I’m a Marvel Fangirl, always have been, most likely always will be. When collecting comics they have always been my go to. But I’ve never collected X-Men because it would have cost a fortune and I’ve never read a single issue of Thor. I didn’t like the character in the Avengers and could never get past the Shakespearean English. So this is a character I don’t know much about. When I saw the first trailer for the new big budget movie, I thought, “Meh,” and it looked on the level of a SyFy Channel Saturday Night Movie, then I made the mistake of watching the unwatchable SyFy Channel version and who nelly…. This ain’t SyFy’s Thor! This is Hollywood Thor and it’s pretty damn good!
Normally when you see a Hollywood movie that was written by committee – in this case more 8 different credited writers, you know you are in for an experience – usually awful, but somehow the writing in this movie is consistent and works. The structure isn’t at all how I thought it’d be. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) actually spends very little time on Earth (or as they say “In Midgard”). In some ways it’s the movie’s weakest and strongest part because the whole point of him being exiled to Midgard is Odin (Anthony Hopkins) wanted to punish his son and teach him humility. He only ends up spending a few days on Earth and it’s enough to completely change his personality?
In some weird way, I managed to shut my brain off and just go with it. I liken it to the idea that in the real world if a Billionaire is forced to live on the streets of Manahatten or Detroit in the middle of winter for a few days he would most likely have a profound experience as well. Thor being a brash, arrogant, power Prince having everything stripped away would similarly make him wise up fairly quick.
The movie does a great job of using the short amount of time that they have to establish the relationship between Thor and the Earth Girl Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Would I have liked to see more of this relationship, yes, there’s always room for more Portman (she doesn’t work enough!) but the movie gets in enough to establish the connection without dwelling on it. If I had one complaint it would be, I didn’t feel the chemistry between Portman and Hemsworth.
I love the cast of this movie, Jaimie Alexander (Kyle XY) does a great job as SIF, Anthony Hopkins is a great Odin but he’s hampered by a cheap looking costume and there’s a lot more of Clark Gregg’s Agent Colson in this movie. There’s a great cameo of Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) in this. Tom Hiddleston’s Loki had just the right amount of menace and weaselness to him. Hiddleston actually brought a lot of dimensions to Loki and never overdid it.
The Costume and Set Design was, for the most part, terrible. Loki’s full Costume looked like something you’d see in a low budget SyFy production. But then how else could Director Kenneth Branagh bring most of this to the screen unless he completely changed everything? Asgard definitely looks a lot better on the big screen than it did in trailers or photos.
The amazing thing here is, I’ve written all of this without complaining about the 3D. 3D is completely pointless for this movie, but it wasn’t a horrible post conversion job, it just wasn’t that deep, layered, or added anything to the movie. But there was something plain about it.
Marvel and Paramount is doing an amazing job of really building this Universe and using every movie to lead into the Avengers movie – there’s just no way that movie isn’t going to break every box office record.
I walked in expected to hate Thor and was surprised by how much heart and soul this movie has.
Final Grade B
EM Review by
Originally posted 05/07/11