A reviewgitation of Thor with
Direcow, Kakita and Korgath
Thors-day Thorsday FUN FUN FUN
You’ll probably have noticed that yesterday was Thors-day, otherwise known as the day we all go watch and review Thor. You might have noticed that we’ve been talking a lot of Thor lately. And why shouldn’t we? It’s the first of the big Marvel movies this year, and it sets the stage for subsequent Marvel movies. And Thor does not disappoint. It’s a solid story, with great characters, moving relationships and snappy dialogue.
To recap: Thor is based on the original Norse myth – except with a spin on technology taking it quite a bit aways from the original Norse roots while still being strongly entrenched. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is Odinson, aka son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), and together with his brother Loki (the brilliant Tom Hiddleston) they stand in line to ascend to the throne of Asgard when Odin decides to take a step down. Thor, in a bid to impress his father, screws up royally, and is banished to Midgard (aka Earth) and it is there the movie begins.
When I came into the theatre, I was worried that Thor would be too niche in its plot (he is a God/Astral space being). I’m glad to report that it’s not the case. While you have awesome vistas from gleaming gold Asgard to freezing cold Jotunheim and Norse mythology like the Bifrost, Rainbow bridge and the like, it’s all magic really, and it seems that magic is a lot easier to swallow than technobabble.
I think it’s quite a bit of the original Stan Lee magic right there, and while they don’t quite go to lengths to explain the magic or the science, I think the movie is much stronger for it – any form of explaination would not be as good as “they’re gods, it works”. And once the movie explains that they’re gods, how Mjolnir works really doesn’t matter at all. Stick to the important exposition folks! That’s all there is to it.
And marvel at the prettiness that is Asgard.
And that set piece at the beginning of the movie – that was riveting stuff that took you right into the movie. Great, great way to introduce Asgard.
But at the heart of it all, Thor is just a heady mix of all of the the oldest stories known to man. One man’s journey of self-discovery, pride going before a fall, and pitting brother against brother and father against son. These would not seem out of place in Shakespeare, or any other story, which is probably why it resonated so easily with the entire audience.
A part of me resents that, actually. The movie doesn’t feel like a comic book movie at all, and while that’s definitely a good thing for mainstream audiences, there just wasn’t enough hints, easter eggs or inside jokes for a fan like me to appreciate.
For me it felt like they had just enough – cameos by Stan Lee and former Thor scribe J. Micheal Straczynski, mentions of the other characters from other movies to tie it together (Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America), and Asgardian details such as the Rainbow Bridge. (And how many caught the “Journey into Mystery” reference! That was awesome!) But I guess some of us are reminded of the Infinity Gauntlet – mentioned at SDCC, but not in sight at all, as were some of the more esoteric characters of of the Asgardian realm.
Chris Hemsworth was definitely a worthy Thor – that physique, the way he carried the armour, the way he delivered his lines, especially when he was cocky and brash. I’d say he’s come a long way from his pretty forgettable role in Star Trek. Even in the comedic scenes he didn’t overplay it – I like how, in general, they avoided too many fish out water scenes for comedic relief, and when the time came, just brought us right back into the action. Very well balanced for a script that’s been rewritten many times.
Chris Hemsworth was great, being able to do drama as easily as action (and the odd one-liner). Kenneth Branagh and Anthony Hopkins didn’t hurt either. Anthony Hopkins lent the correct level of gravitas to Odin, and both his and Kenneth Branagh’s experience with Shakespeare probably helped them carry the movie. And Natalie Portman is… well Natalie Portman.
There’ve been remarks that the love story between Thor and Jane Foster was a little too rushed, especially with the need to balance the Asgard scenes with those on Earth – but I think Hemsworth and Portman did show a certain simple chemistry – a woman awestruck by this strange, interesting man, and a man moved by a woman’s passion. Sure, maybe Foster could have been feistier, but I think for all purposes it worked. If anything, they’re both very attractive people, and sometimes that’s enough for some people.
I am amused that after the debacle that was the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Portman would sign on to play the character of Jane Foster, who essentially is no better than Amidala – i.e. a lovestruck lass who can hold her own, but prefers to be in the arms of male protagonist. I would’ve much preferred to see her as Sif – the Jane Foster role of an Earth-woman who has to deal with a super-nonhuman has been done to death with Lois Lane. But kudos to Jaimie Alexander for making the most out of Sif’s action-packed role.
