Which movie in the Thor trilogy is the best? With Avengers: Endgame about to conclude the 22-film cycle of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor is one of the three core MCU superheroes who received a trilogy of films in the three Phases of the MCU now referred to as The Infinity Saga. Thor has been charismatically portrayed by Chris Hemsworth in the God of Thunder's every appearance in the MCU.
After the blockbuster success of Iron Man in 2008 opened the door to more MCU movies that built to 2012's The Avengers, Thor was one of the anchors of the franchise, along with Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. Iron Man's real world-based technology was the center of the MCU while Captain America was both a throwback to its past and its moral compass. Thor, however, was considered a dicey proposition as he introduced magic, the Norse gods, space travel, and other fanciful elements to the MCU. Since the 1990s, many top filmmakers like Sam Raimi, Matthew Vaughn, and Guillermo Del Toro attempted to bring the God of Thunder to the big screen, but finally, Marvel Studios tapped Kenneth Branagh to direct Thor for a May 2011 release date.
Unlike Iron Man and Captain America, who each had two films directed by Jon Favreau and the Russo Brothers, respectively, the Thor movies have lacked overall consistency. Every Thor film has had a different director who has altered the tone of the saga, especially Taika Waititi, who upended Thor's universe completely while delivering the most popular and financially successful installment, Thor: Ragnarok. And yet, Thor is the MCU character with his own trilogy, but without a film that has grossed $1-billion at the box office, though many fans consider Captain America: Civil War to really be an Avengers film, which gave it a significant boost.
While it could be argued that Thor boasts the weakest overall trilogy in the MCU, as Thor's character evolved over the years, his popularity has also increased; whereas he was once the butt of Tony Stark's jokes for his blonde-haired good looks and faux-Shakespearean style of speech (Stark nicknamed him "Point Break"), Thor has gained substantial character depth and he has arguably become the most tragic hero of the Avengers - yet, the 1500-year old God of Thunder still nobly fights for what's right because "that's what heroes do". Here, then, are Thor's films ranked worst to best, though all are, in their own way, mighty.
3. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Released in November 2013, Thor: The Dark World is the second Thor film and is generally regarded as one of the least popular MCU films by fans. Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins was originally confirmed to direct Thor 2 before she exited due to "creative differences" and Marvel Studios selected Game of Thrones director Alan Parker to replace her. Hemsworth, Natalie Portman as Thor's love interest Jane Foster, Kat Dennings as Darcy, Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and Tom Hiddleston as Loki all returned for the sequel, which also introduced the Aether, which turned out to be the Reality Infinity Stone as the MCU began to lay the groundwork for the Infinity Stones.
The Dark World reversed the original Thor's fish-out-of-water premise; this time, Foster, who was infected by the power of the Aether, is brought to Asgard by Thor, where she meets his parents Odin and Frigga (Rene Russo), who is killed off. Meanwhile, the Dark Elf Lord Malekith (Christopher Eccleston - who later admitted to hating the film), sought the power of the Aether to use during a cosmic event called the Convergence, which would put the Nine Realms under his dominion. The continuation of Thor's love affair with Jane doesn't quite gel with the intergalactic action as the God of Thunder fights Dark Elves across dimensions to stop Malekith, a cosmic plot that ends up being rather forgettable. Meanwhile, Loki 'dies' in the film, which was quickly revealed to be a ruse when the God of Mischief masquerades as Odin and installs himself as King of Asgard. Also, The Collector (Benicio Del Toro) is introduced in the post-credits scene; the Reality Stone is given to him for safekeeping, setting the stage for Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Infinity War.
Uninspired as the film turned out to be, Thor: The Dark World has a few bright spots. In his third appearance as Thor, Hemsworth had eased into the role and was finding the Odinson's comedic edge, which he would fully tap into in the third film. Also, Chris Evans has a hilarious cameo when Loki takes the form of Captain America to mock Thor's superhero friend. And it's revealed a coat hook is worthy to lift Thor's hammer when he hangs Mjolnir as he enters Jane's London flat. Ultimately, however, Thor: The Dark World ranks not just at the bottom of Thor's trilogy but in the lower tier of MCU movies overall. (Even Chris Hemsworth doesn't like Thor 2).
Page 2 of 2: The Top Two Thor Movies
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019