Thor (2011) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Thor (2011)

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I might be a geek, but there is certain popular characters/stories that I never understood the appeal of.  One such character for me is Thor from Marvel Comics.  While I might enjoy the stories revolving around Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America and my personal favorite, Daredevil, Thor never really appealed to me.  Saying this, I was not excited to see the movie built around him but I took a chance and I am glad I did because I enjoyed Thor much more than I thought I would.

The residents of the world of Asgard have had centuries of uneasy peace with their nemesis in a neighboring realm, the Frost Giants.  On the day that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is going to be crowned king by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) a sneak attack by the Frost Giants is sprung.  Thor, a hot-headed warrior caring only for glory and war, takes his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and fellow Asgard warriors to go against Odin’s wishes and picks a fight with the Giants.  For his reckless behavior, Odin casts Thor to Midgard (or what we call Earth) to teach him a lesson of humility.

"I command thee to go to Earth and chill out, dude!"

On Earth, he meets Jane (Natalie Portman) a scientist researching wormholes along with her mentor Erik (Stellan Skarsgard) and sidekick Darcy (Kat Dennings) and Jane and Thor are instantly smitten with each other even though Thor talks and acts like a crazy person.  Back in Asgard, Odin falls into a deep slumber and Loki assumes the throne with bad intentions.  Very quickly, Thor learns about love and how to be a better man and is able to once again wield his beloved hammer to save the day.

The first thing you can say about this film was they cast the main parts brilliantly.  Chris Hemsworth, who was only known for his small role as Kirk’s father in the rebooted Star Trek brings both the look and the charisma needed for the role.  He was able to play the hot-headed warrior and the man who joins The Avengers as one of Earth’s protectors equally well.  Even though the reason that Jane and Thor fall for each other is handled very quickly and poorly, thanks to Hemsworth charisma you could see why a person would be smitten with him.

As good as Hemsworth was, Hiddleston was even better.  Hiddleston made Loki a villain that you feel for.  Although he is still the god of mischief this Loki is given a reason for his dastardly deeds.  Villains who think they are doing the right thing are more interesting than the mustache twirling variety and this is no different.  Although the Frost Giants are given more screen time the true villain of the piece is most defiantly Loki.

The one part of the movie that I feel was lacking was the story.  At most times it felt schizophrenic and was buckling under all of the different directions the story was going.  Kenneth Branagh, the director of the movie, was evidently more interested in the Asgard scenes and more TLC were given to these scenes and the family dynamic.  When the movie moves to Earth, everything felt a bit rushed.

"Quickly, Thor, let's run during all of our love scenes! This subplot is dragging as it is!"

Like I said previously Thor and Jane fall in love way too quickly and without much reason and Thor learns humility in about 12 hours.  While it was supposed to be a banishment for Thor, he learns his lesson, gets the power to wield the hammer back (an awesome scene) and vanquishes his enemy in about 72 hours.  The banishment on Earth felt more like an extended weekend trip.  By trying to pack in both Asgard and Earth stories and setting up more for the Avengers, the movie was asked to do a little too much in 2 hours and the strain is felt in certain scenes.

The few problems there are with the film do not detract from the fact that the movie is a fun time.  Kenneth Branagh made a fast paced and interesting film and the acting made the characters come alive.  While Thor might not be my favorite character in the comic world, I can safely say that his movie is another winner for Marvel.

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Posted by Ryan

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  1. I think Hopkins gave the role a bit more majesty than other actors would have. I liked that they gave Odin a bit more emotion because he is always bland in the comics. It is a shallow story like I said in the review but it was fun and made me like Thor more than usual. Bring on Captain America!

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