The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a beloved place for many superhero fans, but it's also been around for 10 years and 20 movies at this point, which means there are bound to be a few low (or at least lowish) points. Ask any MCU fan to name their least favorite film in the megafranchise, and you'll get a few standard answers. The Incredible Hulk is one you hear a lot, as is Iron Man 2. In fact, of the four original Avengers to get franchises of their own so far, only Captain America has largely avoided the solo movie slump, because 2013's Thor: The Dark World pops up on a lot of Least Favorite lists as well. If you're one of the MCU fans who keeps that one near the bottom of your rankings, you're not alone: Chris Hemsworth isn't exactly in love with it, either.
Hemsworth is on the cover of the September issue of GQ, and so he's also the subject of a new, wide-ranging profile in the magazine that, among other things, focuses on how he's adjusted to stardom and learned to influence the major roles he's landed. Naturally, any discussion of that has to turn to Thor eventually, and particularly the evolution the character underwent in last year's Thor: Ragnarok. With the help of comedic director Taika Waititi, Hemsworth evolved the God of Thunder's sensibilities, making him a little less stiff, a little more goofy, and a lot more — for lack of a better word — human. That humanity carried over into his arc in Avengers: Infinity War, and has made Thor one of the most vital characters in the MCU right now.
Speaking about that evolution, Hemsworth noted that a lot of stemmed from wanting to break the straight-man hero mold set up by the first two films, which started to deliver diminishing returns.
“The first one is good, the second one is meh,” Hemsworth said. “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.”
So, instead of Thor constantly lecturing Loki about honor or something, we got the wonderful "Get Help," and instead of a stiff team-up between Thor and Hulk, we got arguments about who's the strongest Avenger, and so on. It's a shift that not everyone agreed with, but certain goofier moments in The Dark World did help to foreshadow it, and for an actor like Hemsworth — who's shown his comedic chops in films like Ghostbusters — it made all the sense in the world.
Still, The Dark World does have its place. It gave us more of Loki's schemes, which set up some of Ragnarok's best moments, and its inclusion of the Aether helped set the stage for the Infinity Stones. Even with that in mind, though, it's easy to see why Hemsworth doesn't like it as much as the first Thor. At least he seems to like it better than Christopher Eccleston did.