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I'm no fan of superhero movies. I find them a mind numbing mash of
explosions and idiotic dialogue. When watching Thor I thought I was in
for the same. The answer... Yes and no.
Let's start with the negative because let be honest their more fun. The plot towards the end is daft. Like most superhero/action/sci-fi movies it starts well then blows everything up with a dull predictable supposed climax. The over theatrical dialogue for asguard can be a little much, almost like its ripping itself off. Laufey is a pretty forgettable villein and some other charatures are under developed. The biggest problem of this film is having a brilliant classical actor, Antony Hopkins, reduced to a grumpy old man.
OK negatives out the way let's move on to the pluses. This has to be the most beautiful superhero movie ever made and I'm not talking about Natalie Portman, (ok maybe a little). Chris Hemsworth gives a fantastically underrated performance as he portrays the change from arrogant hothead to respectable and likable hero.
The saving grace of this movie though is the comedy. This film is fantastically funny. Using juxtaposition to perfection, and brilliant banter.
All in all, not as good as say the dark knight trilogy but an enjoyable film well worth a watch.
Except for this, I loved this movie. But I can't say it doesn't make me
crazy. The casting is right... the story fun and riveting and the
special effects superb. But what makes me nuts is Marvel catering to
later generations of fans by making a black Nick Fury and ignoring the
Peter Parker/Betty Brant romance and skipping right ahead to Mary Jane.
Noe there is another Spidery pic with changes I don 't like. I am
referring to an absence if J. Jonah Jameson. WTF? I am a connosseur of
Marvel Comics going back to its beginnings, mind you.
Still I did love the movie and look forward to seeing The Avengers movie.
Being more of a DC comics guy myself, I know little more about Thor
other than he has big hair, a big cape and a big hammer. I suppose he's
as close as Marvel got to a Superman- type hero, but with more angst,
as expelled for youthful bravado in confronting his home world Asgard's
old enemies the Frost Kings, he finds himself exiled on Earth,where he
quickly (too quickly in my opinion) goes native there, getting caught
up in defying the authorities and falling for Natale Portman.
The film itself entertains with its sword and sorcery plot-line and neatly contrasts the fantastical world of Asgard and Jottenheim with modern-day America. The story of sibling rivalry is as old as the Old Testament and creates suitable tension in the narrative, while Anthony Hopkins presides over his sons' feuding with the necessary gravitas.
The action sequences are especially well done, including the first battle with the Frost Giants, Loki's dispute with Haemdell and especially Thor and his band's fight with the seemingly invincible Destroyer. The c-gen SFX are suitably dream-scape in scale, particularly the depiction of the Bifrost Rainbow Bridge.
The acting is serviceable rather than memorable, only Hopkins making you look more at him than the scenery behind him and while I understand the interpolation of S.H.I.E.L.D for continuity reasons leading up to the Avengers movie, for me they were still a distracting presence.
All told though, this more grounded super-hero movie was better suited to my taste than those aimed closer at the lucrative market for 13 year old viewers of others of the same ilk.
Thor. He's one of the most powerful and famous super heroes in the
history of Marvel comics. It is said that super heroes are basically
modern day interpretations of ancient mythology. Thor is unique becomes
he comes almost straight out of mythology and has since left an impact
on the world, especially with his involvement with the Avengers, so the
movie has quite a bit to live up to. Thankfully, it fails to
disappoint. How so? Let's take a look.
Long ago, Odin the ruler of Asgard defeated the Frost Giants, led by their king Laufey, who tried to take over Earth (or Midgard as they call it). He later has two sons, Thor the god of thunder and Loki the god of mischief, and they soon grow up to be great Asgardians. But when Thor's arrogance as left Asgard on the brink of war with the Frost Giants, his father Odin banishes him to Earth where he develops a bond with a few local scientists, especially Jane Foster. When Odin enters his so called Odin Sleep and the cunning Loki takes over, Thor must prove himself worthy of the title hero in order to save both Asgard and the Earth.
The execution of this film is excellent. Thor lives up to his reputation as a warrior as the the action scenes are pretty awesome and the forces of good and evil go about beating each other up back and forth. There are a lot of cool moments throughout the action like when Thor rallies some lightning. Equally great is his interactions in the modern world which is just full of hilarious moments. I also love the other elements of the film like the SHIELD agents and a familiar-looking hero that make further connections to the upcoming Avengers movie.
The other characters are a load of fun to. Anthony Hopkins is perfectly cast as the wise and all-powerful Odin, living up to practically every single quality of the character. Sif and the Warriors Three (Volstagg, Fandral, and Hogun) are great supporting characters and so are the scientists like love interest Jane Foster played by Natalie Portman. This film's version of Loki is very interesting as he is surprisingly complex. While his villainous acts make him truly despicable, you really do feel sorry for him for he does have some decent qualities, which really moved me a little. The other villains are cool too, Laufey being cool and threatening and the Destroyer Armor being awesome and powerful as hell.
