Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One Rewatch: Thor

Back on the old site, I wrote a few articles following a rewatch of the Marvel Cinamatic Universe. Here are those articles again.

Title: Thor

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Written by: Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz and Don Payne

Chatacters created by: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby

US Release Date: May 6, 2011

Budget: $150,000,000

Worldwide Box office: $449,300,000

Returning characters: Agent Phil Coulson

Summary: In 965 AD, Odin wages war against the Frost Giants to prevent them from conquering the nine realms, starting with Earth. The Asgardian warriors defeat the Frost Giants and seize the source of their power, the Casket of Ancient Winters.


In the present, Odin’s son Thor prepares to ascend to the throne of Asgard, but is interrupted when Frost Giants attempt to retrieve the Casket. Against Odin’s order, Thor travels to Jotunheim to confront Laufey, accompanied by his brother Loki, childhood friend Sif and the Warriors Three: Volstagg, Fandral, and Hogun. A battle ensues until Odin intervenes to save the Asgardians, destroying the fragile truce between the two races.

For Thor’s arrogance, Odin strips his son of his godly power and exiles him to Earth as a mortal, accompanied by his hammer Mjolnir, now protected by an enchantment that allows only the worthy to wield it. Thor lands in New Mexico, where astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster, her assistant Darcy Lewis, and mentor Dr. Erik Selvig, find him. The local populace finds Mjolnir, which Phil Coulson soon commandeers before forcibly acquiring Jane’s data about the wormhole that delivered Thor to Earth.


Thor, having discovered Mjolnir’s nearby location, seeks to retrieve it from the facility that SHIELD quickly constructed but he finds himself unable to lift it, and is captured. With Selvig’s help, he is freed and resigns himself to exile on Earth as he develops a romance with Jane. Loki discovers that he is actually Laufey’s son, adopted by Odin after the war ended. A weary Odin falls into the deep “Odinsleep” to recover his strength. Loki seizes the throne in Odin’s stead and offers Laufey the chance to kill Odin and retrieve the Casket.


Sif and the Warriors Three, unhappy with Loki’s rule, attempt to return Thor from exile, convincing Heimdall, gatekeeper of the Bifröst to allow them passage to Earth. Aware of their plan, Loki sends the Destroyer, a seemingly indestructible automaton, to pursue them and kill Thor. The warriors find Thor, but the Destroyer attacks and defeats them, prompting Thor to offer himself instead. Struck by the Destroyer and near death, Thor’s sacrifice proves him worthy to wield Mjolnir. The hammer returns to him, restoring his powers and enabling him to defeat the Destroyer.

Kissing Jane goodbye and vowing to return, he and his fellow Asgardians leave to confront Loki. In Asgard, Loki betrays and kills Laufey, revealing his true plan to use Laufey’s attempt on Odin’s life as an excuse to destroy Jotunheim with the Bifröst Bridge, thus proving himself worthy to his adoptive father. Thor arrives and fights Loki before destroying the Bifröst Bridge to stop Loki’s plan, stranding himself in Asgard. Odin awakens and prevents the brothers from falling into the abyss created in the wake of the bridge’s destruction, but Loki allows himself to fall when Odin rejects his pleas for approval. Thor makes amends with Odin, admitting he is not ready to be king; while on Earth, Jane and her team search for a way to open a portal to Asgard.


MCU Continuity Nods: Dr. Selvig mentions a comrade who got mixed up with SHIELD, whom he described as “a pioneer in gamma radiation”; this alludes to Bruce Banner. A deleted scene also has him mention Hank Pym. When the Destroyer appears on Earth, the SHIELD agents speculate that it could belong to Tony Stark. The Norwegian village seen in the flashback is the same one the Red Skull invades to steal the Tesseract. When Thor is attacking the SHIELD compound, one of the agents is Hawkeye


Easter Eggs: The artifacts seen in the Asgard weapons vault are of various mystical objects seen in the Marvel comics. They are: the Tablet of Life and Time, the Orb of Agamotto, the Warlock’s Eye, the Eternal Flame, the Casket of Ancient Winters, and the Infinity Gauntlet. In Thor: Ragnarok, Hela knocks over the gauntlet in the weapons vault and yells “Fake!” This was done to clear up the continuity error of having Thanos looking for the stones when the glove was in the vault

Stan Lee Cameo: A man who attempts to move Mjolnir with his truck, with no success

stan-lee-thor-marvelInfinity Stone: The Tesseract is shown in the possession of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Post/mid Credits Scene: Selvig has been taken to a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, where Nick Fury opens a briefcase and asks him to study a mysterious cube-shaped object, which Fury says may hold untold power. An invisible Loki prompts Selvig to agree, and he does.

My Take: One of the things I like about this film is the difference between the worlds. Asgard is a gleaming gilded city with sweeping lines, whereas New Mexico is small and a little out if fashion. You really get a sense of location in Puente Antiguo. You get a feeling that you know where all the major locations are in the town. The real star is Hiddleston. His Loki is the best of the MCU villains to date primarily because he’s the most complex. His goal is to prove himself worthy to his father. It’s a broad epic with larger than life characters


Next: Captain America: The First Avenger