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5/6/11

Thor Movie Review - May 5, 2011

I caught Thor, the Movie, tonight at the ICON Theater on Roosevelt Rd. in downtown Chicago. I was caught by surprise that it was 3D.

The technical stuff:
The 3D, in general, was slightly blurry. My seats were slighty off from the center, but big budgets movies need to get this right. Thor did not.

The CGI and related animation was often amazing, occasionally disappointing. The bridge (Thor readers know what I mean) connecting Asgard and Earth, was like a bad disco floor against a backdrop that was busy with flashing lights. That's not only a technical problem, but also, poor design. While a rainbow bridge might have felt a little too "Smurfy," work is still needed. Maybe the issue will be resolved by the time the Avengers movie is released.
Thor Lightning Hammer
Plot
The gist is Thor is about to be crowned king in a lavish ceremony. His rock star attitude is tolerate because he is basically a decent guy. It is disrupted by the Frost Giants. Loki convinces Thor to wage war against the wishes of Odin, and they, with a few others, go to kick some icycle tail.

It gets seriously out of hand, and Odin banishes Thor to Earth. His hammer, the Mjolnir, is sent too, but only a man of Authurian purity can pick it up. Thor's no longer fit to do it, nor can any of the humans who try. The sword, so to speak, stays in the stone.

Meanwhile, Loki is provocating war in Asgard with the Frost Giants, claiming Odin is dead (he's not), and ascending to the throne.

What happens next is why the movies matters.

Overall, it works. In short, like Iron Man, Thor is a story of a powerful person let their arrogance cause havoc. He realizes it, is humbled, and uses his powers for good. Simple as that, and, on this level, it works.

Weaknesses are in how they push the plot. For example: The romantic subplot is incomplete. Thor falls for Jane too deeply, too quickly. She's too easily accepting that he's a god.

Loki's intentions go from sneaky, to evil, to confusing. I left the theater with no idea what he was trying to accomplish.

It, more or less, follows the key Marvel comic book line. I won't go through the differences as the most not only needs to stand on its own, but comic are so often retconned (Retroactive continuity) to work in another era or media, it isn't worth deliberating.

Casting
Chris Hemsworth as Thor - Completely Thor. Superhero films has suffered from brilliant and horrible casting (Brandon Routh as an effeminate, unmasculine Clark Kent/Superman was the worst). Not here. Hemsworth fit the suit, the attitude. He's sexy without being raunchy, arrogrant yet likeable, humble but not a wimp.

Anthony Hopkins as Odin - Wow. Think of this as compared to Marlon Brando as Superman's dad, Jor-El. Who would have thought they would do a comic book movie? Hopkins is completely believable as Odin. A few lines should have been rewritten (watch near the end for a "should haven't been deleted Hallmark Afterschool Special" scene), but he masters even the thinnest lines.

Natalie Portman as Jane Foster - She works as the generic attractive brunette. You might not mind that she's there, but a half dozen other actresses could have stepped in.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki - He fits it. Not so evil, but by no means good. His role is something that of the serpant in Eden. He is a tempter, liar and thief.

Stellan SkarsgÄrd as Dr. Erik Selvig - Like Portman, he did a fine, yet unremarkable job as Foster's mentor.

To compare it to other superhero movies: Iron Man and the recent Batman movies are more sophisticated, but also darker and for older audiences. It misses the banter and emo-romance of Spiderman, and retro-cheesy fun of Superman. That's not a bad thing.

Search Amazon.com for Thor

Watch the first trailer for Thor, in theaters May 6, 2011.

http://thor.marvel.com
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the epic adventure "Thor" spans the Marvel Universe from present day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.

Category: Trailers
Tags: Thor, Marvel, marvel studios, thor trailer, thor, movie, trailer, thor movie trailer, marvel movie, thor movie, marvelthor, Kenneth Branagh, Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, official thor trailer, thor official trailer, thor trailer 2011
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