The Best of Thor
It’s almost time to grab Mjolnir and fly like lightning over to The Picture House for Thor: Love and Thunder, opening July 8 at both Bronxville and Pelham. The last installment, Thor: Ragnarok is almost universally considered to be the best of the Thor films, but I would go further — it’s actually my favorite of all the Marvel films! With Taika Waititi returning to direct (not to mention reprise the role of Thor’s friend Korg), my excitement is high for Love and Thunder. In preparation for the new film, let’s look back at some of the best Thor moments from his three previous films.
Loki learns that he’s adopted
Loki (played brilliantly by Tom Hiddleston) always felt second-best to golden child Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and then he learns why. Finding out that he’s not biologically Odin and Frigga’s son, and that he is, in fact, a frost giant, a member of the race Odin fought and tried to destroy, is the origin of one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) best villain/anti-hero.
Thor navigates life on Earth.
The true comedic potential of Thor wasn’t realized until Taika Waititi took the directorial reins on Thor: Ragnarok, but the fish-out-of-water storyline of Thor, as the exiled hero tries to fit in on Earth, was the source of plenty of laughs. The two best moments? Thor has his first coffee and enthusiastically demands “another!” as he throws the mug to the floor. Then there’s the scene when Thor confidently strides into a pet store and declares “I need a horse!”
Thor breaks into a SHIELD facility to get his hammer, Mjolnir
The plot of Thor largely revolves around him being exiled from Asgard by his father, Odin. As part of his punishment, Odin removes Thor’s magic and sends the hammer Mjolnir to Earth. When Thor learns that the hammer is nearby, he breaks into SHIELD’s facility to retrieve it. Despite only having regular muscular man strength, rather than his usual God of Thunder strength, Thor manages to fight his way through dozens of highly trained agents, although sadly, he finds he can no longer lift Mjolnir. Which brings us to…
After sacrificing himself to protect Earth and the people he’s come to know and care about, Thor, without his powers, appears to be done for. Until, with a brilliant flash of thunder and lightning, Mjolnir flies back to him and restores his power.
Thor: The Dark World
Thor breaks Loki out of prison
The beginning of Thor: The Dark World finds Loki imprisoned on Asgard for his misdeeds in The Avengers. After their mother, Frigga, is murdered, Thor enlists Loki in a quest for revenge. The scene offers heartbreak, both because of how devastated each brother is and because their fractured relationship prevents them from sharing their grief with one another, but also comedy, as Loki uses his magic to shift himself and Thor into various other characters. Most memorably, Chris Evans makes a cameo as Loki as Captain America.
In Thor: Ragnarok Thor and Loki learn about the existence of their older sister, Hela, the Goddess of Death (Cate Blanchett making a memorable MCU debut). Odin imprisoned Hela (maybe find a better way to deal with your errant children, my guy), but his death releases her. Almost the first thing she does is destroy Mjolnir, showcasing how much power she has, and how truly unprepared Thor and Loki are to fight her.
Beyond being a brilliant director, Taikia Waititi is also a delightful addition to the cast of any film, and Thor: Ragnarok is no exception. Thor ends up a captive on the world of Sakaar, and is immediately befriended by Korg, a self-described “pile of rocks,” who is imprisoned because he “tried to start a revolution but didn’t print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone turned up.” Korg is delightful and lovable, and we can only hope to see more of him in Love and Thunder.
Sakaar’s Gladiator ring
Sakaar, where Thor finds himself trapped, is ruled by a hedonistic despot called The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum in a can’t-miss performance), who forces prisoners to engage in gladiator combat. Thor is sent into the ring against a mysterious and brutal opponent who has never been defeated. When that opponent is revealed to be The Hulk, Thor is delighted. “We know each other! He’s a friend from work,” remains an all-time great MCU joke. Things don’t go as Thor expects, however, and an epic fight ensues.
After Thor manages to help Bruce Banner reemerge from Hulk, he gains help from Valkyrie, an Asgardian warrior with a traumatic past tied to Hela. The three agree that they’ll find a way back to Asgard to challenge Hela, but they need Loki’s help to steal a ship. Bruce, Valkyrie, and Thor debate Loki’s trustworthiness — he has tried to kill each of them, after all. Thor shares a story from their childhood about a time Loki tried to kill him — a story that Chris Hemsworth improvised entirely — and it’s one of the funniest moments in an already very funny film. This one is definitely worth checking out on YouTube.
The MCU’s Best Needle Drop — Immigrant Song
Toward the end of Ragnarok, all seems lost. Hela’s army is unstoppable, and she snatches Thor’s eye right out of his head. But fatherly wisdom from Odin helps Thor regain his strength — and his belief in himself. Thanks to Led Zeppelin, some incredible CGI lightning, and a battle strut from Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, this is the turning point of the battle. Even though we always knew the heroes would ultimately win, Immigrant Song is what helps you really feel it.