Even the God of Thunder himself has an off day, and Chris Hemsworth is not above admitting that. The actor recently opened up about playing Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a profile in GQ, and while talking about his superhero career, Chris Hemsworth said Thor: The Dark World is "meh," making clear that he is not really a fan of the Thor trilogy's second film.
The central thread of Chris Hemsworth's GQ profile tells the story of how Hemsworth arrived in Hollywood trying to portray some sort of hyper-masculine "bad boy" like Colin Farrell or Russell Crowe because he thought that is who he needed to be in order to get leading man roles. But now, Hemsworth says that he feels free to show a softer and more vulnerable side in his characters, truer to his real self. As Hemsworth points out, you can track his evolution from put-on, no-nonsense machismo to humanity and humor in the Thor trilogy:
The first one is good, the second one is meh. What masculinity was, the classic archetype — it just all starts to feel very familiar. I was so aware that we were right on the edge.
Chris Hemsworth is hardly alone in identifying 2013's Thor: The Dark World as a low point not only for the Thor movies, but for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. The intergalactic action-fantasy holds the dishonor of being the worst-reviewed film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sitting at a mediocre 66 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and an indifferent 54 average on Metacritic.
Honestly, "meh" really is the best way to summarize the film's critical reception. Although Chris Hemsworth and co-star Tom Hiddleston received praise for their characterizations, many reviewers critiqued the film's multiple battle sequences to be overly long and the overall plot of being rote. But, Hemsworth shocked everyone by coming out on the other side of The Dark World with what most fans consider the best Thor movie yet... and one of the highlights of the MCU at large: last year's Thor: Ragnarok.
Thor: Ragnarok was a notable departure in tone from Chris Hemsworth's previous portrayals of the Marvel hero. In the first two films, Hemsworth played Thor more as a typical, straight action star — gruff, sturdy, and virtuous — but in Ragnarok, Hemsworth and director Taika Waititi reworked Thor to be funnier, clumsier, and more human. Hemsworth said that this shift from super-macho action star to a goofier, more approachable leading man felt much more natural for him and people who know him:
It was quite jarring for my family and friends when I was on-screen doing a straight, heroic, sort of overly masculine kind of thing.
After Thor: The Dark World, Chris Hemsworth has clearly sought out stranger and less hyper-masculine roles. He delved into raunch with a comedic part in 2015's Vacation, and then dumbed down to play a bimbo secretary in the Ghostbusters remake. Next up, Hemsworth will star in the artsy crime drama Bad Time at the El Royale, which he described as an off-kilter drama and thriller with humorous moments.
But among all these experimental new roles, Chris Hemsworth went back to the tried-and-true gruff action hero part to front this year's military drama 12 Strong. So fans don't have to totally say goodbye to the Chris Hemsworth of Thor movies past, but it does sound like he learned a valuable lesson from Thor: The Dark World.