Thor picks up the hammer and gets the job done when it comes to being pure-entertainment. While this job-site did have a few missing nails, it's fun, energetic flow makes it all worth-while.
Let me just start off by saying that advantages that come from working at a movie theatre can be a movie-goers ultimate fantasy. From earning a limited amount of free movies a month to getting the chance to see early screenings, it can really be a great job. If only the pay was better. Anyways, with Thor, slated to be the first block-buster of the summer (I'll give that place to Fast Five), just days before its release here in the US, myself and a couple of other co-workers were giving the unforeseen chance to catch the God of Thunder a little bit early at a Monday night screening. Obviously working while the screening was taking place I couldn't watch the film completely, I was able to watch the entire film all the way through in full-focus Monday morning. What a catch, huh?
Like everyone else, I have been anticipating Thor since the epic after-credits scene of "Iron Man 2". Agitated for The Avengers next year, Marvel has done a marvellous job tying these films together. Wouldn't you say? Starting back in 2008 with the first Iron Man movie, its about time 2012 is just around the corner and we'll finally be able to see what we've been anticipating for. With just one more hero be countersigned, Thor is the perfect adrenaline rush that'll do just fine until my biggest anticipation of the summer, "The First Avenger: Captain America" arrives.
While Thor remains entertaining from start to finish, I had a lot of problems with it that I had a hard time letting go. If there is one thing I hate when it comes to comic-book adaptations, its when their storyline is chopped up and ruined into little pieces for a film's run-time sake. I love to read comics, and even though I don't keep up with them as much as I wish, I do know my history on the big-heroes like Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, Batman (etc..). In the older comics from the 1960s, Odin does cast Thor out from Asgard in order to teach him a lesson, but what makes the comics different than the movie is that Thor is placed into the body and memories (without any of his Godhood memories) of Donald Blake. Then after some time, Blake becomes a doctor and finds Mjonlir (Thor's hammer) and is able to pick the hammer up where he becomes the thunder god. In the comics, Thor does still fall in love with Jane Foster, but everything happens in a much different fashion. I didn't really like the way the movie presented it, but I knew even when the trailers came out that this was going to happen.
In the movies storyline, Thor's big day as King of Asgard is finally here, but when Frost-Giants (creatures of another Realm) are found in the kingdom, Thor's big day is put to an end when he and others disregard Odin's orders by attacking. In order to teach him a lesson of being a man, Odin casts Thor out of Asgard and throws him to Earth to live with the humans. What makes everything different now is that Thor has all memories of his god-life. On Earth, Thor meets Jane Foster, also know in the comics as Jane Nelson. Jane is instantly fascinated by Thor and wants to help him retrieve his hammer. With S.H.E.I.L.D Agents all around, Thor has some trouble though.
The plot in the movie, in my own opinion, just didn't click. It wasn't right and it destroyed something that could have been much more epic. The movie does hint the name Donald Blake once, but it wasn't for the same meaning. With a runtime of only a little over an hour and a half, the movie doesn't really have enough time to go anywhere. The movie pretty much has a beginning and a end. But, where is the story in the middle? Your watching the movie, but you feel like it never goes anywhere other than right through your head and your wallet. There just wasn't enough time for anything to click perfectly, instead everything feels rushed and all screwed with. The bad editing doesn't help the film at all, either.
One plus that comes from Thor is the casting choices. Chris Hemsworth is as perfect Thor as Robert Downey, JR is Tony Stark. Playing the arrogant god perfectly, I was glad Hemsworth was picked for the role. While Jane Foster was a bit too different in this movie, Natalie Portman still makes this almost new character (I consider her new, at least. Not the same, right?) likeable because of her always incredible performances. She doesn't have much chance to shine here with cheesy dialog, but its hard to dislike her in a movie nowadays. Anthony Hopkins was a mighty Odin as well! I found the father/son relationship between Thor and Odin believable because of Hemsworth and Hopkins straight-forward chemistry. Fit into this chemistry is also the man behind Loki, Tom Hiddleston, who I look forward to more in the Thor movies. As for the casting choices, it one of Thor's biggest and only achievements.
