The God of Thunder hits town next week (apparently the whole world gets to see it ahead of the U.S.) and indeed, almost the whole world should be watching this much anticipated action blockbuster from Marvel Studios, its fourth independent production since Iron Man in 2008. Based on the trailers, sneak previews and online marketing, here are some reasons why you should all catch Thor when it opens on April 28th, and I’m not even including the obvious ones like Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Tom Hiddleston.
That’s right! Five more reasons why you should watch Thor. Not like you needed them.
Many may forget that, while Marvel’s Thor is heavily inspired by the Norse legend, right from day one – it was clear that creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were out to redefine the divine. In his origin story in Journey into Mystery #83 in 1962, Thor battled against not-so-Little Green Men, a juxtaposition of fantasy and science-fiction that would continue to establish what the Marvel Universe could expect from stories about the God of Thunder.
No one antagonist better defined this amalgamation than The Destroyer, yet another unforgettable Lee/Kirby creation from the pages of Journey into Mystery #118 in 1965. An enormous enchanted suit of armour, needing the life-force of a willing human host to power it, this would appear to be from the realm of magic. Once powered, however, the Destroyer has the ability to project a disintegration beam from its visor, manipulate electro-magnetic energy, even capable of flight – clearly taking on a more science-fiction feel.
I first read about the Destroyer in Thor #477 in 1994, one of the first few comics I’ve ever owned, and immediately got so caught up with the character I utilised it in one of my first few online fanfics – which thankfully has since disappeared into oblivion. That was thirty years after its creation. Though early reviews of the movie have suggested that the battle between Thor and The Destroyer is unfortunately brief, I just couldn’t be happier to see it recreated so faithfully some half a century later on the big screen.
2. Sir Anthony Hopkins as All-Father Odin
If there was one man that could bring gravitas into any movie and make you feel like it was suddenly more than the sum of its parts, it would be Sir Anthony Hopkins. Setting aside his brilliance as a leading man, Sir Anthony’s recent supporting roles as the “father figure” to the lead has single-handedly redeemed more movies than should be allowed. I need just mention Alexander, Beowulf and The Wolfman to make my point.
In his notably more significant role as the All-Father Odin, Sir Anthony returns to a more familiar topos, one that he played to perfection in The Mask of Zorro, that of the nurturing tutor who is harsh but ultimately cares for his protege. If nothing else compels you to watch this movie, I hope the sheer casting of Sir Anthony as Odin would be enough reason.
I wasn’t truly sold on how awesome Thor would be until I discovered just how much of Jotunheim, land of the frost giants we would be seeing. Sure, we’ve see the giants themselves in the trailers, and some other big-and-nasty critters as well, but it was the pure wintery expanse of Jotunheim that made me shiver (pun intended) as soon as I saw it.
I may have had my concerns over the seemingly inordinate amount of time spent on Earth, but the Jotunheim scenes definitely qualifies this movie as epic. (and yes, that is a lens flare.)
4. Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis
Colour me surprised! When I first heard about the casting of Kat Dennings as a character created solely for the movie, I was hesitant, reticent and eveything in between. No, I hadn’t watched her leading role in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, but I was convinced that she couldn’t contribute much, if at all, to a superhero movie. This unmistakable distrust, for there is no better word to describe it, continued when, at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, her appearance at the Thor panel contributed nothing.
That all changed when I saw the trailer. As the sidekick of leading lady Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), Darcy Lewis is a witty, down-to-earth everywoman with some of the best lines in the whole movie, and Dennings’ comedic timing is nothing short of gifted.
Seriously, I could learn to love this girl.
5. Patrick Doyle’s soundtrack
I’ll admit, when it comes to soundtracks, nothing beats Michael Giacchino’s score to Star Trek, but director Kenneth Branagh’s longtime collaborator Patrick Doyle is no slouch himself, having been nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe on his previous work on Lee Ang’s Sense and Sensibility. Doyle has proven himself capable of scoring for genre movies, as he replaced John Williams for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, so I don’t have any doubt that his music will be that extra ooomph needed.
Here’s a one-minute preview of “Sons of Odin”, a resounding theme which is later subtly repeated in “Ride to Observatory”.
Finally, thanks to Bleeding Cool, here’s a nice accessible way to get more background info about the movie, as well as a really cool reward for going through the whole thing. Only in the UK version of the Thor website! Gotta love the Brits.