Review – Thor (2011)
Thor, The Favourite Avenger? Why is he such a universal fan favourite? Is it because he is a powerful God, an old Norse deity come to life? Because he can control such beautiful and deadly thunder storms with the help of his hammer Mjölnir? Is it the way he is portrayed on screen by Chris Hemsworth? Or is it something else entirely?
Thor, the character
I will be the first to admit that I have a personal bias when it comes to Thor’s popularity. I adore the Thor movies and the character himself, but as I sat down to rewatch and Review Thor (2011) (for what I can only imagine must be the 600th time) I was struck with a sudden moment of panic. What do I write about? I could see little purpose to a generic review of the movie as it is a decade old and surely any reader will have already watched and, most likely, rewatched this movie.
So instead of focusing on the movies script (which is brilliantly complex in its ability to seamlessly follow Thor’s character arc and Loki’s cunning betrayal). Or the set design (which manages to capture both the etherealness of Asgard and the commonality of a small American town, playing the two extremes off each other in harmony). Or the casting choices (could we ever picture anyone else playing these characters on the big screen?). I am instead going to focus this review on the main character himself.
Thor, the favourite avenger? If you were not already privy to my own love for the character surely such a title would have let you in on that closely guarded secret. Surely the title is nothing more than my own biases shining through. While I agree that such titles as favourite are subjective to the holder, I am far from the only one who views Thor as their favourite avenger. In scouring the Internet for inspiration for this article I came across several ranking lists for the marvel universes many characters. I cannot say I was surprised to see Thor among the top three time and time again, but it did make me wonder.
What is it about Thor that makes him so popular?
The God of Thunder
Is it because he is a powerful God? An old Norse deity come to life? Because he can control such beautiful and deadly thunder storms with the help of his hammer Mjolnir? Is it the way he is portrayed on screen by Chris Hemsworth? Or is it something else entirely?
I believe the best explanation, at least when it comes to my own love for the character, is displayed perfectly in this movie. Thor is my favourite avenger because, despite being a literal God, he is one of the most human characters in the marvel universe. What makes him seem so human is not only his character flaws. It is his ability to overcome them and grow to become a better version of himself.
Thor starts off the movie as a hot headed, war hungry, arrogant God. He sees nothing but his own views and his own greatness, claiming the victories of others to fuel his own ego. Then he is cast out by his father and, in the blink of an eye, is severed from his own power and supposed greatness. Throughout the movie we watch him struggle to navigate an unknown environment, completely powerless. Through that struggle he grows into a humbled man. He let’s go of his belief that he is better and stronger than those around him. He becomes softer, kinder, and in many ways stronger.
“I wanted to get a part that was unpredictable because as people we’re unpredictable. You want to surprise an audience, and challenge their interpretation or views on who they think the character is. It makes the character certainly more interesting to watch, and certainly the script allowed for room to do that.”Chris Hemsworth, Direct Conversations
The Favourite Avenger
The movie ends with a Thor that is unrecognisable from the one we started with. He has become a selfless, compassionate protector. Sacrificing himself to save innocent lives. Fighting to save the very people he himself wanted to destroy at the start of the movie. Giving up his desire to be with the one he loves when he destroys the Bifrost to save Jötunheim. Thor’s ability as a character to adapt, grow and change so much in the span of one movie without it coming across to the viewer as insincere or rushed is what won me over and earn Thor the title of my favourite avenger.
Is Thor your favourite avenger? will you go revisit this classic after reading our Review of Thor (2011) Let us know your thoughts on this article in the comments bellow!
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