix of high fantasy and superhero, and this first movie has a touch of fish out of water with Thor coming to Earth. It’s interesting to look back at this origin story for Thor considering how much he’s changed over the course of three solo movies and four Avengers movies. It’s a bit of a backlash to see where he started, but it also makes his transformation so interesting. Plus, the chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston is evident right here from the beginning. The only downside is that Thor spends half of the movie being the pre-heroic Thor who is a complete arrogant jerk, and director Kenneth Branah has a bit of an overuse of Dutch tilts during most of the scenes on Earth. Otherwise, it’s a fun action origin with a touch of romance.

During the first phase of the MCU, Thor was actually the highest grossing origin behind Iron Man. It was also part of the MCU’s ongoing goal to bring in relatively big named directors not known for doing superhero movies like Kenneth Branagh who was best known for his Shakespearean tendencies. And as of 2020 based on currently announced titles, Thor will be the only Marvel hero to have a fourth solo movie unless Love and Thunder becomes more of an origin story for Jane-as-Thor. As far as the MCU goes, it’s important as the origin for one of the original Avengers though it’s possible that it might be replaced by Ragnarok which was a big turning point for the character to bring him more into the comedy realm. But as for the list as it stands. I’m sticking by this one, especially over the less well received the Dark World.

Danke Mr Wheat. And so, we bring ourselves to the big questions. The questions that we must all ask ourselves from time to time. And those questions are:

  1. Would I recommend this film to others?
  2. Does this film deserve to be on the list?
  3. If so, where does it appear on the list?

Given that I seem to have developed a pattern of following the usual order of numbers, let’s go for #1 first.

1) Yes. I’d even recommend doing as I did, watching the film again after seeing the others. You get the full appreciation of the arc of Thor (and his washboard progression) AND I feel like I understood more of the film once I had more knowledge of the world.

2) Yup. See above & it’s the origin of an amazing Superhero!

3) Let’s see. Carry the 2, cross out the 9 and add Pi. So that puts it….

  1. Hellboy
  2. Captain America: The First Avenger
  3. The Crow
  4. Men In Black
  5. Dr Strange
  6. Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
  7. Megamind
  8. Thor
  9. Batman: The Killing Joke
  10. Superman 3
  11. The Wild Wild World Of Batwoman
  12. The Meteor Man
  13. Supergirl
  14. Howard The Duck
  15. The Fantastic Four (1994)
  16. The Punisher
  17. Batman & Robin
  18. The Amazing Spider-Man
  19. Batman Forever
  20. BvS: Dawn Of Justice

    Potential Substitutions:

    Wonder Woman (replacing The Death Of The Hulk)
    X-Men: The Last Stand (replacing Catwoman)
    Turbo Kid (replacing The Incredible Hulk)
    The Incredibles 2 (replacing Fant4stic)

Maybe a bit of a surprise for you guys there, but I feel that’s about right. And now we must draw this review to a close. As the Bifrost Bridge begins to spin up, I shall bid you Adieu and…………

Oh bugger, it missed me. Ah well, I’ll walk then. Toodles!

The Mask

The Mask 1994

For a while, I was trying to figure out what I should watch next. I was thinking about watching some superhero movies with some relation to the holidays, but the only ones I could think of were Batman Returns which I already watched, and Elf Man which looks horrible. So, I just picked a random movie from my collection I hadn’t gotten around to yet: The Mask. I was never a huge fan of Jim Carrey’s old comedies even though I did watch them, and the catch phrases made their rounds at my school. This movie also has the distinction of being the debut of Cameron Diaz. It’s based on a Dark Horse comic, and it’s typically thought of as more of a zany comedy rather than a superhero movie, but it works for me.

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Thor: Tales of Asgard

Thor: Tales of Asgard 2011

I was originally considering to do a mini-marathon of the DC animated movies after the response to my Green Lantern: First Flight post, but at our most recent trip to the rental store, my wife picked up this movie from the free kids movies section so I figured I might as well watch it. I really had no idea what to expect when I started it, all I knew was the tagline saying something about before there was a hammer, there was a sword. So I knew I was in for a prequel of sorts. I thought it covered a lot of the same grounds as the live action movie, and it had a lot of references to the movie, but in other places it went in a completely different direction. I generally liked it and so did Jena, but it seemed like a really odd choice for an animated movie. Especially when you consider the DVD cover which I chose not to picture because not only does it look nothing like the actual animation, but it appears to be an adult Thor, when the movie is about essentially a teenaged Thor. It’s still worth a watch if you’re a fan of Thor or the animated DC movies. It’s also a PG movie rather than a PG-13 and while it does cover some adult themes such as death and war, it does so without any blood, so it’s appropriate for younger viewers as well.

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The Avengers

The Avengers 2012

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen and read a dozen reviews of The Avengers already. This is one of them. I probably won’t say anything you haven’t already heard before but at least I’ve watched over 40 superhero movies already this year so while I may not be an expert, I may see things at a slightly different angle having seen so many similar movies. But let me just cut to the point here, it was awesome. It was better than any of the Marvel lead ups and while it may not have taken the top spot for my favorite superhero movie of all time, it’s definitely made it into the top 10. But first let me do a quick rundown in case you haven’t actually seen the Avengers yet and would rather pick one or two out of the five lead-in movies to watch first to prepare. If you want more information about the Tesseract, the big blue macguffin that everyone is after then watch Captain America to see what it’s capable of. If you want to learn more about the main villain of the movie, watch Thor to learn why he’s doing what he’s doing, and you also get a hint of the aliens in the universe even if it’s not the exact same ones. If you want to see more from S.H.I.E.L.D., watch Iron Man 2 to see how they began preparing for the Avengers Initiative and a hint of what Black Widow is capable of.

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