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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Norse god Thor is admittedly one of Marvel's second-league superheroes, but just like Iron Man, both are inevitable steps in Marvel's continuing march towards arguably the most highly anticipated comic book adaptation in movie history next year- "The Avengers". Yet, if there's anything to learn from the "Iron Man" experience, it's that it's entirely possible to turn a B-league superhero into an A-grade feature film with just the right star and the right director. And kudos to the Marvel team for doing it once again with "Thor", a thoroughly entertaining blockbuster of a film that succeeds thanks to the unlikely choices of Kenneth Branagh as director and Chris Hemsworth as the star of the titular character. Kenneth is the English director best known as cinema's foremost exponent of the Bard, while Chris is the Australian actor probably only known as the father to James T. Kirk in last year's "Star Trek". Both are equally unlikely choices to headline this US$150mil tentpole, though Marvel's gamble has paid off handsomely. Unlike Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, or for that matter the upcoming Captain America who were products of science, Thor was the hammer- wielding alien-god who was always going to be a tricky proposition adapting for the big screen. After all, the combination of Norse mythology and science fiction could easily have degenerated into kitschy camp, so it's a good thing that Kenneth knows when to get serious and when to have fun. He films the scenes of Thor in his homeland Asgard with the utmost gravitas, while leaving the humour for his brief fish- out-of-water stint on Earth. Indeed, Kenneth handles the power feuds and sibling rivalry with the same intensity as he would a Shakespearian production, and brings a deeply human perspective to his godly characters. In particular, the tussle between father and sons is emotionally charged- whether Odin's heartbreak at banishing his son Thor, whom he was about to coronate as king, out of the kingdom for arrogantly and impetuously reigniting a war with an ancient enemy; or Loki's confrontation with Odin about his true origins- and therefore electrifying to watch. To add weight to the proceedings at Asgard, Kenneth brings in two excellent character actors alongside Chris- Anthony Hopkins and Tom Hiddleston. Anthony's patriarchal role isn't new for the actor, but he delivers a restrained yet powerful and dignified performance as Thor's father Odin. Tom, on the other hand, is deliciously snarky playing the sibling jealous of Thor's impending ascension to the throne, and the British actor gives a surprisingly intimate and affecting villainous turn that brings unexpected depth to his character. In contrast to the godly solemnity, Kenneth brings some welcome Earthly humour to Thor's subsequent banishment. The trio of scriptwriters Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz and Don Payne (working from an effective origin story by J. Michael Straczynski and Mark Protosevich) reserve the movie's wittiest lines for Thor's interplay with three mortal beings- astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), her gal-pal/assistant Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) and Jane's mentor, Dr. Erik Sevig (Stellan Skarsgard), while Kenneth directs Thor's awkward adjustment to life on Earth (an absolutely hilarious scene has Thor storming into a pet store and asking for a horse to go about his mission to find his mysterious magical hammer Mjolnir) with just the right amount of infectious fun. There's also an intercelestial romance thrown in for good measure, as Thor and Jane develop a growing attraction for each other. But more than just obligatory, the love between god and human becomes a lesson in humility and self-sacrifice for the fallen Thor to pave his restoration back to glory. Though thinly written, Portman makes the best out of her role, and it is to her credit that Jane becomes an engaging and believable character that the audience roots for. Portman also shares a warm chemistry with Chris, which brings poignancy to their relationship as well as Thor's subsequent transformation. Thor's time on Earth is also used to forge the necessary narrative links with "The Avengers", in the form of Clark Gregg's S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Coulson, an unbilled cameo by Jeremy Renner as the archer Hawkeye, and Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury appearance right at the end of the credits. Fans of the Thor universe from the comic books will also delight in the awe-inspiring presence of Heimdall (Idris Elba), as well as Thor's entourage of Asgard warrior pals Sif (Jaimie Alexander), Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), Fandral (Josh Dallas), and Hogun (Tadanobu Asano). These pals also add colour to the action sequences, which Kenneth choreographs with surprising aplomb. He stages a thunderous battle very early on as Thor leads an attack against the Frost Giants on the planet of Jotunheim with every bit of might and muscle one would expect from a clash of godly beings. There are at least two other money sequences- Thor's duel with a hulking piece of metal known as the Destroyer (which Coulson first tongue-in-cheek mistakes to be one of Stark's equipment) in a small New Mexico town; and the thrilling climactic battle between Thor and Loki back on Asgard. But the star that holds it all together is really Chris Hemsworth, his performance a well-calibrated blend of brawn and heart that will put sceptics to rest. His physicality is apparent right from the start, but Chris gradually reveals a winning charm and a heartfelt sincerity that enables his audience to relate with his character's inner struggles. It is a breakout star-making turn, which shows Chris adept at action, comedy and even romance. And certainly, it is to Kenneth Branagh's credit that these disparate elements can belong so comfortably in a movie that also combines mythology and science fiction. True to its origins, "Thor" is nothing less than superhero entertainment, and a definitive A-list one -despite the initial regard of its source character- that kicks off this summer with a bang, boom and rumble.
