Thor underwent a radical personality shift in Thor: Ragnarok, with a more comedic approach that may feel jarring when rewatching earlier films.
Thor: Ragnarok is the best solo Thor movie, but its emotional ending rules out potential storylines and Asgard as a setting for future MCU films.
Though he’s one of the MCU’s most iconic heroes, revisiting the four movies following Thor reveals some harsh truths about the character’s solo outings. In the days before the MCU, Thor wasn’t as well known as heroes like Spider-Man or Wolverine, but after 2011’s Thor introduced him into the franchise, he became a household name. The franchise then cemented him as one of its founding Avengers before continuing his solo story in sequels The Dark World, Ragnarok, and Love and Thunder.
Though his status among the Avengers has escalated him to franchise royalty, watching Thor’s four MCU movies years back highlights a few underwhelming realities about the character. Thor may be one of the MCU’s strongest Avengers, but his solo movies certainly aren’t without their issues. As widely beloved as Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of the hero may be, his independent cinematic outings have repeatedly faced varied criticisms. When the MCU’s God of Thunder is considered as a standalone hero rather than an Avenger, there are one or two glaring issues with his story, resulting in 10 harsh realities of rewatching all four Thor movies.
10 Thor’s MCU Arc Didn’t Get Off To A Great Start
Though he may have eventually become one of the franchise’s best heroes, Thor’s MCU story didn’t exactly start as strong as he deserved. 2011’s Thor was an interesting introduction for the character, although it lacked much of the depth and character of his subsequent franchise appearances. His second solo movie, Thor: The Dark World, remains one of the MCU’s worst movies, coming close to cementing his as the franchise’s most boring hero at the time. Though the God of Thunder was fleshed out and improved upon his appearances in the Avengers movies and further Thor sequels, his early outings got him off to a decidedly poor start in the MCU.
9 Thor Undergoes A Radical Personality Shift After The Dark World
One of the biggest issues with the first two Thor movies is how self-serious they are. Though they each feature occasional moments of levity, the eponymous hero is a relatively stoic and unfunny protagonist – qualities which were also present in his early Avengers appearances. Thankfully, this went away with Thor: Ragnarok, with Taika Waititi’s more comedic approach to the character’s story proving particularly refreshing. Although the film saw Thor make pivotal MCU decisions, it also marked a massive comedic personality shift for the hero that’s more than a little jarring upon rewatching the Thor movies.
8 Thor’s Best Movie Rules Out Countless Stories For The MCU
When it comes to weighing up the merits of each individual Thor movie, Ragnarok comes out as the best by a considerable margin. It’s funnier than the first two films, and its story is more powerful than Love and Thunder, making it the hero’s best solo outing in the MCU to date. Unfortunately, its emotional ending (in which Thor allows Surtur to destroy Asgard to defeat Hela) rules out many of Marvel’s more interesting Thor stories. Losing Asgard as a setting rules out a number of incredible storylines, and though it was a key moment for the character, it still may hurt the MCU’s future in the long run.
7 Thor Is One Of The Least Relatable Characters In The MCU
As the first literal god introduced as an MCU hero, Thor’s story was decidedly different from his fellow founding Avengers. He was the first hero to be more than human at heart, as evidenced by his privileged upbringing as Asgardian royalty. Though this culture clash is played for laughs in most of Thor’s MCU appearances, it also masks a harsh truth about the character: he simply isn’t at all relatable. Seeing Thor repeatedly struggle to come to grips with human society only further highlights how alien he truly is, serving as a constant reminder through each of his movies that he’s one of the MCU’s least human heroes.
6 Jane Foster Was Wasted In The MCU’s Thor Movies
Thor: Love and Thunder finally saw Mjolnir bestow powers on Jane Foster, but it’s still unavoidable that the character was wasted by the Thor movies. After her initial supporting role in Thor, Foster was poorly written in The Dark World, and entirely absent in Ragnarok. Just after Love and Thunder introduces her as one of the MCU’s new, interesting heroes, she’s killed off, finalizing her status as one of the Thor movies’ biggest missed opportunities. Despite there being multiple teases of her importance, she was never truly given the time or attention she deserved, making her arc somewhat unsatisfactory upon rewatching the movies.
5 Asgard Is Criminally Underutilized As A Setting For Thor Movies
As one of the MCU’s foremost non-human heroes, Thor’s home world of Asgard is one of the franchise’s most interesting locations. Sadly, throughout Thor’s movies, it’s flagrantly underused, with the majority of Thor and Thor: The Dark World taking place on Earth and Thor: Ragnarok largely set on the planet of Sakaar before Surtur finally destroys Asgard for good. Witnessing the loss of Thor’s home is emotional in a narrative sense, but there’s also a more meta sense of loss for the intriguing setting that was lost forever as one of the MCU’s clearest missed opportunities.
4 The Biggest Issue With Thor’s Movies Is The Serious/Silly Balance
Though the four Thor movies are all incredibly different, they all seem to share a common problem: the hardest part is finding an appropriate balance between the seriousness of a high-stakes plot and the silliness of the character. As a god, Thor isn’t an easy character to get right in a shared universe, and using comedy to bridge the gap is the simplest solution. Unfortunately, the first two Thor movies still felt far too serious, while Love and Thunder was considered altogether too silly. It’s only Ragnarok that arguably found the right balance between the two, clearly demonstrating that there’s little room for error when making a Thor movie.
3 The Thor Movies Never Really Define Thor’s Powers
He may be one of the MCU’s most high-concept heroes, but that doesn’t mean that Thor’s powers are given any appropriate context in the franchise. No movie adequately describes how much of Thor’s power is an innate part of his being, and how much of it is drawn from Asgard, Odin, or his weapons. Though it’s not necessarily the most important part of Thor’s MCU story, it’s still an interesting part of the character, and his movies paint his powers in a frustratingly inconsistent light. Just a few lines of context would surely have been enough, but the four Thor movies offer nothing of the sort.
2 Every Thor Movie Wastes At Least 1 Character
One of the most consistent tropes across all four Thor movies is more than a little unfortunate: they all waste at least one promising character. The first introduces Hawkeye for all of a few minutes and kills off the Destroyer in its final act. The Dark World kills the villain Malekith, and Ragnarok kills off Odin, Hela, Surtur, Heimdall, the Warriors Three, Skurge, and Asgard itself. Love & Thunder then kills off Jane Foster and Gorr the God Butcher, leading to a frustrating trend of supporting Thor characters being underused within the MCU. Though loss has become a key part of Thor’s MCU arc, the movies’ wastefulness remains disappointing.
1 Thor’s Movies Are The Most Imbalanced Of Any MCU Hero
When weighing up the various solo arcs of MCU heroes, none are as imbalanced as Thor’s. 2011’s Thor is considered somewhat divisive, while The Dark World remains one of the MCU’s worst efforts. In contrast, Ragnarok is considered among the franchise’s best, and Love and Thunder was distinctly disappointing. This lack of consistent quality is something that’s more evident in the four Thor movies than it is in any other MCU hero arc, giving the God of Thunder a rather unfortunate accolade. Although the character himself may be one of the franchise’s best, rewatching the four solo Thor movies sadly leaves much to be desired.
Key Release Dates
Captain America: Brave New World
Marvel’s Fantastic Four
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty
Avengers: Secret Wars
Thor’s solo movies are far from perfect. Read More