Sunday, April 24, 2011

Review - Thor (2011)

“You know, for a crazy homeless person... he's pretty cut. “

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie
Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Tom
Hiddleston, Idris Elba
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writers: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne

I will admit that I only went to see Thor because it’s all leading up to the Avengers movies which I’m excited for. Also out of this and Captain America I am definitely more excited for good ol Cap. I mean come on its got Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull, what more could you want? But as I left the cinemas I was actually really excited. Was it because of the scene at the end of all the credits? Maybe. But there was just something about this movie, something fun; something that just made me excited for more.

Kenneth Branagh seems like an unlikely director for a superhero movie, but what he brings is something fresh, and perhaps a sense of the melodramatic that comic book movies really need (well in most cases). A lot of the scenes in Asgard have a very Shakespearean quality to them. This normally means a lot of shouting, crying and wearing ones emotions on their sleeve but it so works and creates an epicness that I’m afraid to say was lacking in the likes of Iron Man, Spider-Man and dare I say it The Dark Knight (though the Dark Knight is still the better movie). Kenneth handles these portions with such an assured hand that when the action does take place on Earth things do get a little dull in places. Plus it should also be noted that while the acting does seem Shakespearean the writing isn’t, and sometimes the story does not do justice to what is being attempted.

While the writing and story do seem a little flat sometimes the acting in this is great. Sure we aren’t talking award winning, but everyone seems to be having fun. Anthony Hopkins is just awesome as Odin, I was wondering if he could pull of warrior god considering his age, and yet I was left eating my words. Tom Hiddleston was also jaw dropping in the layers that he gave Loki. I was never sure what Loki’s true motivations were (which is exactly what the character should be doing), and yet I was feeling sympathy and booing him in equal turn. Stellen Skarsgard was a pleasant surprise as Erik Selvig, a man on earth who was seeing the Myth’s and Legends he grew up with come to life. Clark Gregg as everyone’s favourite SHIELD agent was also a delight and it was great to see him given a bigger role, other than the small stuff in the Iron Man movies. Finally we get to the main man, Chris Hemsworth who played Thor. Known as that guy who played Kirk’s dad, he really sinks his teeth into the role and even goes toe to toe in the acting game with Hopkins. I believed that this man was Thor. Now to the worst actor and that goes to Natalie Portman. I’m not so sure why but the more I thought about it, and talked about her character with others I came to realise that I never really believed her motivations, and worse yet never really got to know the character. Hell in the short amount of time, Kat Dennings did a better job conveying what her character was all about. In fact when it comes to the females of this movie, we really do find characters that are lacking sufficient character development. I will note that I think that most of this blame has to go to the writers, as it just seems they weren’t capable of writing full formed female characters, while the guys got nice little character background touches to play with.

Visually Asgard is a very pretty place and yet it sticks out like a sore thumb when compared to the other realms that we visit. Jotunheim realm of the Frost Giants looks really cold which I guess is a good thing, but at the same time it’s rather bland and thanks to the 3D effect seemed to kind of all blur together; at least for me. As for Earth it was a desert, with a desert town. That’s about it. In comparison to Jotunheim I would like to think this was just a clever yin, yang aspect thrown in for visual cues, but it too was a little boring, and directly after a visit to the realm of Asgard kind of just made me wish to skip this part of the movie and get back to Odin and all those crazy gods.

Overall I left Thor happy, and after the secret scene at the end of the credits I’m anxious for the Avengers movie, but this is just nerd baiting by Marvel. The acting is top notch for the guys and while the girls are a tad underwritten they at least seem to be having fun. Visually Asgard is splendid and yet the dullness of the other realms is only amplified by it, still while in Asgard it’s fun to just soak it in. I’m sure fellow comic book readers are going to enjoy this movie. Still I don’t think Marvel is getting anywhere near the excellence that was Dark Knight. To sum up, maybe I should summon Volstagg (one of Thor’s friends) or at least speak like him. Go, watch and enjoy people for who knows when you shall fall in battle.

3 comments:

  1. this review actually makes me interested in giving the film a watch. Kudos

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  2. That's excellent to hear. Today one review, tomorrow the world!

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  3. This film not only represented, but represents to this day, the very best of what it means to be a sci-fi epic. Though revolutionary in the realm of special effects, groundbreaking in other areas and breathtakingly creative, it does not rely solely on its original themes or new quirks to achieve acclaim, as many "good" sci-fi films do. This film, combines the best of science fiction with a story and a spirit that has meaning-- an underdog struggle, a coming of age tale, a morality play, behind an incredibly rich backdrop and a timeless cast of characters that fits it perfectly.

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