Thor (2011)

A Hammering Success (Sorry)

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is the arrogant son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), ruler of the mystical realm known as Asgard. After Thor's reckless actions threaten to reignite an ancient war, he is banished from Asgard with his power taken from him, forced to live amongst humans.

The trailer for this film does not do the film any justice. They make the film look like a bad Marvel movie, when actually it's one of their better efforts at an origin story. Of course, this is a superhero film, which means we're getting action, and I'm pleased to say that the action in Thor is brilliantly done, especially the battle between the Asgardians and the Frost Giants in their home of Jotunheim (yes, I had to look up the spelling and name). The effects for the mythical worlds (especially Asgard) are tremendous to see, utterly dazzling.

Chris Hemsworth was the right person to cast for the lead, proving his worth in the many forms of his character, the arrogant brat, the crestfallen hero, the self-sacrificing man, Dr Selvig's friend, and of course, the God of Thunder. He also proved he had a great for comedy with his fish out of water comedy scenes on Earth, fitting in well with the film as you'd believe this arrogant god would hold on to his Asgardian customs, despite them not working on Earth. Loki is a breath of fresh air, as we are given a villian who does not start out as a villian or because of some vain reason, but we follow his journey and we come to understand why he betrays his home and family, and it is handled in a believable manner, making you feel sorry for the poor trickster.

Anthony Hopkins is great to watch as Odin, the all-father of Asgard, playing the role of the wise old ruler well, showcasing how he has grown to know that you cannot solve all problems by fighting and war. His standout scene was where he casts Thor out of Asgard, as you could see the emotion in Hopkins as his character was forced to do away with his reckless son, and you could see that it broke Odins heart to do this. Natalie Portman played a character who came across as believable, despite being a bit quick to trust the crazy god she hit with a car. Their romance isn't the most convincing you'll see in a superhero movie this year, but there were moments between her and Hemsworth which were believable. Rene Russo barely did anything, with only one notable scene in the movie and barely any dialogue.

When Idris Elba was cast for this film, there was a lot of controversy, mainly from white supremacists, because Heimdall, the character Elba plays, is white in the comics. I say that the right choice was made to cast Heimdall, because Elba brilliantly portrays the all-seeing, all-knowing, menacing looking gatekeeper, who is superbly written, with the best of his dialogue coming from his confrontation with Loki, and his fight scene was a highlight to watch, I'm glad he signed on for a four-picture deal.

Odin was pleased at the fact that he would never see a movie in 3D

This film feels quite Shakespearian with the plot of family woes and the malicious Loki plotting against his father and his brother, even the names have that feel (Heimdall, Laufey, Mjolnir, Jotunheim), so it seems like more of a right fit for Kenneth Branagh to be directing this film. The dialogue feels a bit toned down from ye olde language, presumably for the benefit of the audience, but it still manages to feel like the type of dialogue ye olde gods would use to speak.

Yes, there are more elements put into the film to build up to The Avengers, namely an appearance from the Avenger that we won't see in action until next year, Hawkeye, played by The Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner. If you took his scenes out from the film, there wouldn't be any impact upon the film as his appearance feels like it was placed in at the last moment. There aren't as many aspects put in for the future team-up event like Iron Man 2 had, in fact, the only scene which feels to be primarily there just to build up for next year's film is placed after the credits.

This film was only playing in 3D in my regular cinema, so I will be writing about the 3D aspect of the film. Despite the movie being brilliantly filmed and the worlds being stunning for your eyes to behold, it felt like they didn't take advantage of the 3D aspect, and the only moment that actually  seemed to embrace the 3D was the end credits. If you have the chance to see this film in 2D, take the chance, as you will not be missing out on much.

Thor is a magnificent way to bring a lesser known comics character to become more known to the people, just like Iron Man was. It has a real balance of drama, comedy, action and emotion from strong characters, and the effects of the worlds are dazzling to see. It may not have been the best of the superhero movies released this summer, but it's definitely one of the best superhero movies in recent years.


AdamMoody said…
Wow, passionate review man. I can tell you are a major comic book adaptation fan and it shows in your awesome review. Good work
Excellent review, Rodders. I have this rented ATM and will write my review this weekend, which is when I intend to watch it. Make sure to read mine too.
James Rodrigues said…
cheers Adam, I do love comic book adaptations, they're probably my favourite film genre.

and Ryan, I shall definitely read your review as you have done with mine. Hope you enjoy it
Myerla said…
Yeah, agreed. I had fun watching this. I also gave it THOR out of five stars. Chris Hemsworth made for a far more interesting superhero this Chris Evans though I do feel Hopkins hammed it up a little. Nice review. I've followed you. Mind returning the favour?
HarleyQuinn said…
I gave this the same rating for similar reasons, and I liked that Thor was different from most Marvel origin stories in that it has an extraordinary person becoming ordinary (as well as a person who was born with their powers) as opposed to an ordinary person becoming extraordinary. It was also well-acted, well-directed, and had beautiful visuals. One of my favourite movies of the year. great review!
Anonymous said…
Very good review,i've read a few of the others as well, good stuff! But on the premise that it's healthy to read a totally different point of view
James Rodrigues said…
@filmdrivel I do like reading opposing views on films, cheers for the link.