I give this movie a thunderous applause. Extremely well done, though I would have like for the final battle to be a little longer. I give this movie an electrifying 8 for entertainment value and an extra point for all the subtleties throughout the film. This movie is worth every penny, so check it out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The way Marvel has revived and replenished itself from the days of a large-chinned Daredevil and Tobey Maguire trying to look upset is amazing. Thor is shown as Marvel's ultimate journey into the Universe. We're streamed across space with the Rainbow Bridge (which, at first, sounds like something from My Little Pony but in fact is one of the most psychedelic CGI creations ever) and blown away by the astounding world of Asgard. The story follows the origins quite well, with the use of his fake mortal name (Donald Blake) being used and the way Loki's helm holds those curved horns. There are a few problems, however. We don't really see Thor in all his costumed glory for long. And the main problem is The Destroyer. This large machine looks like it could wipe out the whole town yet it only blows up a few cars and plastic restaurants. It really doesn't show off it's potential. But Thor is a great little point towards The Avengers. An uncredited Jeremy Renner appears for a few moments as Clint Barton, also known as Hawkeye. And, as usual, there's a scene after the end credits, which gives even MORE insight into The Avengers and links Thor to Captain America. See it.
Overall, this was a very good but not perfect adaptation of the
mythology of the comic character Thor. The casting was almost flawless
with the exceptions of Idris Elba as the black Heimdall, Tadanobu Asano
as the Asian Hogun and of course Samuel L. Jackson as the black version
of Nick Fury, but I suppose Jackson's miscasting can be blamed on Iron
Man and the producers wanting to keep that mistake going with other
movies in the Marvel franchise. Hollywood diversification at the
expense of staying true to the characters they're adapting. I can
hardly wait to see Luke Cage played by Hulk Hogan.
The main actors played their roles well, with Tom Hiddleston completely surprising me with his initial low-key Loki who gradually revealed himself to be the sinister schemer that fans of the comic series have known and loved. Chris Hemsworth was an excellent choice as Thor and the always reliable Anthony Hopkins was the perfect Odin, even with the missing eye.
The story was well-written but, being a reader of Thor's epic comic book battle with the Destroyer, I felt the metallic menace was felled a bit too easily. The special effects were above average and Asgard's mystic realm was awe-inspiring to say the least.
All-in-all, a very good beginning for Thor. I give it a solid 7 and would have rated it an 8 if not for the woeful miscasting of the secondary characters.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Right now, I am looking at my accurate, true-to-scale, panoramic
Picto-Map of a typical Asgard street scene, drafted by the late, great
Jack Kirby and compliments of the early, here and now Stan Lee! I am
mentally comparing this street scene of daily life in Odin's realm and
everything appears to be in order. Here, under the MONUMENT TO THE
UNKNOWN WARRIOR, I am expecting a party of twelve to help me take in
the sights. Unfortunately, we will not be visiting the RAINBOW BRIDGE
as we have been informed it is presently undergoing reconstruction...
Cudos to the men and women of the Art Department and the Special Effects Department for taking the designs and plans of Lee and Kirby and using them as blueprints to transform what are essentially colored sketches into a living, breathing reality whose boulevards and avenues can be strolled by true to life people. This alone is worth the price of admission to 'THOR', a film directed by Kenneth Branagh and boasting a cast with the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Natalie Portman, Idris Elba, and capable newcomers such as Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston. The screenplay, crafted by Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz and Don Payne, has ample mood and pace, and 'BABYLON FIVE' J. Michael Straczynski, along with Mark Protosevich also seem to have contributed substantially to the thematic infrastructure of this interface between Science and Technology/Dream and Mythology.
'THOR' is essentially a morality tale for children about the pitfalls of Pride and how it can lead to warmongering and uncalled for destruction and the virtues of humility and how it can lead to spiritual renewal and reconciliation. It takes the concept of the Invincible Warrior of the West which has been the bane of aboriginal peoples and leavens it with the Christian Ethic of rational sacrifice for the greatest good exercising the principle of the greatest love espoused by Jesus from what many would tell you is the highest authority. It does so in such a playful and witty way that should you blink, you just might miss it.
After that, it is back to Warriors and Monsters and the political intrigues fueled by sibling rivalry and infantile good intentions gone awry. The Western deification of patriarchal power bolstered by the triumph of Science and Technology plays out its idea matrix creating new divisions and spiritual unities and setting the stage for the next act of this fairy tale in progress beyond the stars.
Oh, by the way, you can find that Picto-Map of Asgard in the MARVEL TREASURY EDITION of THE MIGHTY THOR Volume One, Number Three, 1974.
