While there’s no question that Marvel Studios has produced several masterpieces in last decade, I often find myself believing that many of their movies are unworthy of the high praise they are given. Some movies like Captain America: Civil War, or Black Panther are given such overwhelming positive reviews, I find myself disappointed when the movie ends. That’s not to say that these movies aren’t good, in fact I like both those movies quite a bit. What I’m saying is that some of the movies in the MCU are overrated in my opinion. What’s often not said when describing an MCU movie, is that one of them is underrated. Many critics are so high on Marvel Studios, that they’re willing to give mediocre to bad movies a positive review simply because the Marvel logo is on it (see Avengers: Age of Ultron if you don’t believe me). To me, without question, the most underrated movie in the MCU is 2011’s Thor. Thor to me is not just a story about a hero overcoming some monster, it’s a movie about two brothers fighting for the affection of their father.
Thor begins on the planet Asgard. We learn from Odin (the King of Asgard) that at one point Asgard had been at war with a group of monsters called the frost giants. Odin and his army defeated the frost giants, and after the war was won, was able to arrange a peace between the Asgardians and the frost giants. Hundreds of years later on the day Odin’s son Thor is become King of Asgard, Asgard is attacked by a small group of frost giants. Thor is outraged by this insult, and demands that something be done about this. Odin points out that no one was hurt, and that the frost giants who invaded Asgard were killed, but Thor is not satisfied. Leading a small group of his friends along with his brother Loki to the giants home world, Thor attacks and kills many of the frost giants, until they are overwhelmed, and eventually have to be saved by Odin. Odin is outraged by what Thor has done, and realizing that his son is not worthy of the gifts he has been given, Odin strips away Thor’s powers and banishes him to earth until he is worthy of his powers once again. Later on in the film, Loki discovers that he is not the true-born son of Odin, but is in fact a frost giant that Odin had taken in with the hopes that Loki could bring about an everlasting peace with the frost giants. Angered by what he has learned, Loki allows a small group of frost giants into Asgard to allow them to kill Odin. Before the king of the frost giants is able to kill Odin, Loki betrays and kills the frost giants king, hoping that by destroying Asgards greatest enemy, he could become worthy of being Odins son. Meanwhile on earth, Thor desperately tries to regain his powers so he can return to Asgard. After Loki lies to Thor by telling him that Odin has died, Thor learns to be more humble, and eventually chooses to sacrifice himself when an Asgardian Destroyer is sent to earth to kill him. He does this in order to prevent any of his friends from being killed. This act of selflessness makes Thor once again worthy of his powers, and with his powers back, Thor is able to destroy the Destroyer. Thor returns to Asgard, and is able to stop his brother Loki from destroying the frost giants home, but escapes from Thor and Odin. Odin declares that Thor is now worthy of the crown, but Thor declines, believing that he is not yet worthy to be king.
On the surface this movie seems like any other superhero film, but I think it’s much deeper than that. This movie isn’t about being the strongest, or defeating the evil villains, it’s about two brothers trying to win the approval of their father. Thor in the beginning believes that being a mighty warrior like his father is what makes a great king. It’s only after he humbles himself that Thor realizes that being a warrior is not enough. Loki on the other hand, has always realized that he is not Odin’s favorite child. In order to get the approval that he’s so desperately wants from Odin, he manipulates, and kills many enemies with the hope that he can finally become the son that Odin has always wanted.
While this movie does suffer from some fairly bland characters that interact with Thor during the time Thor has been exiled to Earth, the scenes involving Thor, Loki, and Odin, interacting with one another are incredibly layered, and deep. This might not be the greatest film that Marvel Studios has created, but in my humble opinion, Thor is one of the few films in the MCU that has been unfairly overlooked.
Overall Rating: 7/10