Its strange looking back on these movies after the success that The Avengers movie was. My main complaint with this film and Captain America (more so with Captain America) was that they didn’t really offer anything new or exciting as superhero origin films. They used the same superhero origin movie checklist that most others used; average man becomes hero, fails at first attempt, learns valuable lesson then succeeds now he is a better person. Add a female character in trouble and you have most superhero origin movies, which just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Thor is slightly different but not by much. He already has his “super powers” and is a fully fledged hero but then we get the normal stereotypes beginning to creep in. He loses his powers, he has to learn a valuable lesson, he learns this lesson, regains his powers and becomes a better hero because of it.
Thor does have an advantage that Captain America never really took advantage of; the duck-out-of-water element. A Norse God living amongst humans offers fantastic opportunity for humour and I laugh everytime Thor throws down his cup of coffee and asks for another. Captain America could have placed Steve Rogers in the modern world a lot earlier so we could see his struggles and some of the humour coming out of that situation.
If we are continuing to compare Thor to the rest of The Avengers films, I think he is also the superhero with the best supporting cast. He got the best villain from the whole series, so good he was used for The Avengers film itself, but also a brilliant supporting cast of heroes, which get to add a bit more depth to his character and some great humour. I’m hoping we get to see a lot more of these characters in the second film.
In fact, the second film will hopefully be a chance to build on an aspect of Thor that was under-used; Asgard itself. Thor’s homeworld looked fantastic and the fight with the Frost Giants in the first part of the film is probably the best part of the whole movie. It demonstrates that there is a lot more potential for a good story to be told in this world and I’m hoping the sequel takes that opportunity, especially if Captain America is going to be a film set in and around the modern world.
Another positive of all The Avengers film’s has been the casting and Thor is no exception. Chris Hemsworth is perfect as Thor, balancing the gravitas needed to play a Norse God with the cheeky, immature side that makes him a likable hero. He is just about bettered as Tom Hiddleston as Loki, who probably has slightly more to do, really selling his motivation for being evil. Anthony Hopkins as Odin speaks for himself, while Natalie Portman does a reasonable enough job as Jane Foster without having much more to do than look confused, scared and angry. I’m hoping she has a lot more to do and contribute to the sequel too.
Compared to the rest of the films that set the foundations for The Avenger’s movie, Thor is probably the best one. I still stand by the fact that they should all have had the same sequel opportunity that Iron Man received but this complaint loses its strength considering how good The Avengers actually was. I just hope they manage to build on the strengths of the original film and produce the usual, amazing superhero sequel.
Overall, Thor is a decent enough film that does what it needs to. It has a basic origin plot, which we have seen loads of times before. It balances the action and humour just right and demonstrates great potential for the sequel. The cast is fantastic and considering the outcome of this movie was The Avengers, there isn’t much I can criticise in retrospect.
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)