THOR!

So this weekend I hit up the local IMAX to check out Thor. I figured I’d have a lot to say about it. But turns out… nope. There’s really not that much to say.

Was it good? Sure. It’s funny, it’s got some good action, it’s got plenty of mark out moments for fans of the comic (Thor doing the hammer twirl, a certain Avenger making a cameo, etc… though the after credits easter egg fell flat with most of the audience at my showing)… but was it outstanding? Not really. It’s been pretty clear by now that Marvel is just planning on working a formula with their movies, and while it may be time tested, this is the 4th time we’ve seen it. You know we’re getting a fight at the beginning, one in the middle, and one big one at the end. You know we’re getting a romance. You know we’re getting some slapstick comedy and a bunch of winks to the comic fans. You know the hero is going to have a crisis of faith and have to adjust his outlook accordingly. And so on. So what really drives these movies is the strength of the performances. Thankfully, Chris Hemsworth brings Robert Downey Jr level goods as Thor, and Kat Dennings ruled hard in what little comedic relief screen time she had, but everyone else was pretty much just there. Ironically, the Asgardian who left the most powerful, most Godlike impression was “controversial pick” Idris Elba’s Heimdall; Anthony Hopkins as Odin is Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and Sif and The Warriors 3 get just enough time to let you know what medieval movie stereotypes they fill. Rene Russo as Frigga basically just gets a paycheck for showing up in the background. Tom Hiddleston was decent enough as Loki, but the character’s plans and motivations were somehow so simultaneously simplistic and over complicated that the character never clicked the way you want a movie villain to click. This was probably because in many ways, this was an origin story for Loki as well. That said, their final battle felt suitably epic, and slightly less pre-ordained than the final battles in movies like the Hulk and Iron Man 2.

Kenneth Branagh’s direction, as has been said many times, is well suited for the material, but he never really breaks the Marvel formula. Asgard is a visually stunning mix of Flash Gordon and Jack Kirby (in particular I thought they did a really great job of capturing the Rainbow Bridge without it being cheesy and a straight up rainbow), as is the Frost Giants homeland (dark as it is), but whenever there are human forms mixed in the landscape shots, it’s blatantly CGI. Same for the Frost Giants themselves, all of whom look like Ivan Ooze from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie, only blue and more naked. The Destroyer, however, was virtually seamless. Seeing the movie in 3D was a decision made for me (I just wanted to see it in IMAX), and quite frankly I don’t think it really added anything. The sense of depth was nice I suppose, but really the 3D looked better in the IMAX credits than it did for anything in the movie. Still not sold on 3D, no sir.

As I write this, I actually find myself liking the movie better than my description makes it sound. So make no mistake, I definitely liked it, but to accurately decide how much I think I might have to see it again. Right now I’d rank it below Iron Man, but above Iron Man 2 and The Hulk. Which is still a pretty good spot to be in.

Grade: B+

3 Comments

  1. antonio
    Posted May 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    I mean no disrespect when I say this but, Thor is by far, one of the worst comic book characters ever. As far as the movie goes, it was a cool to watch. The story line was really bad. Thor being banished to earth in a nice pair of jeans and boots? LOL Most of all movies marvel has done so far has been pretty campy, colorful, and very unrealistic. Cool for kids that want to be entertained, but not for the older dudes that want to see them as they are in the books.

    With that being said, the prequel X-men movie looks to break that mold.

    P.S. I read a ton of comics but have to admit I stick to DC. But not trying to tear down your review by any means, just stating an opinion. Keep up the good work. I love the blog

  2. b. murphy
    Posted May 11, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the solid words on the blog. I’m not Morgado, but I’m telling you this, I’ll probably never see Thor. Just can’t care. BUT I’ll definitely see Captain America. My hopes are WAY too high for this one. We’ll see how it goes.

  3. antonio
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Captain America could be good. I hope it is. It’s one of the handful of Marvel Characters that I actually keep up on. Another, Green Lantern, doesn’t look like it’s going to be what I would’ve imagined. It looks very similar, visually, to most marvel movies and kind of campy. I’m crossing my fingers though

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  1. By Wanna Read A Review Of Thor? on May 9, 2011 at 11:01 am

    […] Hey, just a heads up, my review of Thor is up over on Comic Noize. You should go check it out! […]

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