We can’t leave our houses, so why not join me in watching the Marvel movies in chronological order?
Thor, released in 2011, seemed to me to be where the Marvel movies really hit their stride. They figured out how to balance a lot of action with humor, touches of romance, and a main character who actually grows and changes over the course of the film.
Thor (played by the magnificently muscled Chris Hemsworth) starts out as a spoiled brat, ignorant and entitled. And there’s so much backstory, so many threads to be pulled at in later movies. Loki (oh, that Tom Hiddleston) is devious and manipulative even before he (and the audience) unwind how truly screwed up he is.
I really like that we saw how twisted Loki was before he even realized he had a reason to be screwed up. He likes to cause trouble just because he can. The skill with which he can ask a simple question, that will inevitably lead whoever he is speaking with down the wrong path, is magnificent. He’s one of the most adept button-pushers to ever grace the silver screen, I think. He plays on insecurities you don’t even know you have.
I loved the character of Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), because this was a woman with a job to do, and she was both fearless and relentless about pursuing her goals. In fact, charging ahead in her profession is how she meets Thor in the first place! The romantic element is sweet and slow-growing, which gave the audience time to both believe in it and root for it.
I also believe this movie is where Marvel got better at hinting about things to come. They realized Iron Man wasn’t a one-trick pony, and they could take a little more time to drop hints. We see Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye. Over the credits we see Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) being shown the Tesseract.
My immediate reaction to watching this move was this: More! Marvel! Movies!