Sup Nerds! Leviathen here, with a review of the latest Marvel Entertainment film, ‘THOR’
4.5 Hammers out of 5
I’m going to start with what I believe to be the greatest strength of this movie: the casting. The characters are what truly carry this epic movie, and the actors who played them could not have been better choices. Chris Hemsworth as the title character does a fantastic job in balancing the arrogance of The God of Thunder, and the humility of a son who has learned his lesson. He looks like Thor, he talks like Thor. Chris Hemsworth made the role his and he has earned it.
Tom Hiddleston as Loki, The God of Mischief
Tom Hiddleston was AWESOME as Loki, The God of Mischief. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, watch Loki as much as you can. Everything you need to know and understand about Loki can be told in his eyes. The scheming, the envy, just an all-around shiftiness that I expect of the Trickster, and Tom gives you all of this with his eyes and face before he even assumes the role of the antagonist in the film.
Anthony Hopkins as Odin the Allfather, and Chris Hemsworth as Thor Odinson
Anthony Hopkins as Odin… I don’t need to say anything more about it. The man was awesome. He was everything Odin was supposed to be. Rene Russo did well as Frigga, the wife of Odin, although I wish she had more of a presence in the film than she did. The lesser known characters of Lady Sif and the Warriors Three, Thor’s friends and comrades, were splendid and looked the part. Volstagg, played by Ray Stevenson (of Marvel’s Punisher: War Zone) would have to be my favorite of of the Warriors Three. Heimdell, the Gatekeeper and guardian of the Bifrost bridge, was possibly the most bad-ass looking dude in the film, and when the man (played by Idris Elba) spoke, it made my colon quiver. Trust me, you’ll know what I mean when you see the film.
The characters of Earth pale in comparison to the Asgardians, but not due to any fault of there own. Natalie Portman (the future Mrs. Leviathen) was good as Jane Foster, an astrophysicist who develops a love interest with Thor. Clark Gregg as Special Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. was absolute comedic gold! And a short, but still good, appearance by Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton was a lovely taste of the Avengers movie yet to come.
Now if I had any beef it would have to be with the pacing. Once Thor is cast out of Asgard, the story jumps between Thor on Earth, and the Asgardians. IMHO, this creates a bit of an imbalance in the movie. The scenes in Asgard are compelling when the realm stands on the brink of war with Jötunheimr, which is the land of the Frost Giants (Bad Dudes). You’ve got Lady Sif and the Warriors Three trying to find a way to get Thor back to deal with a traitor in Asgard (guess who?), as well as other major happenings taking place in this mystical land of Gods. This is all going on while the scenes on Earth tell the story of a creature out of his element, and tells it all in a small remote town in the New Mexican desert. It’s a time-tested story that creates many comedic moments, but pales in scope and depth when compared to the events taking place on Asgard. The imbalance could have been corrected a little bit if the scenes on Earth were given more time to develop, but it would be a daunting task in the film’s 114 minute run time.
Thor and the Destroyer Stare Down Before They Throw Down
My other (and frankly the only other) problem with the film would have to be the final fight scene. The Destroyer, an Asgardian artifact with a cannon for a face, was visually impressive. But the moment Thor regains his power, he makes very fast work of the automaton, leaving an anti-climatic end to what could have been a much more bad-ass encounter. When you take into account how epic the initial battle was when Thor, Loki, and company take on a group of Frost Giants, it’s hard to hold the Destroyer battle in the same regards. The battle between Thor’s posse and the Jolly Blue Giants was as hectic and painful as you’d expect a fight between Gods and Giants to be, so maybe this early conflict sucked a bit of the fire out of the film’s intended climax. Regardless, it’s just a minor grief.
One a side note the scene after the credits may shoot over the head of all but the most devoted comic book readers (EB agrees with this). It hints at the major plot device of the Captain America movie, and possibly the Avengers movie. Although, if you aren’t aware of what it is you are actually seeing, the reference and “OMG!” moment that comes from it will be lost on you (EB thanks Leviathen for the clarification, scene makes more sense now).
All and all, I am very happy with this movie. The pacing and balance issues are easily overshadowed by a stronger cast than I could ever hope for. Kenneth Branagh at the helm of this movie did a splendid job. You can see the Shakespearean influence in the framing and blocking of this film and it gives it a little something special that fits the story and the character of Thor like a well worn glove. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 hammers. Go see Thor at theater near you, and if you need more convincing make sure to watch the trailer below! You’ve just been hammered Mjolnir style…
EB Followup Commentary
I just wanted to add my two cents to Leviathen’s spot on review of ‘Thor’. Like him, I too feel that the actors and the characters they played in this film are the true stars of the live-action ‘Thor’ movie. Hemsworth, without a doubt, was sent to this Earth to play Thor. The Aussie was brilliant considering this was his first huge acting gig. He was funny, large, and everything I’d imagine a real life Thor to be. The actor playing Loki is also just as brilliant. He plays a great weasel, and should make for a wonderful super villain in the ‘Avengers’ film.
Portman and the Earth based cast are nothing to scoff at either. She plays her role very well, and delivered some acting that made me giggle. Although, I would like to point out that the actress who plays Natalie’s lab assistant steals most of the moments of this film that happen on Earth. I don’t know who she is, but she delivered some comedic lines with a timing that only seasoned funny people achieve.
I’m not entirely sure if I agree with Leviathen’s pacing issues, but I do see his point. I felt like the movie moved at an overall acceptable pace. It was one of those film’s that you walk into, and before you know it the credits are rolling. It just kept me glued to the action that I had no sense of time. It definitely didn’t feel like a 2 hour movie. I do agree that the backdrop of the Earth settings were very plain Jane and not as vividly spectacluar as the Asgard set pieces, but overall I felt like the balance between the two worked
For knowing less about the Thor franchise than a teen knows about real life I couldn’t have been happier with this movie. I felt it did a fantastic job of bringing another one of Marvel’s superheroes to the masses, and I highly recommend any geek, strike that, any movie lover to go and see this film. I would also advise you to see it in IMAX 3D if possible. ‘Thor’, like ‘Tron’ and ‘Avatar’, makes good use of the 3rd dimension, so it’s well worth the extra moola to see it in style. Like Leviathen, I also give ‘Thor’ 4.5 hammers out of 5.
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EB Orignal by Leviathen