Monday, May 9, 2011

Movie Review: Thor

So to kick off the summer movies we’ve got the thunder god himself. Now, I have never read the Thor comic books, so I can’t compare, but this was an enjoyable actiony flick.

The story starts with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) hunting cosmic disturbances. A wormhole appears and amidst the chaos, they hit a guy. But just not any guy – it’s Thor! (Played by Chris Hemsworth)

The movie then backtracks to Thor’s day, where he’ll be announced heir to the throne of Asgard. But the party is crashed by ice giants. In his anger, Thor and his friends head over to the realm of ice giants to demand an explanation – and they end up almost getting killed. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) saves their asses and strips Thor of his power for his foolishness, and then sends him packing to Earth. And thus, we are brought back to the beginning – but not the end.

As an action flick, I say this satisfies, what with Thor tearing through stuff like it’s made of tissue paper. Although, there are a few points where characters literally pop out of nowhere. I know they’re gods and they can fly, but who knew they could instantly teleport, too? But that’s a minor itch.

A big itch is the forced romance between Jane and Thor, as well as Thor’s transformation from arrogant war monger to self-sacrificing hero. Sorry, but I just didn’t buy it. There wasn’t enough screen time between the two lovers, although there is certainly the start of something, but so far, all I felt was that they’re good friends. Also, he’s only been on Earth for a few days, would his personality dramatically change just like that? Of course, I suppose you could excuse it and say it was the power of love, but we all know that’s utter bullcrap.

Natalie Portman’s acting didn’t do much for this film either. Granted, her role isn’t as big as Hemsworth’s, yet, she really didn’t seem natural in this. I’m becoming convinced that Portman’s twittery acting style is better suited for more serious, drama films such as Black Swan, where her character faces a lot of tension. In Thor, she seemed to struggle with acting like a nice, intelligent scientist.   

Another itch: Thor’s friends. Aside from being completely cornballish, they didn’t add anything other than a bit of info dump and weak comic relief. I get it, everyone has friends, even the mighty Thor, but couldn’t we leave them out? They’re just embarrassing.

On the plus side, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) was awesome as far as villains go. Although I hear he isn’t true to his comic book character, I much prefer a villain with some conflict, which Loki certainly delivers. He is the god of mischief, after all.

I also enjoyed the blend science and fantasy, which made things somewhat plausible. Asgard is one of the nine realms, and transportation is possible between these realms via wormholes. Oh, and they even had robots! I love how the robot featured in this film was a throwback to Gort from The Day the EarthStood Still (both are huge androids and shoot lasers from their head).     
(left) Gort, (right) badass robot from Thor

Rating: 3.5 out of five thunderous stars.

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