The first time I saw Thor, I hated it, but then again the first time I saw it my only other experience of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was Iron Man, which I still hate even as a fan. I thought the story was stupid, the acting hammy and the entire point of why they had even made the film was something to do with the Avengers, which to me meant nothing. They weren’t the X-men, so I just didn’t care.
I think the only reason I even watched the film was because my other half wanted to because he had friends at work who were already massive Marvel fans, and I just went with it. I wasn’t being forced to watch horror, gore or zombies, and I got some good crocheting done.
Needless to say, now I am a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I had a lot more respect for the film than I did the first time I saw it. I still think the acting is a little hammy in places, but I do know now having learn more about the original source material, that portraying an arrogant god-like prince isn’t easy and Chris Hemsworth could have been a lot worse, and the story of him learning humility isn’t all that bad in truth.
It’s still not the greatest film ever made in the Marvel Universe, but in order to appreciate what they are trying to do you do have to remember one very key and crucial fact; that the film is set in the Marvel Universe. It isn’t set in our world, and our reality, it is set in the reality of the Marvel Universe, as created by decades of comic books.
One of the things I had really hated the first time I had watched Thor was the ridiculous gibberish they were getting Natalie Portman to talk about. I hated that the portrayal of a scientist was being undermined with nonsense and that they had used a woman to make the blow a little less harsh. However, when you remember that it’s set in the Marvel Universe, where things are different, then what Natalie Portman’s character is actually studying physics and how they the rules of physics work within the context of how the Marvel Universe works.
The other thing that I could start to appreciate more in Thor, than I ever could in Iron Man 2 (mainly because the ego of Iron Man got in the way of you being able to appreciate it) is that the wider Marvel Universe is beginning to be seen. Thor represents for me the beginning of the interconnection of the Marvel characters and how their stories were beginning to get woven together to form a bigger picture. Fine I know Black Widow and Fury are in Iron Man 2, and it is the beginning of the idea of the Avengers being formed then, but its only in Thor where you begin to see the potential of everybody joining together to fight a bad guy. Thor is the beginning of that, because in Iron Man 2 at the point when it was released you only knew about Iron Man. In Thor you see the wider Marvel Universe begin to emerge.
You also get to meet Loki. To get this out of the way now, fine I have a crush on Tom Hiddleston so naturally I’m going to like his character. Except I developed a crush on him because I listened to him recite poetry, and it spiralled from there. And this was long after I had first seen Thor.
In truth the only thing I had liked the first time I’d seen Thor was the villain, Loki, simply because while some of his motivations have to do with power, and lot of the reason why he turns out to be misguided is because he was misguided by Odin. ‘You were both born to be king, yet only one of you can be my heir’ – yeah if I’d been raised with that in mind I would have begun to plot how to get the only other eligible heir, who has been assumed to be the next king seemingly without any argument about why Loki isn’t also a contender, out of the way as well.
Loki also keeps his cards very close to his chest. In many ways he is the perfect villain, especially for the audience to watch, because you just don’t know what he’s planning. The occasional glimpse of a wicked smile is the only hint you get that’s he’s up to something, and because it is Loki, all you know until it happens is that it will be spectacular.
So while, my first impressions of the film weren’t brilliant, I have warmed to it a great deal over the years. For me it is the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, by the grace that Thor doesn’t irritate me as much as Tony Stark does, and Loki is easily the greatest Marvel villain (so far….).