And neither do I. This movie is not a movie it is a bad joke played on Marvel comic book fans. The idea being to put in lots of explosions and CGI and they will come and "they" will praise it. Regardless of how bad the story is. At what point do people STOP spending their money on silliness and demand an intelligent story. Fortunately for me, I saw this movie for free. Thank God! As quoted by Thor in this abominable movie: "For the first time in my life, I have no idea what I'm supposed to do". As bad as this movie is, I can understand why. At this point, I have been told that I do not have the 10 lines required to comment about this movie. So let me repeat once again, this movie is bad, bad, bad! And not in a good way.
Why aren't there any fans working for this movie?! I saw this movie with my brother. We are two fans of comic-book heroes. I admit I went to the movie thinking "Why did they not cast that viking from 13th Warrior?", "Why are they going for the cute guy instead of making Thor really scary and north like?!". The reason: Hollywood is getting stupider with every film. No more suspense, no more nothing. Money, money, money.... See this movie once and then never again. The acting is awful, Natalie Portman is done making good movies and I feel so bad that Anthony Hopkins really involved his name in this movie. P.S.: Thor's hammer looks like it's made of plastic, same as Green Goblins plastic outfit from Spider Man 1.
First of all, after seeing both, I'd recommend you watch this movie in 2D. It is one of the worst comic book adaptations I've ever seen. All the fight scenes happened to fast and you could barely see it if you watch it in 3D, all the female characters are portrayed as useless idiots and if you haven't read the comic book this movie will not make any sense. Just don't waste your money. It has ruined my childhood. The plot was strung together very loosely as well. Don't get me wrong, some of the acting was very good. For example, Anthony Hopkins and Tom Hiddlestone really brought this screen to life when they were given time behind Chris Hemsworth and his horribly cheesy acting. The directors could have done so much better. I guess that's what happens when you sell your soul to Disney (Marvel was sold to Disney). What a shame
This film was an amalgamation of every "superhero" cliché from start to
finish. It did absolutely nothing for me or my girlfriend. Seems like a
script by committee situation. An artless product by all accounts.
The only redeeming quality was the lead actor. Despite having a strong cast and a respected director, the film delivered Hollywood triteness at its worst.
I'm not sure why Hollywood penguins insist on making products terrible. No matter how many trend data sheets they sift through, a good story is not a sum of popular topics or a mix-and-match of proved techniques. A good story has a voice of its own and this had none. Branagh obviously didn't fight hard enough to get anything valuable here. It shows no effort. As I said, artless.
I only speak so harshly here because in 2011 there's no excuse to spend 150mill and this is your end product.
This film was one of the most tedious experiences of my life. I enjoy a
good cheesy action film like the next guy and was genuinely looking
forward to a mindless 90 minutes of fun. What I actually experienced
was self important, overly buff, lord of the rings reject extras
spouting some of the worst lines in film history. How Natalie Portman,
let alone Stellen Skarsgard, got roped into this I will never know.
Repetitive actions scenes, awful editing that cut the middle of
conversations and light humour from Thors friends (puke) and the
terrible Kat Dennings made for a challenging viewing experience all
round. Where Iron Man went so right with its self depricating humour
and quick wit Thor has languid scenes, flacid romance and wooden
The picture lacks a decent development of storyline and character which is always difficult when introducing a character with a deep backstory but it has been done so well recently with Batman Begins et al. There is a definite smell of studio meddling in the final cut with some scenes jumping all over the place. Loki (Tom Hiddleson) changes from loyal brother/Son to evil traitor with no story or character development. Anthony Hopkins spends most of the film in a coma. Chris Hemsworth can't be to blame for a film which seems over produced, over edited and that was marketed as Return of the King but was more Masters of the Universe. The decision to assign 'Ice Giants' (yes Ice Giants) as 'baddies' falls flat as they are about as scary and menacing as frosty the snowman.
The whole project felt a thin and is so poorly put together you could see it unravel before your eyes. Fingers crossed for a better Summer Blockbuster in the near future...
where do I begin? I have long since given up the erroneous
notion that superhero movies should be true to its comic book
counterparts. I also have lived long enough to see superhero titles
rebooted so often that they bear no r...resemblance to their origins as
told in my youth (Jane Foster is an astrophysicist stormchaser?) So, I
entered Thor with absolutely no expectations. Good thing, too, because
if I had any, they wouldn't have been met. First, I must agree with Sir
Anthony Hopkins and state that there is far to much CGI in this film
and not enough character development. There were opportunities to delve
into characters and their back stories that were simply ignored.
