(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing the title "Thor" from the trailer for this film)
Doug (vo): So, out of all the Marvel superheroes that were gonna get their movies, the one I was probably the most concerned about was "Thor".
Doug (vo): Because...with all the other superheroes, it kind of made sense. They get superpowers, or they are based on technology, or they create stuff. (Pictures of Thor from original Marvel comics are shown) Thor was a god. How do you do that? And on top of that, his design was always kind of weird. He had a helmet with these weird wings on it. I just remembered thinking to myself, "Oh, man. This is gonna be the one. This is the one that people are just gonna roll their eyes at and say, "Sorry, Marvel. We can't do this. It's just too goofy."."
(A picture of Kenneth Branagh, the director of the movie, is shown)
Doug (vo): But they made the very clever choice of assigning Kenneth Branagh to direct it. (Posters for "Henry V", "Dead Again", and the 2015 remake of "Cinderella" are shown) Now, this is a guy that hasn't really done any superhero movies and, to be fair, he can be kinda hit and miss, (A shot of wedding scene from "Hamlet" (1996) is shown briefly) but he's got mad talent, and everything he does is huge.
(And then, we are treated to trailer clips and screenshots from "Thor")
Doug (vo): And this movie is no exception. This is a gigantic-looking film. Suddenly, the idea of Marvel telling the story of a god sounds unbelievable.
(Thor and Odin, played by Chris Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins respectively, are shown. After that, we see one of the screenshots, showing the beautifully designed Asgard)
Doug (vo): Look at Thor. He looks amazing. Look at Odin. He looks amazing! Look at this environment! It's freaking phenomenal! Which is why it's really ironic that the least impressive part of this movie is what Marvel usually does well: the interaction with the real world.
Doug (vo): Yep. They just decide to make this a "fish out of water" story, with Thor pissing off his father Odin and Odin banishing him to the world of Earth, taking away his powers. He spends his time befriending a group of scientists, one of them played by Natalie Portman, learning how to be a true humble hero, and figuring out how to get back to stop his sinister brother Loki from taking over the throne.
Doug (vo): So on the one hand, you might think this stuff where he goes to Earth is beyond painful, and to its credit...it's not. Is it...good? Well, I don't know if I can say that. But much like Iron Man, a lot of the likability comes from the charm of the main actor.
(Footage and stills of Chris Hemsworth as Thor is shown)
Doug (vo): Chris Hemsworth is a perfect Thor. He can be cocky, but likeably naive. He has a lot of anger, but you know deep down he's a gentle guy. And most importantly of all, he adapts. I'm so sick of these movies where the fish out of water just stays stuff and then never wants to change anything. But this guy, he's a warrior, he's fought in battles. So when he throws a cup of coffee on the ground demanding more and they tell him that's not how they do things here, he doesn't demand an explanation or act like a spoiled brat, he says, "Okay." This is what makes the movie work. He actually evolves, he actually changes. Because of this, we can stomach a lot more the traditional stuff, which, with that being said, it is pretty traditional.
(More characters, the film's action scenes, and the world of Asgard are shown)
Doug (vo): The love interest and side characters on Earth are not very interesting, the battle scenes are kind of standard, and, yeah, was this the best story you could've done with the idea of Thor? Probably not. But luckily, they do often cut back to the world of the gods, and every time it does, it looks amazing. You feel the gigantic size and weight of this again, even though it never loses track that it's still a comic book movie, in my opinion, maybe one of the greatest-looking comic book movies ever. Does the story make a whole lot of sense? Not particularly. Is it especially engaging? No, there's nothing really that new. But the way it's acted and the way it's shown makes it a lot of fun. I wish they didn't have to do this story when he travels to Earth, but it's...passable, and any time it's not on Earth, it's really friggin' cool. We do get a few battles in this realm, and we do feel this frustration between the brothers Loki and Thor.
(A still of Loki is shown)
Doug (vo): And, though, maybe kind of awkwardly and overtime, Loki does become a pretty good villain. I guess you could still look at all this and say it's still pretty silly, but it's just so epically silly. I love how seriously everybody is taking this. Look at the expressions on their faces, look at these visuals. This looks like something out of some grand mythology.
Final thought Edit
Doug (vo): So I guess the best way I can describe it is, "If you want to see Thor being Thor, you'll get it." You just got to wait through some predictable standard stuff. But as that predictable standard stuff goes, it's not as bad as you would think. Is it needed? Probably not, but again, remembering the time period this came out, it's not like everybody was just ready to accept a Thor movie. This was probably the best compromise you could get at the time. The grand stuff is still grand, and it sucks me into its world. Do I wish there was more of it? Hell, yeah. But for what I got, I really enjoyed it. Yes, they could've used more action and even more exploration of these worlds, but for what I thought I was gonna get, I was thoroughly impressed. Not the best by any means, but impressive enough for me.
(The scene showing how people travel from Asgard to Earth and the other way around is shown)