Thor

thor_ver5STARS3.5Mythological fantasy about Thor, son of King Odin the ruler of Asgard, one of the Nine Worlds and the realm of the Norse Gods. Thor is a quick-tempered fellow. After his arrogance reignites a long standing feud, he is sent to Earth as punishment by his father. Chris Hemsworth certainly looks the part as the title character. He likewise speaks in the imposing intonations you expect from a deity of Norse mythology. While he may lack that extra charisma to put his personality fully over the top, the rest of the cast gamely fills in the spaces to engage the viewer. Natalie Portman is charming as scientist Jane Foster. Kat Dennings is her assistant with a perpetual “what the hell is going on?” demeanor that adds some much needed humor. Indeed the mood wildly fluctuates from ultra serious fanboy adulation to tongue-in-cheek comedy. It all works, thanks to the many astonishing visuals that dazzle the eye. The Destroyer, a massive automaton, forged in armor, is a cinematically astonishing weapon for example. However, what ultimately separates a good comic book adaptation from a bad one is the story. Are we connected to the characters? Do we feel an emotional attachment when things happen to them? It’s what elevates a great motion picture like 1978s Superman from a hollow shell of a movie like Transformers. Thor doesn’t reach the heights of the Christopher Reeve classic, but it is very good. A superhero sent down from the heavens to live amongst the beings on earth, even recalls the plot of that archetype. We care what happens to Thor and his world back home. His story arc is absorbing and we are invested in his successes and failures. An excellent introduction to a leading character in the upcoming film, The Avengers in May 2012.

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4 Responses to “Thor”

  1. magnolia12883 Says:

    I honestly didn’t know if I’d like this when I saw the preview but figured I’d give it a shot…I think it works better in the comedic scenes on Earth with Natalie Portman and (the underutilized?) Kat Denning. The scenes in the other realms are so near unintentional comedy due to being over the top that perhaps Branagh realized it and that is where the Earth comedy scenes come in as a kind of relief/permission to laugh. Some superhero movies take themselves so seriously it’s refreshing to see one where everything is taken both seriously and seen for the absurdity it is! 🙂

    • Yes, the Earths scenes were my favorite too although there isn’t much story there. It’s basically, I Need My Hammer! Was it just me, or were some of the scenes in the other realms a bit Flash Gordon-ish? Particularly with the Warriors Three and the gatekeeper of the Bifröst Bridge. Not a bad thing in my opinion, but yes, a bit comical.

  2. I thought this was much better than Iron Man. Not a whole lotta plot, but well worth the money. Could actually see it again.

  3. magnolia12883 Says:

    Yeah it’s all pretty campy – which is interesting since Branagh is associated with Shakespearean action drama (HENRY V and HAMLET). The rainbow bridge does it for me on the camp meter

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