June 29, 2011 in Movies
When Marvel first announced that Thor would be slamming his hammer up on the big screen, I have to admit that I was a huge skeptic. First of all, I didn’t think the mainstream public would give any sort of damn about Thor as a character – he just doesn’t have the same appeal as Marvel’s other heavyweights. Then there’s Asgard and its questionable mainstream appeal. I knew the pre-existing Marvel fans would get a kick out of it, but I just didn’t see it becoming the next Iron Man or Spider-Man. Fortunately, any skepticism I had about the movie were, for the most part, nullified.
Chris Hemsworth, in a steal-every-scene-he’s-in way, plays the God of thunder who has been exiled from Asgard due to his stubbornness. Hemsworth is easily the anchor of the film, as he’s able to deftly switch from humorous slapstick humor, to all-eyes-on-me seriousness. He’s both charming and intimidating when needed. Natalie Portman plays the other half of the romance (which is basically all based on lust) and she’s…fine. It’s not like she gave a bad performance or anything, I just felt like she was under-used and pretty much any other actress could have played her role. Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins are perfectly fine in their roles as Thor’s brother and father, respectively. Hiddleston aces the snake-like characteristics of Loki while Hopkins brings that sage-like weight to his role as Odin.
The story is a simple one with few twists. Thor is basically next in line to become king of Asgard until his hard-headedness lands him on Earth in exile, unable to wield his hammer, Mjolnir, until deemed worthy. The foundation of the plot revolves around the ever-going feud between Asgard and Bifrost, a world inhabited by ice people. The plot is predictable, but Hemsworth makes it a trip worth taking. The pacing could have used some tightening, as I found myself bored kind of frequently thanks in no small part to a lack of action. The biggest action setpiece in the entire movie takes place in the beginning and it’s kind of a bummer the movie never gets back up to that speed. So if you’re expecting just non-stop action with few injections of plot to justify said action, well, you’re going to get the opposite.
“Thor” is proved to be a definite surprise to me. It’s a damn shame the plot just didn’t give much for the audience to cling onto in terms of emotional investment, but at least “Thor” has proven the public are interested in his journeys. Hopefully the inevitable sequel will really make Thor into one of Marvel’s staples.
Special Effects: 95
Actor Performances: 90