Chris Hemsworth is very hot. I never noticed him in a movie before, but
there is one too short scene of him shirtless, that is not to be
missed. Other than that, I thought this movie was OK with the beginning
being the best part and I didn't care for the ending. The first 45
minutes was very entertaining with some good special effects. Basically
the first part is about Thor's people and their conflict with the frost
giants. The frost giants invade and Thor with his other brother, Loki,
and friends go to the frost giant land looking to start a war. We see
some of the cool powers Thor has with his hammer. But the King is
furious and banishes Thor to earth minus his powers and that's when the
movie starts to get duller. He meets scientist, Natalie Portman, whom
of course he falls for. I thought there should have been funnier scenes
between Thor and regular people. He gets in trouble with the Feds, but
just gets released, then the ending is this giant robot that is some
how controlled by Loki from the other planet. Then the final battle
between Thor and Loki, I just thought the latter scenes were not as
FINAL VERDICT: If you like the comic book movies, then I'm sure you will want to see this.
Its been a few years since I picked up a Thor Comic but I'm more than familiar with his background and stories having read many Marvel Comics and Avengers was one of them with the occasional story arc in Thor. I thought this movie was better than I could have ever expected more than that my partner who never read a comic beyond say Superman was totally into it and thought it was great. When I heard Kenneth Branagh was directing again my thoughts were two fold who better to handle the ins and outs of Asgard and Odin than a Shakespearean Actor/Director. Then Anthony Hopkins it just kept getting better so my hopes were high by the time it premiered. Engaging special FX, I might even say Brilliant the Rainbow bridge come to life in a way so unexpected the attention to details was to me Amazing and gratifying. Every actor gave it their all above average performances, touches of humor, action a plenty this was the incarnation of a Hero to be remembered. Heck I bought the 3D BluRay it was and is awesome in this format. See it
The fourth released film in the "Avengers" sage (thus far including
"Iron Man", "Iron Man 2", "The Incredible Hulk", "Captain America" and
this film) is the delightful, visually astounding "Thor" from director
Kenneth Branagh. Starring some great actors including Chris Hemsworth,
Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston, Rene Russo and even
Stellan Skarsgard, with strong supporting performers as well, this
Summer treat is one the finest action films of the year 2011.
Based upon the popular Marvel Comic (itself based upon the gods and legends of lore), "Thor" follows well Thor, the god of thunder, as he is banished from his home in Asgard to live as a mortal on Earth, where he seeks a way to reclaim his power and return home, along the way falling in love with a beautiful scientist, and tangling with those pesky SHIELD agents that were established in the other films. There is also a strong plot involving his troubled brother Loki, whom seeks the approval of their father Odin, as well as fears between Asgard and the neighboring world Jotenheim (that's probably misspelled).
Despite some of the bigger names in the cast, including Hopkins and Portman, the real star of this movie is director Kenneth Branagh. Being familiar with some of his other films (particularly the incredible visual treat "Frankenstein", which despite having poor pacing is worth watching for Branagh's stylish direction and visuals), this is clearly and completely one of his films. From his kinetic camera work, and poetic use of dutch angles, slow motion and sweeping wide shots, to his design sensibility, this film is a wonder to behold. He also works well with pacing the story very well, and getting some great performances from the cast. This is a strong Branagh film.
The cast is very notable. There are no "sore thumbs" in sight, everyone plays their roles perfectly. Hemsworth plays a convincing Thor, and the transformation his character goes through from arrogant boy to responsible man is convincing and touching. Portman is outstanding as Jane Foster, a human scientist whom Thor falls in love with. Hopkins as Odin is perfect casting. Tom Hiddleston is a remarkable Loki, giving the character pathos and sympathy. Skarsgard and Kat Dennings serve as Portman's teammates, and both are fun, fleshed out roles. Everyone is remarkable in this film.
The script is very tight, and supplies a lot of action, and also plenty of light-hearted humor, which is what makes this film work- it's a very "fun" movie to watch, and despite trailers promising a dark, brooding fantasy, it is full of fun belly-laughs and quirky dialog. This movie will put a smile on your face as you are wowed by the action and seduced by the humor.
All this praise being said, I have the same problem with this film as I did with the first "Iron Man" film- it gets itself too bogged-down by clichés early on, and you will guess the twists and turns from a mile away. In addition, it does feel a bit anti-climactic, and despite some strongly choreographed and character-driven action sequences, the fight scenes are all too rushed and generally over after only a minute or two. It's like the production ran out of money right before all of the action was shot.
That being said, this is still an incredibly fun film, and a surprising treat in the Summer 2011 movie lineup. I give "Thor" a strong 9 out of 10 for the sheer fun-factor, and look forward to seeing the character again in 2012's "The Avengers"!
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