This week I made my wife watch through the first two Thor movies in preparation for seeing the new one and I was reminded of something I had forgotten. The Thor movies are really good.
I thought back to when the first Thor was announced and how I didn’t really care about it. This is before Marvel had taken a lot of risk with their movies. Movies like Guardians and Ant-Man hadn’t come out to prove that Marvel could sell me on a hero I knew nothing about, so I went in expecting just to watch a movie that happened to tie into the MCU.
Honestly, Thor quickly drew me in and still remains high on my list of favorites with Thor Ragnarok taking the cake, almost beating every other MCU movie.
But what was so good about it? How had I been drawn into the Thor series in the way that I was? Well, I’ve been wracking my brain on that all week and I think I have a few answers.
Surprised by Thor: The World
I know I’m not the only one to find the world of Asgard to be beautiful. Even back when the first Thor movie came out the effects were stunning and the mythical realm was bright, pretty, and very fitting of the comic.
But something stood out to me on this run that actually took my mind to a different place:
Lord of the Rings.
Hear me out. Way back, I learned that Tolkien was emulating Norse mythology when he wrote The Lord of the Rings. So it stands to reason that they might feel similar to me. But think back to the first Thor. Those battle scenes in the beginning would fit right into Middle Earth.
Heck, if you just threw in a Cate Blanchett narration it would feel even more similar. I don’t even know if the director thought about this connection but this time around it stuck out to me in a way it never had before.
One sure fire way to hold people to a new world is to give them points to hold onto, and for this LOTR fan this one was perfect.
The “Small” Bad
My wife coined this phrase but I’m stealing it. While we were watching Thor 2 my wife said to me, “Loki’s like a small bad”. I laughed because I’m pretty sure I taught her the phrase “big bad” but she’s not wrong.
One of the things that holds me is the interaction between Thor and Loki. As a nerd who grew up actually reading Norse mythology for fun I love the constant trickery Loki gets into.
I also love the brotherly rivalry between them and it reminds me of the back and forth between Magneto and Professor X, which is honestly my favorite part of X-men.
I LOVED Loki in the newest movie and I hope for the series sake that they keep using him in new ways so that it won’t get too stale because the two characters on screen just works! Using Loki in this way allows for there to be bigger problems and still have little tiny ones that get in the way allowing for more drama and tension in the stories.
I will say I didn’t love it in Dark World as much as Ragnarok but it was mostly because of the last thing that makes me love this series.
Surprised by Thor: The Comedy
These movies are just plain funny, especially Ragnarok. I think the reason the Thor/Loki thing wasn’t AS good in Dark World is because that movie tried really hard to be so Dark. I get that, given the title, but I think we can all agree the newest movie was better for making every joke that it possibly could at all times.
So in conclusion…I still don’t care about the Thor comics. I still don’t find him that intriguing of a character. But the MCU doesn’t really exist to make me do those things. It exists to introduce me to a character and have me come back to see more movies. Which I will do every time. It surprises me a little every time too, but Marvel really does know what they are doing.