At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces o...more
At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth. less
“With carefully interwoven music, performances and dialogues, director Kenneth Branagh pushes the right buttons & makes Thor absolutely irresistible.”
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With the release of 'Thor', the comic book superhero assembly line rolls on full-steam ahead. Marvel Studios in particular has been the most aggressive in developing their various properties and merging them onscreen into this major comic-book universe; like setting up the upcoming 'Avengers' movie involving at least Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America and a sprinkling of other superheroes too. I can only imagine what would happen if they managed to get back the rights to 'X-Men' & 'Spider-Man'.
Anyways coming back to the movie which is not so much an origin story as much as an introduction to the mythos of Thor & the fantastical land of Asgard. Much of the tale is based on Norse legends (read Gods) that are depicted as protectors of the universe (Earth included) and possess superhuman strength, intelligence and technology.
Other than the bit of exposition with the flashback at the beginning, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) as a character is very much the superhero right from the time we first see him as a grown man early on. But as Uncle Ben put it, "With great power comes great responsibility", something Thor doesn't quite believe in. He's a war monger and his thirst for it shows no signs of letting up. For an act of unforgivable impudence Thor is banished to the realm of Earth by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) to live like a mortal and his mythical hammer Mjolnir is sent along but on one condition that only a man worthy of it's greatness can wield it.
On Earth Thor meets scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) & her team who initially think he's plain nuts but soon enough come around to believing him. Meanwhile S.H.I.E.L.D. has found Mjolnir not far from where Thor & Jane are but the hammer responds to no one and can't be displaced. Also Asgard is under the threat of attack from an old foe; the Frost giants and there might be a traitor within their midst.
'Thor' while structure wise might not be much different from other superhero movies, I'd like to label it as being more literate. It doesn't throw away characters and relationships out easily. The father-son relationships almost give off a Shakespearean vibe filled with ambitions, secrets, disappointments, betrayals and redemptions. Though the romance between Jane & Thor feels far too convenient and a little too rushed, Kenneth Branagh knows just how to push the right buttons in terms of music, moments and dialogue to make it look at the very least, credible.
The movie has two very different worlds to balance and due credit has to go for the design of Asgard and its many mechanisms like the Bifrost Bridge and that only makes the portions on Earth all that more drab. Asgard is a beauty to behold, not since 'The Lord of The Ring' movies have I seen such an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping architecture and design. Id gladly pay the price of a ticket just to watch Asgard again. I have to add here that the jump from the Asgard costumes to normal clothes on Earth does get a tad jarring at times.
Now for all the Easter eggs throughout the movie; Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye (minus the costume) does make an utterly insignificant appearance which amounts to little more than posing and doesn't generate much interest for 'The Avengers'. But if you are patient and do stick around for the post-credits sequence youll be privy to more than a few surprises including the likely villain for 'The Avengers'.
The action sequences are little underwhelming I have to say other than a brilliant one near the beginning on the home planet of the Frost Giants, one that ends in a rather gruesome manner. Plus no one other than Thor gets an opportunity to display any sort of skill really.
Chris Hemsworth fits the bill as Thor and carries off the role with a certain sobriety which I rarely seen in portrayals of the character in animated mediums or even the old television series. Anthony Hopkins looks and acts regal, Rene Russo is underutilized, Skarsgard & Kat Dennings are on board primarily for comic relief. Tom Hiddleston is excellent as Loki, Thor's younger brother. Idris Elba has the coolest, most badass look in the entire film and combined with that deep voice to die for he commands the screen by just standing in the frame.
The 3D aspect I can't comment on it because the screening I attended was in 2D and probably I'm grateful for that.
'Thor' isn't ground breaking in the genre of superhero films but it does things differently just the right amount to stand apart on its own. Maybe it might not be remembered for much other than a lead-up to 'The Avengers' but it provides a solid first step towards that; now only if we could do something about those tilted camera angles!