Thor Movie Review

By Vince

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to wait several days to see Thor; several long, agonizing days. I’ll keep this review short since I’ll be the 5,682,744th person to review the movie online.

Yes, I’m a total Thor fanboy; I’ve never tried to hide that. That said, I’m going to at least attempt to be objective.

As a film, Thor is decent. As far as summer blockbusters go, it’s actually quite good. The writing and acting are above-average by today’s standards, but nobody’s winning any awards here. Chris Hemsworth certainly looks to be on his way to stardom; he’s charming on screen and certainly has physical assets that will guarantee future starring roles. Natalie Portman plays the generic love interest, but I sometimes found it hard to take her seriously as an astrophysicist. Anthony Hopkins is generally awesome as Odin and Tom Hiddleston played Loki perfectly. The rest of the supporting cast gets little development, but they play their roles in the story and fans will be pleased with the portrayals.

The story, while told amidst a fantastic setting, is a typical “young prince goes on a journey of self discovery and learns what it takes to be a leader” tale. It’s pulled off well, even though it follows the typical beats. The scenes in Asgard carry more weight and grandeur, balanced out by the more lighthearted scenes on Earth. At no point was I surprised by the story, but I still enjoyed it.

Asgard itself looks great on the screen. The set design and CGI cityscapes are amazing and definitely give the movie an otherworldly feeling. The action scenes are limited but powerful; Thor comes off as an absolute badass and the supporting characters each have their moments to shine, as well.

Again, as a movie, Thor is an entertaining and well-made summer blockbuster, but as a comic adaptation, it’s absolutely astounding. As the least well-known of Marvel’s headliners, with the most fantastic backstory, Thor needed to be more accessible, and I feel it pulled it off. There’s no charismatic lead character like Tony Stark or pop culture icon like the Hulk or Captain America. Thor would live or die based upon its worldbuilding, and it seems most non-fans are on board with it.

The characters, as has become standard for Marvel Studios movies, are all spot-on. Thor has become a bit of a one-note character in the comics, but Hemsworth gives him attitude and charisma, really bringing him to life on the screen. While Marvel has rightfully received praise for their casting of the hero roles, I feel they’ve done an even better job with the villains. Tim Roth’s Abomination, Jeff Bridges’ Obediah Stane and Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer were just as good as the titular heroes they faced off against. By that standard, I can’t praise Hiddleston’s Loki enough. Loki is a very complex character, and Hiddleston’s portrayal just oozes villainy, while at the same time making him likable enough to relate to viewers.

Much controversy surrounded Idris Elba’s casting as Heimdall, but he absolutely owns every scene he’s in. Sif and the Warriors Three served their purpose in the story, but they were a bit generic, if entertaining. I saw some flashes that really make me want a spinoff, fleshing out the characters. Also, am I the only one who had a Masters of the Universe flashback when they showed up on Earth? Probably.

I was happy to see the S.H.I.E.L.D. and Avengers elements toned down compared to Iron Man 2. Agent Coulson is enough of a thread to tie it together, and I thought the Hawkeye cameo was well-implemented. The movie doesn’t lose anything having him in that scene instead of a generic soldier, but it was enough that non-fans will likely recognize him in Avengers next year. And the post-credits scene? Hell yes. Those scenes have always been solely for the comic fans, and this one did not disappoint.

Thor succeeded for what it was supposed to do; it was an entertaining movie, making a difficult character accessible to the masses while still building to something bigger down the road. As a character, Thor likely won’t have the mass-market appeal of Iron Man or Captain America, but the movie is still enjoyable for average moviegoers and a true treat for fans. Sadly, for those who know the character and just don’t like him, this movie will do little to change that.

Vince is the self-proclaimed “Massive Nerd.” His interests range from video games and comics to anime and Transformers collectibles.

3 Comments

  1. tart May 10, 2011, 2:57 pm

    Can I just say that I am so glad we saw the same movie. I keep hearing people bashing it and I don’t understand it. Sure it wasn’t an Oscar worthy screenplay, but compared to most comic adaptions it was amazing. (I mean, come on… the non Ed Norton Hulk anyone?)

    Reply
  2. Roger May 10, 2011, 8:42 pm

    Meh, I say.

    I haven’t seen it yet, so I will make certain to go in with low expectations so that I’m not disappointed.

    I haven’t hidden the fact that I’m not a big Thor fan. In fact, there are times when I point-blank simply don’t like the character… as opposed to Vince who’d gladly drop the soap for him at any time.

    From the trailers, I wasn’t crazy about the casting, though that opinion may change upon being forced to watch the film (and I use the word loosely).

    Reply
  3. Ansgar July 14, 2011, 5:51 pm

    I haven’t seen the film and I don’t want to. I am a huge fan of the Thor comics and I am bitterly afraid of this film. To me they treated Thor more like Beta Ray Bill with a few Thor based plots. The costuming is horrendous at best. And what the hell is with Asgardians not having belly buttons? This sounds like something a twelve year old would come up with playing aliens with his friends in the park. They are just aliens where magic and science are one? What a bunch of crap. What little I have seen I am not impressed. I hope one day directors figure out that fans don’t want to see THEIR version of vision of a comic hero. We just want to see the comics we love so much brought to life.

    Reply

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