Thor (Marvel Cinematic Universe #4) (MCU Phase 1 #4)

Thor is an odd sort of movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On one hand, it’s our first foray into the more ‘magical’ side of the universe, with ancient Gods and the like. Although in this universe, we’re led to believe that it’s really just highly advanced science. On the other hand, despite a worlds spanning plot (literally, 3 of them), it still feels oddly … small.

Plotwise… it’s weird. We’re supposed to believe that Odin is over a thousand years old and Thor is… just now coming into his kingship now? How long does it take for them to grow up? And Asgardians at some level can die in battle, but in others handle getting thrown around and hit by cars just fine? It’s just… a little weird. The idea of Thor being a spoiled young man and having to show his worthiness is a solid enough plot (and a common enough Thor origin story); although it all comes together a mite quickly for him. And then the final battle–while it looks cool enough I guess, it’s all feels like they could have used a bit more time and money to fill things in a bit more.

Castingwise, as always they pretty much nailed everyone in this film. Chris Hemsworth is a wonderful(ly jacked) Thor, Tom Hiddleston steals the show as Loki, Natalie Portman does a great job as a slightly distractable scientist with Stellan Skarsgård as her older, weirder mentor, Kat Dennings' just-in-it-for-the-credit Darcy is wonderful (as she was/will be in WandaVision). Even Sif and the warriors three were well done, as criminally underused as they ended up being. Likewise, Idris Elba really works as Heimdall, but you could just feel so much more than what he got to do.

Honestly, I think the weakest casting (and I’m not sure how many others think this) was Anthony Hopkins as Odin. He certainly has the presence to play the role, but something about it just felt a little … off.

Overall, it’s a solid enough movie, but still near the bottom of barrel for movies thus far this year / in the MCU, about equal with the Incredible Hulk. So it goes.