SYNOPSIS: The epic adventure THOR spans the Marvel Universe from present day Earth to the mystical 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. As a result, Thor is banished to Earth, where he is forced to live among humans. When the most dangerous villain of his world sends its darkest forces to invade Earth, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero.
OK, I was wrong.
A live-action film based on Marvel Comic’s Thor can work and be damn good as well!
I’ll come clean here. When I first heard that there was a Thor film in the pipeline, “Whatever,” I thought to myself. “They’re only making it to help set up THE AVENGERS.
While that latter statement may be true, THOR turned out to be an enjoyable, fun, and quite entertaining film.
Thus, I *ahem* stand corrected.
THOR is the story of, obviously, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) -- son the ruler of Asgard, King Odin (Anthony Hopkins). After an ill-advised and stupid attack on the enemy of Asgard -- The Frost Giants -- Thor is stripped of his powers and banished to the “realm” of Earth and forced to live as a mortal. Back in Asgard, Thor’s goth-looking brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) begins to take over the kingdom for himself via some shady shenanigans.
As one would expect, THOR is a “fish out of water” film in addition to being one based on a comic book superhero. Though the former makes for some rather funny moments in the film (I laughed out loud several times), it is also quite endearing to see how the experience changes Thor from arrogant A-hole to humble hero.
Amongst the cast, there are two standouts: Hiddleston as Loki and Hemsworth as Thor. Loki is as slimy and obnoxious as you want your villains to be -- although he’s sorta got a reason to be slimy and obnoxious which makes him a tad sympathetic. As far as Hemsworth goes, the guy does a fantastic job portraying "spoiled rich kid"/pompous Thor, as well as redeemed/heroic Thor. And while it’s certainly good to see Thor become, well, “Thor,” I gotta admit that I even liked him as an arrogant A-hole.
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
As far as the other members of the main cast -- Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Stellan Skarsgard as Prof. Andrews, and Kat Dennings as Darcy -- no real standout performances here. However all are solid and do a fine job. Portman’s Jane Foster comes off a little underdeveloped character-wise, but I get the impression that they are “saving” Jane Foster, if you will, for the eventual sequel. In fact, I’d say that she’s going to have to play a huge role in the return of Thor to our “realm.”
Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Anthony Hopkins is, for lack of a better term, “Anthony Hopkins.” In other words, you get exactly what you would expect from an actor of his stature playing a king.
As I said previously, my original misgivings about a Thor film were 1) I wasn't sure how many folks outside of Thor and comic book movie fans would be interested in such a movie, and 2) I figured a Thor flick’s only purpose was to help set up THE AVENGERS. Now, I think that positive reviews and word of mouth will definitely bring in the mainstream audience. And quite frankly, THE AVENGERS tie-in found in THOR works much better and fits into this story rather seemlessly as opposed to the square peg/round hole situation found in last Summer’s IRON MAN 2.
I know this is out of left field, BUT...
Is it just me that expects THOR is going to do very well in Minnesota? I think I once had a beer with a "Thor Odinson" at a bar in my wife's native state. Anyway...
The review continues after the jump!
My only real issue was the 3D. Frankly, I’m not a fan of it in general, unless it really adds something to the film and the experience. I did not find that to be the case and would have much preferred to see it in 2D -- and without those damn glasses!
To be fair, despite all the praise I’ve heaped on THOR, it isn’t a game-changer or anything (Hell, they all can't be THE DARK KNIGHT). Regardless, this is one fine production and does the genre proud. Also, don’t worry about bringing the kiddos to this one despite the PG-13 rating. It’s definitely appropriate for pre-teens on up. I’ve got no problem taking my 9 (almost 10) year old son to see THOR. In fact, I brought my 15 (almost 16) daughter to the screening with me and even she loved it -- though I think Chris Hemsworth might’ve had something to do with it.
So throw those stones (or perhaps hammers would be more appropriate?) at me. I was wrong about THOR...but damn glad that I was.
A life-long Batman fan, "Jett" is the founder of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM and resides in the great state of Texas.