I’m no comic book nut. I know enough to loosely stumble my way through plot lines, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty I really have no clue. So, if someone was to tell me that the makers of the the film Thor completely dropped the ball when making a movie out of the the Marvel god/superhero I really wouldn’t be surprised. I can only judge a film based on what I know; when it comes to Thor, I know very little. I know that Thor resembles the auto mechanic in Adventures in Babysitting (1987). I also know that as a child fellow staff writer, The Mike, had a Thor action figure which he always assumed was a pro wrestler action figure that he knew as “Cool Daddy Lovin’.” In reality, I know Thor is the Greek god of thunder, who has a giant hammer and swings it around with wreck-less abandon. That about catches us up.
I really have to question if Thor would even see the light of day if Marvel was not building to the ever important Avengers movie where Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Nick Furry, Captain America and friends all kick butt against evil in the next few years. Marvel has been carefully crafting this franchise film with the slow build of individual origin story pieces on each of its central characters. Thor proves to be the most challenging one of them all. Unlike the other Marvel superheroes who are grounded in a world based in “reality”, Thor comes from another “realm” and is a god who must rediscover his power on earth and then eventually use it to defend earth from evil. This supernatural existence of Greek gods traveling from other dimensions really throws you for a loop, but somehow turns out to be something that you can easily adapt to.
What I really found myself enjoying about Thor was the studio’s choice in Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Hemsworth is great in the role, and seemed to have the girls next to me (of various ages) pining for him the entire time. It’s got to be the accent. Someday I will pick up a super cool accent- and good looks. Hemsworth comes off as cool and cocky yet the ultimate bad ass when need be. He makes the film fun. He takes a script that is written to make Thor look kind of kooky and crazy on earth and makes him into a lovable character. I’m not sure how well other actors would have been able to pull it off.
Along for the ride is Natalie Portman who let’s face it seems to be in more movies this year than any other actor on the planet. Portman kind of strikes out on this one. Oddly enough, I had prefaced my Thor screening days earlier by watching Your Highness, which meant Portman seemed to be giving an Oscar performance in Thor in comparsion. Then again, I’m pretty sure Johnny Knoxville was giving an Oscar performance in Jackass 3-D if you are comparing it to performances in Your Highness. The point is, Portman is there to look pretty and drive the plot forward. She seems to be phoning it in and while it really isn’t a bad performance, there isn’t anything noteworthy either.
I had a lot of fun with the action sequences spread through out Thor, most of them taking place in the other realm, aka the land of the gods. Thor has his moments of battling CG monsters that looks cool, sounds cool and is a visual treat. The action scenes on earth don’t prove to be quite as visually pleasing but still manage to pack a punch. As far as action goes, it’s a comic book film that really doesn’t dissappoint.
My biggest faults in Thor really came in 2 factors. The first being the almost over use of CG work. The other realm, which is Thor’s home is all CG, and has mystical qualities to it. I supposes as the home of the gods, it should have some mystical sheen to it, but to me it seemed all to fake and over blown. There was also this strange road/bridge that lead to the “portal” that reminded me a bit too much of Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road a bit too much for my liking. I just kept imagining me trying to race a kart over that bridge and falling off because someone chucked a red turtle shell into my back bumper.
The second “issue” I had with Thor was as I went to write the review, I had to look up to see if the film was in 3-D. That’s right, I sat in a theater for 2 hours with 3-D glasses on a few weeks ago and forgot if the showing was in 3-D. Now I haven’t had the opportunity to see the film in 2-D to compare, but I am thinking that if I didn’t remember any cool 3-D moments in the film, I have to ask the question “was the film worth 3-D in the first place?”
When the credits rolled, I realized I knew nothing of Thor, but I liked it. Fanboys may rejoice, or fanboys may cry foul but the fact of the matter is the general public should enjoy this blockbuster if given the chance. It has a taste too much sci fi for my blood but somehow it turned out to be a pleasant enough mix for me to make this an escapist flick that has re-watch value to me. Summer season is upon us folks. Kick it off with Thor on the big screen.