The Road To Infinity War-Part 4: Thor (2011)
In week 4, Marvel takes one of its first risks in adapting Thor to the big screen. I’ll freely admit I was not a big fan of Thor in his comic form outside of the Avengers. I tried his various solo titles throughout the years and while I enjoyed some of his earlier runs, Thor was never essential reading week to week. I was interested very much in what Marvel would do on the big screen and if it would hold my interest.
Marvel brought in Kenneth Branagh to direct the thunder gods first outing and their is so much to enjoy here! While this is clearly Thor’s movie, it’s probably Tom Hiddleston’s Loki that left the biggest impression. In later appearances, Loki is one of the only MCU villains to have a story arc that still continues today. Heimdall, played by Idris Elba, became a fan favorite and of course Anthony Hopkins who naturally brings Odin to life with little effort.
In terms of style, Thor makes Asgard very bright and shiny, showcasing Asgard at the height of its power. We don’t get much of a look beyond Odin and his court, but it it’s still impressive. One of the things that never really made sense to me about the Thor comic is what place, if any, does Asgard have in the cosmic Marvel Universe. It’s always seemingly existed in its own realm, away from other identifiable locations in the universe. The initial movie iteration does little to clarify things, invoking the idea of the World’s Tree and travel via Bifrost.
Odin’s vault deep inside Asgard, which if done in today’s MCU, may have served more than a clever Easter egg hunt. Throwing items in like Doctor Strange’s Eye Of Agamotto and the Infinity Gauntlet, while fun at the time, proved a bit short sighted. Sure, let’s skip the all powerful Infinity Gauntlet and go for the glorified ice maker.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a few moments to discuss the score by Patrick Doyle. In all of Phase One, Thor’s soundtrack is my favorite. Tracks like “Sons of Odin”, “The Compound”, “Thor Kills the Destroyer”, and “Can you see Jane?” each put your mind right into those scenes. It’s a very rousing, fun score that I listen to frequently at home.
Thor is a fun movie that, unlike Iron Man 2, has a wonderful story that doesn’t overly rely on setting up future films in the MCU. It’s there, but not obtrusive. Thor and the various supporting characters bring something different and exciting to the Marvel Universe, which for some of them is not the case for their future appearances.
HOW IT CONNECTS TO AVENGERS INFINITY WAR: The end credits scene leads directly in the Avengers with Loki appearing in some form of projection, eyeing the Tesseract.