With the release of Marvel Comics’ Thor the sumer movie season gets a kick start early. In a summer that will be festered with super hero movies including X-Men, Cptain America, Green Lantern just to name a few Thor already seems to be the weakest of the bunch. Sure the character is based off the Norse god of Thunder himself. . As Marvel gears up for what will seemingly be the toughest super hero movie to pull off next year (The Avengers) they have to start putting all their Avengers into action so we get Thor.
The film opens up with a storm in our modern time, Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster finds a body lying in the desert with her intern played by Kat Dennings. The film then cuts off to what seems like a prologue that tells the tale of the Frost Giants and how Odin (Anthony Hopkins) defeated them.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is preparing his ascendency to the throne but his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is clearly jealous but wait the Frost Giants interrupt the the ceremony and steal back their power. What a bunch of jerks. Thor is obviously frustrated right now by the fact that the evil giants came in and tried to steal it.
After a confrontation with Odin, Thor gets all frustrated and Loki ends up convincing Thor to go and confront the Frost Giants. Oh Loki, look at what you did. . They go into the Frost Giants realm where well it seems they expected them to show up. The king points out that there is traitors within the Asgard world. And of course they egg the shit out of Thor and they start to fight. What kind of consequences does this hold?
Of course Odin finds out about this and Thor loses his his power. He is no longer the heir to the throne and bye bye goes his magical hammer as he is punished and cast down to earth. And boom here we go, back to the beginning where we find him lying on the ground.
And this is where Thor got hit by the hot Miss Foster and eventually fights the doctors and nurses and then we get the scene where Agent Colston finds the hammer. well not really him finding the hammer, but we can assume it happens not far off from the moment this old guy tries to pick it up.
Thor is arrogant and a jerk and totally rude to Foster and the other humans. Odin then reveals the truth to Loki, he’s the son of the Frost Giant king that he took when he invaded their kingdom all those years ago. Odin dies and thus Loki will become king.
Thor then goes on a quest to get his Hammer back. The magical one of course with the odd name. SHIELD shows up and takes all of Foster’s equipment and gives her some BS. God it’s so stereotypical of the government to do something like that.
Thor then goes on an all out assault on the SHIELD compound that was built to hide the magic hammer. And he literally tears apart the people there, it’s pretty neat but then we got Clint Barton (Hawkeye in the Avengers) standing there with his magical bow and arrow (it’s not magical) but he’s ready to shoot Thor. Thor can’t lift the hammer and is thusly taken by Colston where they have a little chat. Loki shows up and obviously lies through his teeth.
Of course the seeds of mischief are still being planted by Loki. He goes to his real father and tells him that he will sneak in several of his warriors in disguised and have them murder Odin. Wow Loki you are one clever douche.
Thor’s buddies come into the Midgar realm to save him. What nice and good thoughtful friends they are to betray Loki and the throne just to save their buddy. Of course Loki is fucking pissed off and he sends off the Destroyer to well do what he does, destroy Thor.
Thor gets back his powers of course showing how awesome he is or what not and then goes and fights his demented brother. Of course Thor comes in and saves the day destroying the bridge and Odin comes back to life and grabs his sons and prevents them from falling to death. .
By destroying the bridge, Thor will never see Jane again which is of no huge concern to me seeing that a weekend retreat to Midgar is not even long enough to fall in love oh but wait it’s true. The way the film ends of course is with both Thor and Jane trying to find a way to see each other.
Now that you read the plot summary let’s see my thoughts. Going into the actual film I thought it would be an awful superhero film in the vein of say X-3 which was one of the worst films I had seen that was based off of a Marvel property. Suffice to say the film didn’t do that bad. Aside from the ending it was a rather enjoyable experience granted not one I would sit through multiple times.
The film’s writing is passable if not decent. There is nothing in there that sounds remotely Thor-ish in writing. If you have read a Thor comic then you would know that he speaks in what appears to be a mixture of ye olde english and well what would be the language of Gods. Unfortunately the script writer must have missed this and didn’t include it for some unknown reason. The dialogue was plausible if not alright. There is nothing amazing and no lines that really stand out to me. Some movies just tend to have more quotable lines as compared to those without. That doesn’t make it a bad movie it just doesn’t mean it’s quotable.
The story progressed smoothly and seemingly without much of a hitch, I give credit to the director as well as the editors more so on this. The sad part is we are already a third of the way through the film before we get to where Thor meets Jane Foster. Already a third of the film’s running time is complete and then by the time the real action starts with only twenty minutes left we feel a bit short changed. It seems that this film is more of a lecture on the difference of Gods and mortals as compared to it actually being about a god who goes down interacts with mortals and changes.
The editing was well done, one of the best parts about this film is the way the film flows from start to finish. The effects surely never really take flight or even take center stage, a fact that really more or less upsets me. Super hero movies now a days look more and more photorealistic, much like video games do on the PS3 and X-Box 360. If we were to place this on a console it would be like an X-Box game, simply saying that the PS3 does superior visuals, this film while requiring visuals to help tell the narrative at times looks like the original Spider-Man film starring Tobey.
Granted some things looks worse than others, take the Frost Giants, they didn’t look god awful but placing them next to say the kitty cats from Avatar and you are left wondering if technology went backwards in the past two years. The magic elements also looks a bit off. Maybe it’s just me and these days it’s hard to impress me but maybe just maybe watching Thor twirl that hammer around looked a bit lame and uncouth.
The acting is what I think saved the film. Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal as Thor really helped give a basis to what we are supposed to be expecting. His character obviously grew through the film, being the title character, and he portrayed it with glowing talent. Hiddleston’s Loki though on the other hand stole the show in my opinion. Granted the writing wasn’t flawless with his character but every time he was on the screen it was the way he delivered those lines that really helped me dislike the character. Sir Anthony Hopkins on the other hand seems to be aging horribly and losing his knack for being a star player in films, even as the old mentor like figure.
Natalie Portman’s portrayal of the love interest left me longing for more. She was better in Your Highness as compared to this and that says something. Granted Portman is an accomplished actress who can turn virtually any role into a splendid performance (see the new Star Wars Trilogy) but this one she falls just flat as it seems she spends the entire movie swooning over the rippled abs of Thor. Kat Dennings brief role in the film feels more like an annoyance and Stellan Skarsgaard has his skills practically wasted. Unfortunately they still find a way to make a mediocre and semi-bland script shine through.
While Thor is not going to light up box office numbers we know it’s summer now and we eagerly await the uninspired sequels of blockbuster franchises (Transformers, Pirates) and the start of new ones or reboots (X-Men, Captain American, Green Lantern). Surely the original summer blockbuster will return but only when we can’t do anymore super hero flicks or remakes. Thor uses it’s acting more likely than it would use anything else and the story of a god becoming mortal and thusly wanting to protect the mortals feels a bit tried and true. I would say go see Thor while it’s in theaters but if the price of admission is too much for most non-comic fans wait for it to hit the on-demand section of your cable provider. Thor gets a nice solid 6.5/10.