Jaimie Alexander looked most wonderful as Sif and definitely held her own as a warrior. Natalie Portman continues to befuddle me with her character choices – she did mention that she took up this role because she got the chance to work with Hopkins and Branagh, but nevertheless she has her winsome charm that adds to Jane Foster’s character. Maybe they’d have more for her in a sequal, but even then, the movies would be more about Thor.
What I truly enjoyed was the portrayal of the Warriors Three very much. As some of the few characters not based on original Norse legend, Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg were just as good as I would’ve imagined from the comics and Ray Stevenson is totally unrecognisable but still absolutely hilarious as the not-so-voluminous Volstagg. “Do not mistake my appetite for apathy!” has got to be my favourite quote ever.
I’d have loved to see more of them! They had some of the best lines (except for Hogun, who was criminally underused) – and yes, Ray Stevenson, the impressive Titus Pullo from Rome, is almost unrecognisable here, but does a great job about it. Idris Alba, as Heimdall, was really pretty darn imposing.
The stars of the show though were probably Tom Hiddleston and Kat Dennings. Tom played the confused and tortured trickster god to a T, and Kat Dennings was the perfect spunky sidekick to Natalie Portman, with probably the best one-liners out there.
I am so happy with the casting of Tom Hiddleston, who is clearly set to become the major villain in 2012’s Avengers movie – another thing that delights the Avengers fan I am. While I felt the movie’s Loki lacked the evil, manipulative characteristic that is long associated with the comic book version, I have no doubt that Hiddleston is capable of it and we’ll see more of it in Avengers.
Yes, Hiddleston gave a hint of what he’s truly capable of. This isn’t a jokester Loki full of big smiles, the Loki here simmers beneath, and this anger that feeds Loki really gets to you. If anything, Hiddleston has managed to whet our appetitie for lots more Loki – the manipulative, conniving, mischievious yet Asgard loving (loving?) Loki.
Ironically though, for something that most people would assume is an action movie, I felt that it was the weak link in the movie. There are quite a few fights, but because of that, it feels like maybe each of them could have lasted a little bit longer. Especially that last fight with the Destroyer; that seemed almost like Deus Ex saved the day (just because you’re a god doesn’t mean you should use that as a plot excuse).
In fact, I could’ve done with about 10-15 more minutes of story. I want to know more about Thor! But then again, maybe the fact that I want more means that the movie succeeded beautifully. I was worried that Thor would only be a fan movie, but it isn’t. It exceeded my expectations and I can happily recommend that it should be watched.
Oh, and comic book fans should DEFINITELY stay till after the credits.
It definitely wasn’t a perfect movie, and there were definitely problems with pacing and with editing. Certain scenes felt like they were dragging too long, while other scenes weren’t given enough time to sink in for the audiences.
Again my gripe is that ultimately, Thor doesn’t feel like a comic book movie, even though much of the plot and the characters are borrowed from Lee and Kirby’s creation. Kudos to director Branagh for not alienating audiences, but surely there could’ve been more winks to the fans? As it stands, Thor is a great chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that started with Iron Man, but not the homage that Iron Man or Spider-Man was.
Oh, but that post-credits scene was just perfect. 10/10 for that alone.
I did have to take a toilet break in the middle of the movie (TMI?), and I think I took it at the right time, during one of the slower scenes. But even then I was riveted throughout – I only wish that there was more of Asgard because whatever happened there was so, so impressive and mind expanding. But in the end, I’d say that this was the best Marvel Studios movie yet – and with that, I can’t wait for the Avengers (and let’s not forget Captain America).
9/10, because, those flaws were tiny, and it was just fun, fun, fun, fun, fun.
In the cinema, waiting for the movie
Gotta be Thor, maybe not 3D
Gotta have my mead, gotta have Mjolnir,
Seein’ everything, the lightnin’ comin’
Thor is Odinson, Loki, Laufeyson
Gotta get down to Jotunheim
Gotta catch frost giants, I see warriors (warriors 3)
Smashin’ in the frost giants
Nearly gettin’ beat up
Banished down to Midgard
Where his powers gone?
It’s Thorsday, Thorsday,
Gotta watch Thor on Thorsday,
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to Natalie, Portman
Ratin’s average 8/10
Everybody’s looking for the movie, movie