Thor, his warrior friends, and his brother Loki, after an invasion of Asgard by a few rogue Ice Giants, and against his father’s wishes, Thor invades the Ice Giant plane and serious messes them up. That is, until, Odin shows up and takes them out of there. After he does, Odin takes all of Thor’s powers away and then banishes him to Midgard (aka Earth). But, when Loki’s involved, things are not always what they seem.
I felt the visuals were very impressive, in fact, the cinematography and SFX are probably the best in the MCU up to this point. I felt the action scenes, when they were actually happening, were very well done and make for some very exciting moments. Chris Hemsworth makes a good Thor for the MCU, and Tom Hiddleston makes a great Loki. Also this is the only origin movie where the bad guy isn’t just trying to steal the good guys powers and then they have a big CGi fight at the end. Well, the CGi fight still happens, it’s just not with a power-clone of Thor. I mean, how could it be? There’s only one Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer).
With all that in mind, here’s all the problems with this movie. First off, and most apparent, it feels like two movies crashed into each other, there’s one going on in Asgard with Loki usurping the throne with his cleverness and other on Earth with Natalie Portman discovering Bifrost, a Rainbow Bridge that leads between the two dimensions, and then finding Thor as she and her team literally crash into him, with SHIELD tracking the Hammer as it crash lands in New Mexico. One “movie” feels like a good self-contained film, the other feels like something that they forced in there to set up the Avengers. I feel either story could have been a lot better if they just dropped off the other plotline to focus on just one. Either that or just make the transitions between both storylines less jarring. I mean, on one end we have something more akin to Lord of the Rings or a Shakespearean play, and the other is a fish out of water story (sort of) as Thor fiddles his way through Earth culture, though he doesn’t actually learn anything so it’s not really the same.
Okay the rest of the problems are less apparent so I’ll just list them as I think of them. Thor’s Asgardian friends don’t get any characterization at all. This makes them so forgettable I actually forgot they were in a scene as I was watching it.
The Thor getting his hammer storyline was so inconsequential I felt you could cut it down to about five minutes, cut out Jane and her scientist friends, cut out the unnecessary romance plot, or the unnecessary Hawkeye cameo. The driving-force of the film was Loki realizing his past is a lie and then taking over Asgard and Thor has to stop him. Such little happens in the Earth segments, despite them taking up half the film, the only interesting part comes at the end when Thor fights that robot dude.
The big bad just comes out of nowhere. That’s it really, Loki summons him and sends him to Earth. No backstory, and no actual story either.
Thor’s a bit dumber than he is in the comics. That’s not really a complaint, as he isn’t the same Thor (canonically the comic book universe is Universe-616 and the MCU is Universe-199999) but if you are a fan of Thor comics you might a bit “what?” about a few of his actions. Again, this one isn’t a complaint.
+6: Better than Iron Man 2, at least…
+1: Loki and Thor are both very well cast
+1: Really amazing cinematography and special effects
+0.5: This doesn’t really deserve any points, but this is the only film in the MCU that doesn’t have a bad guy copying the good guy’s powers in some way
-2: Two movies thrown together so hard it’s painful
-1: Thor’s four friends could have been cut and no one would miss them since we hardly even know they’re there
-0.5: The big bad just comes out of nowhere and is defeated to quickly to even feel like a threat