Other problems include: Fight scenes that played out like video game ads, with actors trying to strike the right "badass" pose for the cool action shots. Annoyingly silly humor that wore thin quickly. Conflicts that were one-dimensional and built no real suspense. A forced love story. And I understand that even a god of thunder must have a character arc, and Thor's was a common one that I could have overlooked had it been better acted, and yes, better directed.
The whole movie lacked gravitas. Plain and simple.
There are some that have said it's nothing more than a two-hour preview for the upcoming Avengers movie and I can't totally disagree with that. But it is not the worst superhero movie ever made (far from it), it is simply the weakest Avengers prequel movie made to date (and yes, I'm including Iron Man 2 in that category).
Who knows? Check your brain at the door and you might just enjoy this special episode of "Donald's Creek."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Thor was OK. It was basically a hugely Americanised modernisation of
Norse mythology, with the gods turned into superheroes. What I did like
was the way the gods were presented in their home of Asgard. It was a
mix of industry, magic and Sci-Fi that seemed to fit the Norse
characters well. I also liked the character of Loki, who was positioned
quite rightly as the trickster, neither good guy or bad guy who looks
out for himself and no one else.
Then there's the perfectly good superhero-type fight scenes. Thor throwing his hammer around, beating up monsters 50 times his size, creating hurricanes, etc. All good.
So shame all of that was secondary to the 'humanised' story of Thor as a man literally brought down to Earth, stripped of his powers because of his arrogance, and sent off to find his humility. All very Americanised and a story that could be told about virtually any character. Not what I was ideally looking to get from a movie about Norse gods.
Thor is the fourth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is
directed by Kenneth Branagh, who seems to have a keen eye for amazing
visuals. in this film, Thor is cast out of Asgard to live with the
humans because he is arrogant and must learn how to be a worth god but
he soon becomes earth's mightiest defender. There isn't much plot to
Thor other than the basics but Marvel never made overly complicated
plots, Marvel however makes great superhero films and there's no reason
why to change something that works.
Branagh's direction in Thor take on a Shakespearean feel and it works because Thor is the type of movie that is an epic, Branagh has also done this before. For the most part the visuals of Thor work but at times they seem a little cartoony, there were times during the movie where the CGI was noticeable and it took me out of the film and felt a little too much like a fictional story that could never happen. This is the biggest downfall with the movie and unfortunately takes a little bit away from what is otherwise a great film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's not a huge problem but it should've been fixed before the final product was released. Branagh has crafted a very beautiful looking film that almost looks like a fairy tale, this isn't a bad thing as it actually works in the movie's favour.
The action in the film is exactly what you'd expect from a Marvel Studios film, it works but it's nothing that's Oscar worthy. Chris Hemsworth delivers a terrific performance as the title character and makes you believe that is a god, though he does a few things that could be considered dumb for who is supposed to be a god. With this kind of film, it might be best to chuck your brain at the door because it's not exactly the smartest but instead opts for a time at the movies and it delivers on that promise. Tom Hiddleston as Thor's brother Loki who turns in a great performance that is slightly even better than Hemsworth's, though they both are great actors in this film. Hiddleston owns this role and was born to play Loki, he's never over the top and unbelievable but still he manages to have a lot of fun with what otherwise could've been a one dimensional role. Natalie Portman plays Thor's love interest in this and is underdeveloped as a character and she's only really there to help Thor and be some of love interest for him, her character isn't bad per say but she's not exactly all that great either. This isn't to be blamed on Portman because does the best she could do with the role, her character could've just used a bit more work.
The action sequences are well filmed and never are they over the top or a bit much, they hit the right balance and are some of the best action sequences in any Marvel Studio's film. Branagh shows confidence with the action but never does he take it to far, he walks a fine between fun and over the top.
Thor is a great film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and should be on everyone's must watch comic book movie list.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The first time I saw Thor on theaters, I honestly got amazed. When I
got to watch it again on HBO, it got different the way I see it. So
yeah, Thor was punished by his father and sent him to Earth without his
powers. Then he only stayed on Earth for like 2 and a half days. Then
Thor saved two worlds in one day.
What I'm trying to say is, everything happened so quickly. But still, the actors did a good job portraying their characters especially Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Tom Hiddleston as Loki. It really blends in together.
In conclusion, Thor is okay, even with a rushed story. There are still good parts left.
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