2011 brought one of Marvel's craziest bits of story to life! Up till now, the MCU had been fairly grounded. Everything we'd seen on screen was grounded in science (even if that science was nuts. Gamma radiation kills you, it doesn't turn you into a monster). This was Marvel's first step into the wider weirder world that includes the rainbow bridge, frost giants, and immensely powerful and long lived beings that are like gods.
Including the God of Thunder himself...
One of the things I really enjoyed about the movie was how they managed to get you up to speed on some basic Norse Mythology, and also brought the science and magic together in a totally hand-wavy sort of way that we'll just go with because while it looks a little silly, it also looks a little cool... so... yeah.
Also, Kenneth Branagh was the director, which gave the thee's and thou's a little more weight and made it less goofy. It's something that gets backed away from in Thor 3, but I'm getting ahead of myself. The Shakespearean nature of the story, feuding brothers vying to become the chosen successor to the throne, with a prideful fall, treachery, stalwart companions, and a deep secret that the king and queen hold... works well for Branagh, but doesn't necessarily make the best popcorn superhero flick.
You know what did work? Seeing a very hunky Chris Helmsworth topless. Let's all give it up for some prime fan service right there. It's no wonder Loki is jealous. As slick and fashionable as he is... it's hard to compete with those abs. It wasn't all high drama and abs though... There were also scenes like in the bar with Dr. Selvig and Thor drinking those massive beers, Thor smashing the coffee mug, and Thor getting hit by Jane's car... twice, that brought levity to what could have otherwise been a drag.
It is a very pretty movie, and is absolutely necessary to bring in all of the threads that are going to make up the next... well... all of the upcoming movies that are leading up to Infinity War. Though it wasn't stated explicitly, we got to see the first of the Infinity Stones this movie, but only if you stayed to the very end of the credits.
Next Up: Captain America:The First Avenger