Saturday, July 3, 2021

Film Review - Thor (2011)

Title: Thor
Publisher: Marvel Studios
Year: 2011
Rating: 1 of 5 stars. 

Yeah, I review movies now. 

Thor is my all time favorite Avenger. A Thor comic book was the first I ever bought. My favorite superhero in general is Beta Ray Bill, who is just a different sort of Thor. So it is with great shame that I have to admit Thor is one of the worst films in the MCU. Not the bottom, but close to it. 

But because of this film, this is what I do on Wednesday. 

And here lies the rub. 

Everything wrong with Thor has nothing to do with the story, the production values, or the actors. The name is wrong. It should have been called Loki. For that one little change, I would give this exact same film, 4 or 5 stars. 

The title is the only problem. It's not about Thor at all. It's about Loki. Where titular hero should be the one who grows, he does not. He frozen throughout the film. In fact, not only Thor not the protagonist, he's not even Thor for most of the film. Thor is full of great things and of himself. Which does not make a good film or character. 

A character needs to be brought to life by more than the light of the projector. In this movie, who's origin story do we get? 

Loki's, right from the first 10-15 minutes. 

When Odin is preparing his children to be king, who doesn't want to be a childish warlord and who wants to be a ruler? Loki. You can see even young Loki knows better than Thor how to deal with people. You don't go around picking fights, even when you have an excuse. 

Who had flaws to be corrected? Thor who stands before the assembled court of Odin or Loki who is in Thor's shadow? Well, Loki. Thor doesn't realize that his large ham behavior is not valued by Odin. 

But Loki's flaws are bigger. The disapproval that Odin has for Thor is interpreted by Loki to extend to himself. He is a bit of the definition of a narcissist, but had a few atypical traits such is self-reflection. Additionally, you can see that Loki knows his father is not entirely comfortable giving his own child, his first born the title of heir-apparent. Of course, Loki being Loki thinks he isn't even in the running. He is overwhelmed by Odin's disdain and worry. 

Loki evolves, Loki changes. Thor does not. Sure, Jane and Thor had a love story, which is as hamfisted as Thor is. There really seems to be no chemistry between the characters. He also takes a moment to assume a role of protector and guardian to the townspeople, but even that seems contrived. 

However, Loki's defense of his people is more nuanced. He becomes more like Thor, doing things that make him feel good in the moment as opposed to actually being good or wise. In the end, Loki was in it for the win, which by his own standard, he did. He crushed every obstacle in his path including Thor and Odin. Yes, it appears that he dies in the end, but that is exactly how a narcissist behaves. He suffered nothing and left everyone else wondering "what next?" And wham! Does he delivery.  

It's why Loki an anti-hero as opposed to villain and why Thor makes a lousy hero in this film.

You can pick up the DVD at Amazon, which funds this site. 



Or you can do the better thing and get a Disney Plus subscription, which is just free advice. Personally, I have the bundle with Hulu and ESPN which is about the same as buying a DVD a month. 

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