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Thursday, May 26, 2011
Thor - 2011
Just before getting being crowned king of Asgard, warrior Thor (Chris Hemsworth) picks I fight with his realm's long time enemy. This enrages his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and for his bad and unintelligent decisions Thor's powers are taken away and he is cast out of the realm. But his father's last words were saying that if Thor was worthy he could regain his hammer and his powers, though for the time being he is stuck on earth with regular humans. A scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) meets Thor, who she thinks can assist in her many studies, and they fall in love while she helps Thor blend in with everyone else. Meanwhile, Thor's brother is scheming a plan to take the throne, and things back home need Thor more than anyone ever expected.
Let me begin by saying if you are looking for a complex story with plenty of depth, then you might as well stop reading this review and not even consider watching this film, because I assure you that you will not find it here. Thor is pure visual entertainment. That doesn't mean it is bad, but I would have liked a much better story. By no means did I love the film Thor, but I actually loved the idea of this film, and the potential films that could have been made in the future. My problem was Thor does not stand as a film on its own, it is brought together and made only to set up The Avengers. I wish this had started a series like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Batman, Superman, any of those films, and to be honest since the flaws were so obvious in Thor, I think they could fairly easily be fixed. But no, the film ends with another Iron Man 2 set up (though Thor was admittedly far better than that) and the credits end with the words "you will see Thor next in The Avengers". It is unfortunate, but I suppose the whole goal for the people making these films is just to bring in the bucks, and they, whether the film is good or not, consistently succeed in doing so.
Now on to something positive about the film, the acting, which was both at times a disappointment and at times a big surprise. Chris Hemsworth, the lead, does a fantastic job playing Thor. I don't think people fully grasp the concept that just because a performance is not worthy of Oscar talk, does not at all mean that it isn't good. That, in my opinion, is why Hemsworth's performance is getting any criticism at all. Critic Peter Travers said about Hemsworth's performance, "Hemsworth, an Aussie actor with vocal command to match his heaving brawn, doesn't just play the role, he owns it." To me this is a perfect way to say how good Hemsworth was. The main thing that stuck out to me was how believable he was, and considering that he was playing a god that loses his powers and falls to earth, that's impressive. Anthony Hopkins was fantastic, and that I did not expect to say. I expect nothing more than an average performance from him, and it turned out to be a very solid one. He was the perfect man to play the part of Odin, and did a very good job. My disappointment, however, was Natalie Portman. Coming off of her Oscar winning role in Black Swan, I was expecting something better, but to be honest she was not good. I don't mean average, I don't mean decent, she wasn't good. Tom Hiddleston playing Loki was quite a pain as well, but nothing really to affect the viewing of Thor. All in all as an entire cast the acting was good, nothing more.
The screenplay, unfortunately, is hands what struggled the most in Thor. The character and story development were almost non-existant throughout the entire film. One of the main things I look for in a film is how they work with the characters, and that is mainly why I am going to rate this film as low as I have. I didn't care for the characters or what happened to them, I only enjoyed the visual delight Thor was. And the story, it isn't 15 or 20 minutes till the audience has experienced incredible action sequences and Thor has been sent to earth. I would have liked more time spent on the realm Asgard, instead of hurrying to earth. I know after "Hulk" everyone is afraid of a too dramatic comic book film with no action, but please people let's put a little more compelling drama in this film. The screenplay was terrible overall, that's about all there is to say about it.
Now on to the obvious most impressive, and entertaining part of Thor, the visuals. You may say Avatar is visually beautiful, you may say TRON: Legacy is visually beautiful, You may say Iron Man has the best special effects of any comic book adaptation ever, but me, just to sit and watch I would enjoy Thor visually as much as any film this decade, other than The Lord of the Rings. This was the only real reason I decided to give Thor a positive rating, movies, especially comic book ones, are made to entertain, and I was entirely drawn to the theater screen the entire film because of the visuals, that has to count for something.
Overall, Thor is not a brilliant film, and it is not a great film, but it is an entertaining one from start to finish. As I have mentioned in the review, there are plenty of flaws, but Chris Hemsworth's performance and the stunning visuals overcome that, or at least try to. It isn't the best comic book film, but it certainly isn't the worst, and would beat Iron Man 2 any day at any time. If you think different, they are basically the same film, except one has better visuals and better acting, both in favor of Thor. I did not love the movie, but I enjoyed it.
Direction: 6/10 (nothing to really talk about)
Final Rating: 6.2/10