Before I start, I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say that now that I’ve seen this movie, I can finally complete my Top 10 list of dest documentaries of all time.
10. GRIZZLY MAN (2005)
9. SUPER SIZE ME (2003)
8. FAHRENHEIT 9/11 (2004)
7. APOLLO 13 (1995)
6. IRON MANG (2008)
5. CHASING ICE (2012)
4. EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP (2010)
3. MAN ON WIRE (2008)
2. THOR (2011)
1. JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI (2012)
I’m obviously showing my biases a little here, but with that out in the open, let me explain a little bit more why I rate THOR (2011) so high:
The documentary follows around famed scientist / actress / Harvard graduate Natalie Portman, explaining her research on atmospheric disturbances.
As an aside, I’ll give you a quick refresher on the Frost Giant - Asgardian War of 965 AD where the Asgardians fought valiantly under Odin to protect Humanity from the Frost Giants, who were threatening us with permanent winter. I won’t bore you with the details as I’m sure you all remember it from grade school anyways. Of course, we also know that we haven’t seen or heard from the Asgardians in over 1000 years. But Natalie Portman's research correctly predicted the opening of an Einstein-Rosen Bridge which is the connection between the Human and Asgardian realms we’ve so long waited to be reopened.
I’m always so impressed when documentarians get footage right in the heart of the action, so when cameras follow Natalie Portman to an actual opening of an Einstein-Rosen Bridge, and actually see an Asgardian come down through it, it kind of blows your mind. We all now recognize Thor from when he worked with the Avengers to save the galaxy, but everyone forgets how he actually got here. It was this documentary that exposed his journey.
Thor is the Great King Odin’s son, as we all know, and he fought humbly to save humanity alongside Captain America, Iron Man, and the rest of the Gang. But before all that, you learned folks would know that Thor actually was sent to Earth in banishment! He informed Director Kenneth Branagh he was cast out of Asgard for disobeying Odin, and he had lost his hammer Mjölnir. There is some great footage where he discovers just how lost he is when the film crew follows him into the desert where his hammer was found, and while we know Asgardians to be as strong as gods themselves, Thor couldn’t even pick up his own hammer :/ whomp whoooooomp.
We cut to Branagh interviewing Odin and we find out Odin, so disappointed in his arrogent, unworthy son, spoke to Mjölnir before casting it to earth, telling the hammer, "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of THOR!" He then procedes to toss Mjölnir towards Earth, where Thor will hopefully learn to use it once again.
I really do recommend you see this first-hand look at history in the making, so I won't tell you exactly what Thor does in order to prove his worth to both Asgard and Mankind alike, but I will say it's epic, and explains a lot about who Thor has become today. Ultimately, if you want to learn more about the foundation of the Avenger squad, or in general, need a refresher on your history, this is a great documentary to sink your teeth into, and has some of the best footage I’ve ever seen. Mind meltingly cool, and Natalie Portman is mind meltingly smart. Check it out.