Thor (MCU)

Courage is immortal
Courage is immortal
THOR (12)
D: Kenneth Branagh
Paramount/Marvel (Kevin Feige)
US 2011
114 mins


W: Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne, J. Michael Straczynski & Mark Protosevich [based on the comic book by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby]
DP: Haris Zambarloukos
Ed: Paul Rubell
Mus: Patrick Doyle

Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Tom Hiddlestone (Loki), Stellan Skarsgård (Erik Selvig), Colm Feore (Laufey), Ray Stevenson (Volstagg), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Kat Dennings (Darcy Lewis), Rene Russo (Frigga), Anthony Hopkins (Odin)

The choice of director may have been a strange one at the time of release, but Kenneth Branagh makes a very decent stab at the superhero subgenre. In fact, Thor is every bit as good as other recent superhero flicks Captain America, Iron Man, X-Men, et al, and sets up the characters perfectly for the Avengers Assemble (qv) movie.
This origin tale sees the powerful but arrogant God of Thunder outcast from his home planet of Asgard and banished to Earth where he must learn humility. He only does so when he falls in love, thus placing the needs of others above his own.
Chris Hemsworth is very impressive in his breakthrough performance as the title character, whilst Natalie Portman provides a convincing love interest. Anthony Hopkins is Anthony Hopkins.
There's a little bit of Flash Gordon campiness and the story has been done in various forms before, but still it's a great introduction of an iconic comic book character yet to make his big screen appearance.


D: Alan Taylor
Disney/Marvel (Kevin Feige)
US 2013
112 mins


W: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Robert Rodat & Don Payne [based on the comic book by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby]
DP: Kramer Morgenthau
Ed: Dan Lebental & Wyatt Smith
Mus: Brian Tyler

Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Tom Hiddlestone (Loki), Stellan Skarsgård (Erik Solvig), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Christopher Ecclestone (Malekith), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Algrim/ Kurse), Kat Dennings (Darcy Lewis)

An okay sequel to the first film which follows on from the events in 2012's Avengers Assemble.

It's important to watch the preceding movies, but not imperative (as it should be). Of course, it always helps to be familiar with the comic book character.

With Loki in the dungeons and Thor about to take his throne, the people of his kingdom face an invisible enemy who wish to destroy the universe as we know it.

In truth, the plot is a load of mumbo-jumbo, but it sees characters from the original film returning, including Natalie Portman as Thor's bit of fluff.

The action set pieces are what make the movie worth watching and it sets up the third movie nicely.


Chris Hemsworth in Thor: The Dark World
Chris Hemsworth in Thor: The Dark World


D: Taika Waititi

Disney/Marvel (Kevin Feige)

US 2017

130 mins

Fantasy/Science Fiction/Adventure

W: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost [based on characters created by Stan Lee & Larry Lieber]

DP: Javier Aguirresarobe

Ed: Joel Negron & Zene Baker

Mus: Mark Mothersbaugh

Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Cate Blanchett (Hela), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner / Hulk), Karl Urban (Skurge), Jeff Goldblum (The Grandmaster)

The third Thor movie and 17th of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is up amongst the better superhero movies and is certainly the best of Thor's individual adventures.

The action and adventure commences immediately, with Thor defeating a fire demon to prevent the fabled Ragnarok (a prophecy foretelling the end of Asgard, Thor's home planet). 

On his return home, he discovers that his mischievous brother Loki has been impersonating their father, and has allowed their world to become vulnerable to attack. 

They visit Earth to locate their father, and are met by their older sister, Hela, The Goddess of War, who takes over their home and leaves Thor stranded on a junkyard planet where he becomes involved in gladiatorial combat for a dictatorial leader's entertainment. 

Thor: Ragnarok had plenty of action, adventure and comic relief to entertain throughout its duration, and sticks closely enough to the source material to keep fanboys happy.

Some of the visual effects aren't quite as polished as others (the giant dog looks rather poor), but the Incredible Hulk effects have never looked better.

As always, a post-credit sequence offers a teaser for the next in the series of films (2018's The Avengers: Infinity War). One minor gripe is that Natalie Portman's character is lazily written out, replaced by Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie, who many fans seemed to like, but I found her character irksome and the performance serviceable at best.

If anything, the film is too fun for its own good, but I don't really see anything wrong with that.


Thor: Ragnarok
Thor: Ragnarok


D: Taika Waititi

Disney / Marvel (Kevin Feige & Brad Winderbaum)

US 🇺🇸 2022

119 mins

Fantasy/Science Fiction/Adventure

W: Taika Waititi & Jennifer Kaytin Robinson [based on characters created by Stan Lee & Larry Lieber]

DP: Barry Idoine

Ed: Matthew Schmidt, Peter S. Elliot, Tim Roche & Jennifer Vecchiarello

Mus: Michael Giacchino & Nami Melumad

Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster / The Mighty Thor), Christian Bale (Gorr), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Taika Waititi (Korg), Russell Crowe (Zeus)

Following the critical and commercial success of the third Thor film (Thor: Ragnarok) returning director Taika Waititi was given carte blanche for this fourth Thor movie, the 29th overall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  In hindsight, perhaps it was poor judgement, since the filmmaker’s strengths ultimately lie in absurdist comedies rather than superhero movies, and the reason Ragnarok was so well-received was because the second film (Thor: The Dark World) was seen by many as a disappointment.

This starts positively enough, following Thor, the God of Thunder, as he goes on various quests with the Guardians of the Galaxy, where he soon tires of battle and travels home to New Asgard on Earth, which has become a tourist attraction with some questionable production design.

He comes under threat when Gorr, a killer of gods, seeks revenge for the loss of his daughter, hellbent on ridding the universe of all its gods.

Also entering the fray is Thor’s former love interest Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who is deemed worthy of wielding Thor’s hammer and becoming “The Mighty Thor” because she’s suffering from terminal cancer.

Her entrance results in Thor reduced to becoming a bumbling, clumsy idiot who still manages to save the day more by luck than judgement.

The film is ultimately a complete mess because of a clash of comedy style with serious themes and Waititi’s direction seem intent of making this a parody of itself, rather than respecting the origins of the comic book character or even Norse mythology.

Personally, I think the MCU should have concluded with Avengers: Endgame as everything since, more or less, has felt like overkill.  Obviously, the franchise still has bankability to give it more mileage, but they really need to stop with the conveyor belt pace at which they’re developed, as it’s beginning to get rushed and lazy here, with this effort encapsulating both descriptions.  This is easily the most disappointing entry out of the 29 films thus far, with too much focus on irreverent comedy, identity politics and a complete disdain for the fans who have brought it this far.  I really wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t.


Thor: Love & Thunder
Thor: Love & Thunder