Kenneth Branagh doesn't bring Thor to life as much as I would've liked, but he still manages to create a fun, quickly-paced action-movie. Also the director of the 2007 remake "Sleuth" (he didn't re-create that too well, either), the director has a style of direction that I did like. The slanted angle shots didn't bother me as I presumed and I instead like them more than expected. If it wasn't for the sloppy editing (which I know wasn't his fault), I would have enjoyed his style of camera-work much more. Oh, well. With three people behind the screenplay, however, you'd think one of them would have stood up and said, "Guys! I think we're adapting this just a little wrong. We have most of the stuff down right, but not enough to make it a perfect Thor movie." Nope. Never happened. The dialog in the movie can be sometimes cheesy, but it brings light humor into the film plus they're work on making the film a fun-filled adventure was enough for me not to bash the writers completely.
One of the biggest things I didn't like that the writers could not get right was the love-connection between Thor and Jane Foster. The two were supposed to have a Clark Kent/Lois Lane kind of relationship, where Jane is intrigued by Thor but also has feelings for Donald Blake, never knowing that the two are one in the same. The Donald Blake persona being thrown out the window in this (except one very funky scene), it was hard to like the love-story between Thor and Jane Foster in this movie. Not only did it feel a little offbeat, but it wasn't as believable as it was in the comic-books.
People who don't know anything about Marvel's Thor might be confused to Loki's reasons for things that he does. The movie does give a vibe that he is sort of the bad guy in the film, but never shows reason to why. Its understandable that he is jealous of Thor, but it never gives enough information to why he completely betrays his Realm altogether. Being a reader of the classic comics of Thor, I know Loki's antics, but I feel as if the film doesn't do a good job re-creating them and showing them in a not so confusing manor.
Thor has its ups and downs and based on my review you can see that I mostly complained than I did raved. The action sequences in the film are what kept me going for the most part, staying cool and fun. While I didn't see the film in IMAX as I had originally planned, I do recommend seeing it that way because the action is the best you'll get out of this. Being just a little bit worse than Iron Man 2 (Not saying that IM2 is bad, just using it as an example because it is not great, either), what you thought of that film will probably be the same thoughts you'll be thinking of Thor. Smashing with cool, stylized action-sequences, Thor gets the job done when it comes to being quick-entertainment. I doubt it'll become anyone's favorite comic-book adaptation though...
New Thoughts: (I do still mostly agree with everything above. I just have a new way of looking at the movie without taking in what bothered me before.)
It apparently takes a second and third viewing for me to realize/find such beauty in this film. After a first viewing a couple of days before the release, I was blinded by the true focus of Thor, that it being one of the best first installments Marvel has had in years. Packed with intense action sequences, a heroically epic script, and music scores crafted wondrously, Thor is one of the best pictures 2011 has to offer and I apologize for not reckoning that with my first review on the film.
IMAX 3D can make just about any movie a damn good time. Take The Green Hornet for example, the movie is just decent but if you throw a little IMAX on there and you got yourself one hell of a movie. Thor is more than just decent, and while those were only my first thoughts, after two extra viewings on the film (once in IMAX, the other in Real D 3D), I now see the epic-journey that is brought from the film. The Realm of Asgard, looking as beautiful as ever in IMAX is something I wish we saw more, because in my own honest opinion, Asgard had much more beauty to it than the cleverly crafted Pandora of 2009's Avatar did; or maybe they were both equally breathtaking. The Rainbow Bridge is spectacular to look at, literally. The visual effects of Thor are a near-winner, you will not be disappointed.
I know that before I was upset with the way the movie changes the comics, but it was now that I watched the film as its own movie and not as a comic. Watching it without thought of how well it was adapted I witnessed it much more carefully. I saw it as an incredible take on a god transforming into a man by the willingness upper hand of his father's only possible answer: a daring lesson. That lesson, a trip to Earth. Looking at the film with a better aspect makes Thor one of the coolest superhero films in the Marvel universe to date, maybe even the superhero genre in general.
Thanks for the read!