Thor- DVD ReviewOctober 26, 2011
In all honesty, although I am a lifelong Marvel fan, think Thor is a great comics character, and have loved both Iron Man 2 and Incredible Hulk movies, I was skeptical about seeing Marvel’s Thor in the theatre. The main reason being that instead of depicting Thor and his fellow Asgardians as Norse Gods, in the movie they are basically using science so advanced it appears to be magic.
After seeing the movie, however, I’m like, science, magic, whatever; this movie is freakin’ great! One caveat: if you are not familiar with the Thor mythos, you may be confused. None of Thor’s powers are explained, such as the fact that when thrown, Thors’ hammer Mjolnir always returns to him. His incredible strength and ability to completely control the weather (such as creating tornadoes and making it rain) are not explained either. I really like how everything is not dumbed down and/or explained in the movie. It just is. Thor is a Norse god, it doesn’t require further explanation.
The plot? Well, let’s just say it’s actually more intricate than you would glean from previews (no, really!) and was more than good enough for me. The dialogue between characters is excellent; not once did I feel a character said something…well, out of character. The visuals are a feast for the eyes (you see a lot of Asguard, and it certainly looks divine) and the music is audio nirvana.
Thor is directed by the Kenneth Branagh, and if there is a Thor 2 (and 3 and 4), I really hope Branagh stays on board. The guy is talented, and with Thor his directing just works, both in Asguard and in the scenes on Midgard (Earth).
Chris Hemsworth is Thor, as if he he has just walked out from one of his comic books. He acts like an arrogant, uncaring bruiser in the beginning, but very quickly becomes the noble warrior god he was always meant to be.
The supporting actors do a great job bringing their comic counterparts to life. Sir Anthony Hopkins is Odin, king of the Norse Gods, and father to Thor. He is great in the role, I just wish he had gotten more screen time. Tom Hiddleston plays Thor’s half-brother Loki (who in the comic is a schemer and foil to Thor) made me believe every word he said, even though I knew he was lying. In the end, he even comes across as sympathetic. That’s good acting. The Warriors Three and Sif, comrades to Thor, all make great appearances (played by Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Josh Dallas and Jamie Alexander). Natalie Portman plays Thor’s Midgard love interest.
The only thing I could have wished for was a little more action, but the scenes that are there are stunning. Kenneth certainly knows how to direct action, and in the end, it was just enough. In my book, Marvel Productions is 4 for 4. I have high hopes for Captain America: The First Avenger when it comes out on DVD. And so, my final verdict: ride the lightning and check out Thor!