Editor’s Note: The following contains Thor: Love and Thunder spoilers.Thor: Love and Thunder proves to be another big win for the MCU at the box office. During Chris Hemsworth isn’t the first actor to bring Thor to life (this award goes to Eric Kramer in the 1988 TV movie The Incredible Hulk returns), he really made the role of Thor his own, letting his natural charm and wit flow through his performance. In fact, finding one would be difficult everyone that doesn’t like Hemsworth’s Thor, who is reported to be the first MCU character to receive a four-quel.
Four Thor and
seven Thor’s MCU journey began eleven years ago. Let’s take a look at how the four films compare.
4. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
The first sequel to Thor is better than you remember but still the worst of the MCU Thor movies. Thousands of years ago, the Dark Elves led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), had plans to enshroud the universe in darkness using the Aether (an Infinity (Reality) Stone in liquid form), but are thwarted by the warriors of Asgard. In the present, the nine realms of Asgard will align and create portals between worlds. dr Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) finds such a portal that puts them in contact with the Aether. This in turn brings Thor back to Earth and warns Malekith of his release. Thor brings Jane, suffering from her contact with the Aether, back to Asgard to find out what’s going on. Dark Elves track them down and attack, resulting in the loss of Thor’s mother Frigga (Rene Russo). The fight is brought to Earth where Thor and his friends hold their own. Critics cited the performances and chemistry between Hemsworth’s Thor and Tom Hiddleston‘s Loki as the best parts of the film, but otherwise listless and full of unremarkable villains.
3. Thor (2011)
Thor’s first MCU film is average at best, but Hemsworth’s charismatic performance elevates it. Thor wants to wage war against the Frost Giants and is driven out of Asgard by his father Odin (Mr. Anthony Hopkins), to earth for his arrogance and disobedience. He is also freed by Mjölnir and must prove himself worthy. He is given by Dr. Jane supports Foster and her team, and the two grow closer. Loki, meanwhile, usurps the throne and is aware of a plan by Sif (Jamie Alexander) and the Warriors Three, to bring Thor home, sends the Destroyer, a large metallic automaton, to Earth to hunt down and kill the group and his brother Thor. The Destroyer nearly kills Thor, but Thor’s actions have proven him worthy and brought Mjolnir to him. He defeats the Destroyer (which, by the way, is amazingly lame), returns to Asgard, and stops Loki. Hemsworth makes an impression and gives the character the necessary hubris, frustration and regret. He also brings elements of humor that would later define the character, especially in scenes where he learns the ways of the earth (throwing a coffee cup on the floor and gleefully demanding another is still one of the funniest scenes of the Franchise).
2. Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
The gap between numbers one and two is remarkably narrow here. Taika Waititi‘s second Thor story begins in a dry wasteland and introduces us to Gorr (Christian Balle) and his dying daughter Love (India Rose Hemsworth). Love begs for his god’s help and still dies in Gorr’s arms. Gorr later stumbles into an oasis where his god is present. The god taunts and dismisses Gorr as another meaningless follower. Gorr grabs the nearby god-killing necro sword, murders the god, and vows to kill all the gods. We then meet up with Thor, who has been adventuring with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Upon discovering that Sif has been wounded, Thor sets out to take Sif to New Asgard, now a mecca for tourists. Gorr soon finds her. Thor, Korg (Taika Waititi), King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and the mighty Thor/Dr. Jane Foster fights Gorr’s shadow creatures, but is unable to stop Gorr from kidnapping the Asgardian children. Thor and his friends track down Gorr, but first stop in Omnipotent City and appeal to Zeus (Russell Crowe) to create an army of gods. Rejected, the four set out to stop Gorr and rescue the children. Gorr forces them back and takes Stormbreaker to reach Eternity, the means to kill all the gods at once. Thor returns and, with the help of the children and Jane, foils Gorr’s plan. The successful elements, like comedy, that Waititi brought in Thor: Ragnarok are present, and Bales Gorr is amazing (perhaps what Malekith should were like). Criticisms of the film are leveled at jarring tone changes and divisive elements like the Mjolnir/Stormbreaker/Thor relationship, which some feel are unnecessary and just plain goofy.
1. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Taika Waititis Thor: Ragnarok reinvigorated the franchise and pushed aside the pedestrian The Dark World and to bring a safer, more balanced, and more comedic element to the character. Thor and Loki find Odin in Norway where he tells them about Ragnarok, the destruction of Asgard and her sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) that was consumed and sealed by darkness. Odin then dies, freeing Hela, who then follows Thor and Loki to Asgard, where she takes the throne and sends the brothers to the planet Sakaar. On Sakaar, Thor is sent to the gladiator arena to submit to the Grand Master (Jeff Goldblum) Master: the Hulk (Markus Ruffalo). Thor and Hulk, along with Loki, Valkyrie, and Korg Sakaar escape and confront Hela in Asgard. Unable to stop them or prevent Ragnarok, the Asgardians evacuate and make their way to Earth while Asgard falls to rubble and Hela is defeated by the risen Surtur. There are so many elements that just work in the film: the comedy (“He’s a friend from work” – iconic!), the chemistry, the action, Blanchett’s unforgettable Hela and Jeff Goldblum, the, well, Jeff Goldblum is. Thor: Love and Thunder comes close but Ragnarok stands alone at the head of the heap.