WARNING: This articles contains massive spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters now.
Thor: Ragnarok redefined the god of thunder by stripping away his support system, and plunging him into an unfamiliar world. In one fell swoop, Chris Hemsworth's character lost his father, his enchanted weapon, his hair, an eye and his home -- and yet, the film demonstrated he had evolved from his time on Earth. More than that, though, Ragnarok also showed a Thor that lives up to his epithet. Essentially, it finally allowed Thor to be, well, Thor.
Most fans agree that Taika Waititi's film was the Asgardian's best showing -- that is, until Avengers: Infinity War. Marvel Studios' highly anticipated film is everything fans might have hoped it would be. It's exciting and hilarious, action-packed and heart-wrenching. It's a movie that somehow manages to juggle Marvel's biggest ensemble cast, and it succeeds in depicting both new and fun character interactions, as well as complex emotion.
Every character gets time to shine, from Mantis to Spider-Man and from Scarlet Witch to Doctor Strange. But no hero comes close to the god of thunder.
Infinity War picks up immediately after the mid-credits scene of Ragnarok, with the newly christened king of Asgard's ship under attack; the character's misfortunes only mount from there. Following the deaths of his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), his closest friend Heimdall (Idris Elba) and most of his loyal subjects, Thor only barely survives the explosion of his vessel. Floating in space, he's rescued by the Guardians of the Galaxy. Then, Thor devises a plan that sees him travel through the cosmos alongside Rocket Raccoon and Groot in hope of forging a new weapon in Nidavellir that's capable of killing Thanos.
As Thor goes through a great ordeal, Hemsworth's portrayal has never been so astounding. He makes the audience feel the weight of every word he speaks. His attempts at humor through pain are heartbreaking, and his raw emotion is palpable. These are emotions that Thor carries throughout the film, and it leads to some of the most amazing character moments. In the Dwarven realm, the Asgardian almost dies as he opens the doors to allow the fires of the forge to burn once more.
With a new eye (surprise!), courtesy of Rocket Raccoon's never-ending need to part others from their artificial prosthetics, a new battle ax that can summon lightning and the Bifrost itself, and new allies, Thor makes an epic entrance on the battlefield of Wakanda. There, he proves to be the powerhouse he was always meant to be, as mows down the Black Order's army of Outriders with ease. Where the other Avengers struggled, Thor arrives as the lonesome cavalry, the change in the tide.
In fact, Thor's power is so great, his new weapon Stormbreaker so mighty, that it proves to be even too much for Thanos. It breaks through the cosmic power of the assembled Infinity Stones, and slices through the Mad Titan's chest. Yes, Thor momentarily defeats Thanos. The only problem is that, in his dying breath, the villain has enough strength left to snap his fingers -- which is all that he needs.
Although the Avengers ultimately lose their fight against Thanos (for now), Thor proves himself the mightiest of Earth's heroes. His presence is enough to make a difference in the battle of Wakanda, and he single-handedly beat Thanos. Thanks to his infinite power, the Mad Titan is able to escape -- but we certainly hope Thor will get another shot at the villain. This time, however, he should aim for the head.
In theaters now, director Anthony and Joe Russo’ Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie.