Chris Hemsworth is back in his most famous and enduring role with the fourth installment in Marvel’s Asgardian adventures, Thor: Love and Thunder. Natalie Portman has returned to the MCU reprising her role as Thor’s ex-girlfriend turned Mighty Thor. It’s a step in the right direction with Thor finally meeting his feminine equal. Thor: Love and Thunder also pits Hemsworth up against another worthy equal yet rival, Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher. Bale may have been DC’s greatest hero, the Batman, but let’s face it, he will have to take a back seat to the MCU’s top warrior, Thor. Both versions.
However, that’s not the whole story. It’s not just superheroes and the worry of Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher turning up at his door; there is certainly more to Chris Hemsworth than flying through the sky clutching his trusty hammer, Mjölnir. Although typically cast as the hero, Australian-born Hemsworth has turned his hand to comedy, drama, and the occasional aftershave commercial, which goes to prove his godly good looks aren’t such a curse after all. So take a look at nine performances without a war hammer in sight.
Eric the Huntsman in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
A powerful sorceress, Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), rules with an iron fist. She keeps herself young by draining the life of young women from her enslaved kingdom. When her Magic Mirror prophecies her demise at the hands of Snow White (Kristen Stewart), Queen Ravenna asks Eric (Chris Hemsworth), a local huntsman, to track and kill Snow White in return for bringing back his deceased wife. Eric learns the Queen was lying and along with Snow White and a certain seven dwarfs they decide Queen Ravenna’s reign must end.
This big screen version of the old fairy tale sees a more grandiose and epic story concerning the battle of good and evil that would not be amiss in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. It was a huge box office success and certainly looked worth it with its plethora of magical glass effects, dwarfs and monsters. Hemsworth is in his element and signed on for a sequel, The Huntsman: Winter’s Warbased around his own character.
India’s biggest drug lord, Ovi Mahajan Sr (Pankaj Tripathi), will not pay the ransom for his son’s, Ovi Mahajan Jr (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), safe return because he will lose face to his enemies. Gun for hire, Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth), a former SAS soldier, takes the job to extract the boy from the clutches of the rival Bangladeshi gang. However, Mahajan Sr has also sent his own man, former Special Forces, Saju Rav (Randeep Hooda), who plans to let Rake do the hard work and then take the glory.
Gritty, violent and with a predominantly Indian cast, Extraction is full of death defying stunts, explosions and non-stop action. Hemsworth’s own character is driven by the loss of his son and his morals to protect Mahajan Jr. Which is emotive enough to make Tyler Rake more human, and a character that we all want to watch again, and we will in Netflix’s up-and-coming sequel.
Owen Chase in, In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
Writer, Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw), visits Thomas Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson), the last survivor of the whaling ship, the Essex and offers to pay for his story. Nickerson recounts the events of the ship’s captain, George Pollard Jr (Benjamin Walker), at odds with first mate Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth). Eventually setting their differences aside, the men chase down a near mythical ‘white whale’ that has been responsible for attacking ships. Soon, they and their crew realize, man versus monster is not the only challenge, starvation, cannibalization, and their very survival was always the real challenge.
Based on the real events of the tragedy that befell the Essex, In the Heart of the Sea failed to break even at the box office. Regardless, it’s a compelling, relentless, sea-faring adventure about the limits that men can reach and even surpass. The real accounts may be dramatized, but this is a Hollywood blockbuster not a news report, and it’s pretty spectacular to say the least.
Nicholas Hathaway in Blackhat (2015)
A nuclear power plant in Hong Kong goes into meltdown after the coolant pumps are hacked, the Chicago trade exchange also gets hacked, favoring the rise of shares in soy, and both are thought to have been hacked remotely. The problem is, one of the guys who wrote the program used for hacking is in prison, Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth), and he is not the most cooperative of people. Nevertheless, Hathaway makes a deal for his freedom, and he is thrown into a world of security, espionage, double dealings, cyberwar, and people’s lust for money.
Blackhat is about as close to realism that any movie has ever come to the online cyber world of terrorism and security breaches. It’s tense throughout and Hemsworth is just as tense as the desperate ex-hacker turned good guy. Blackhat is like a cyber-style, James Bond movie where good and bad meet in the middle and the public continue, blissfully unaware, living their lives.
Kevin Beckman in Ghostbusters (2016)
Dr Abigail L ‘Abby’ Yates (Melissa McCarthy) leads the all-new team of Ghostbusters, Kevin Beckman (Chris Hemsworth) is their unlikely musclebound receptionist who isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, and together, the all-female team of paranormal investigators decide to take a stand against the onslaught of spirits across Manhattan. The worst outcome is a ghoul apocalypse, but can our heroines save the day?
Fans of the original have many things to say about this movie, so let’s just forget the originals (only for comparison) and take this reincarnation for what it is. Four ladies, as gimmicky as that may be for some, bringing in the laughs and saving New York. Movies where women are the focus have been long overdue, it’s just a shame it relied on the original so much (sorry, we had to mention it). If the ladies saved New York from a visually exciting array of ghosts, then Hemsworth saved the movie with his silly and hilarious half-wit, Kevin Beckman.
Agent H in MIB: International (2019)
After twenty years of searching for the existence of alien life and tracking down the MIB headquarters, Molly Wright (Tessa Thompson) is allowed to become Agent M. She is sent to the United Kingdom where she meets Agent H (Chris Hemsworth). When Agent M accompanies H on a meeting with a friendly alien, Vungus the Ugly (Kayvan Novak), Vungus is murdered by mysterious alien twins that can manipulate energy. Just before his death, Vungus implies H cannot be trusted. The twins are traced back to The Hive, a planet conquering race and ultimate adversary, but the question also remains, who in the MIB is really the agent that cannot be trusted?
MIB: International was meant to help reboot the franchise. As a stand-alone movie it has all the components for a quality comedy action, but it does rely too heavily on the glory days of Will Smith‘s Men In Black for rooting a new adventure within its established universe (if we dare to compare). Hemsworth and Thomson share the comedy with each other convincingly, and Marvel fans will no doubt appreciate the two working together again.
Curt Vaughan in The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Sociology major, Curt Vaughan (Chris Hemsworth), agrees to take his friends for a weekend stay in his cousin’s deserted and isolated cabin. Soon, each student, one by one, falls foul to zombie horrors, and two hidden scientists are pulling the strings of the horrific events. The students are drugged, and the scientist take bets on the outcomes. Can anyone survive? Or is there more than meets the eye in The Cabin in the Woods?
When it comes to college student horror, this is definitely one of the best. Drew Goddard‘s directorial debut, co-written with Joss Whedon, attempts successfully at the slasher genre but offers a dark and satirical vision on the expected set of horror tropes. At times, you will be laughing and then immediately scared. It’s definitely a completely different style of Hemsworth movie, and not to be missed.
James Hunt in Rush (2013)
In the Formula One season of 1976 the two best drivers and rivals go head-to-head for the championship. Britain’s James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth), the self-centered, womanizing, party goer, who is fearless on the track is up against Austria’s Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), the intelligent, technical, and extremely cautious driver who is almost unbeatable on the track. Their different approaches to life and racing, fuel different outcomes for the pair of them. From marital breakup, mistrust, bankruptcy, and the ever present shadow of fatal race crashes, Formula One is drama on and off the track.
Hemsworth is great at playing England’s greatest boozer of the 70s. Complete with the posh accent, he captivates with an enormous level of charm and still manages to evoke pity for his character when the plot calls for it. Brühl is solid and unflinching as the Austrian who must not be defeated, driven by his rivalry for Hunt. Even if you do not like Formula One, you’ll more than likely enjoy Rush for its steady flow of drama.
Billy Lee in Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)
In the El Royale, a hotel built on the border of California and Nevada, six strangers arrive to spend the night. Each guest has a dark secret that needs to be resolved. Everyone’s dark pasts will either be absolved or embraced. However, the El Royale is no ordinary hotel. It’s full of wiretaps, two-way mirrors, secret passageways and a dark past of its own. What is really happening? Who really are the six guests? And will anyone make it to breakfast time?
Intelligent and well written by Drew Goddard, Bad Times at the El Royale is a mystery thriller that did not do as well at the box office as its quality would expect. Strong performances from Dakota Johnson as Emily Summerspring, Jeff Bridges as Father Daniel Flynn, and an unscrupulous Chris Hemsworth as Billy Lee add to the many themes the movie tackles, from morality to faith, and being so rammed with creative genius, it’s definitely a watch-twice movie.