We all know Chris Hemsworth as Thor, the god of thunder and lightning who is–yes, hot, but most importantly–an Avenger. That’s how I was introduced to Chris Hemsworth, and I’m sure it’s how most of you were introduced to him as well. If not, I strongly recommend you go and watch all of the Avengers and Thor movies right now. Still, he’s much more than our favorite long haired superhero. So this week, I sat down and watched as many Chris Hemsworth movies where he played roles I never thought he would normally play, and I learned a lot about him as an actor and about the energy he puts in his roles. Here are the roles to make sure are on your to-watch list, and a couple that you can safely skip over.
Hit: Snow White & the Huntsman
Admittedly, I love the average fairytale story. But I love a twist on the average fairytale story even more – if it’s executed correctly. Snow White & the Huntsman is not the Snow White you grew up on. Instead, it’s a dark and strong story about the king’s daughter, Snow White, trying to take back her kingdom from the witch that killed her father. The story even dwells deeper into the background of the Huntsman, played by Chris Hemsworth. His performance in the movie is outstanding, showing a man broken by the loss of his wife as he helps the princess become victorious in her battles.
Skip: The Huntsman: Winter’s War
This movie is worth watching if you’re one of those people that can’t just see bits and pieces of series, and only then. Continuing the story of Snow White with a focus on the Huntsman, who only has one line in the original fairytale. Given that this film tells a brand new story, there are a lot of unexpected events that unfold, featuring flashbacks to the first, but there are an unfortunate number of plot holes in this movie, allowing our heroes easy victories and making for unrealistic wins.
Hit: Bad Times at El Royale
If you want a movie that’ll have you on the edge of your seat with suspense, then this is the movie for you. Although a little slow in the beginning, it speeds up quickly, telling the stories of a group of people in the 60s meeting in a rundown hotel, which turns into a battleground. Without giving too much away, all is not as it seems, and it is one crazy story. Chris Hemsworth’s performance is absolutely phenomenal – I’ve never seen him play a villain role before, and to see him play Billy Lee was just shocking, since he usually plays the hero. This role was almost like a breath of fresh air for him, and the moment his character was introduced I knew that he would blow me away with this role. Although this movie discusses dark subject matter, that’s just one of the elements that makes it great.
Rush is one of those hidden gems that you look at and think, “Oh, I don’t really care about racing, this is going to be boring,” but it was far from it. I’m not into racing as a sport, yet this movie that tells the story of Formula One racers Niki Lauda and James Hunt really brought me in. The rivalry between these two as well as their individual stories both make for an interesting film – the passion they had for Formula One racing really shows. When I saw the ending to the story, I thought for a long time that there might be a moral that I could take towards relationships and friendships, but if you don’t see a moral, that’s perfectly fine, too. If you’d like to see a dramatic story that has you rooting for both sides througout, this is the flick for you.
Skip: Men In Black International
Men In Black International eventually made me fall asleep, but before that I was walking in and out of my room to do things without even pausing the movie. I was excited going into it, because I love the original MIB with Will Smith, but about an hour in, I gave up. I found myself disliking the characters in addition to the extremely convoluted plot about a mole in the organization, which wasn’t even really addressed until the end. The characters are unrealistic and fall flat, making this a definite skip.
This action packed flick about a mercenary who has to rescue the child of a drug lord perfectly executes its story while staying true to its action roots. Compared to other action movies, this one has an air of realism–since it acknowledges things other action movies don’t–and an emotially charged story line, featuring a man who looks danger straight in the face. Chris Hemsworth plays a very determined man named Tyler Rake and although they don’t clearly state his motivations for his actions and choices until the end, you end up cheering for him to save the kid and have that happy ending.
Chris Hemsworth, of course, has many more roles under his belt than this, but if you need a place to start, this is it. I can’t wait to dive deeper into his filmography, or to see what comes next.