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Thor movie review

stars-three

I’m ready to explain my feelings on the Thor movie, and it’s all spoilers from here.  Also, I’m going to smash it into tiny pieces – yet, I liked this film.

spoiler alert

The following will spoil the movie for you.

I think the trailer actually did a better job of setting up the story; it would have been more interesting to have the movie continue on with the story on earth and then tell how Thor ended up on earth in flashback, but whatever.  Like Daredevil, maybe I’ll re-edit this movie someday.

I’m sure there is a way to review this movie without spoiling it for you, but I’m a big fan of comic books, so that’s just not going to work for me.

Much like the Incredible Hulk, Thor is a gigantic setup for The Avengers movie at it’s core.  Sure, it may look like this movie has interesting things to say, but I feel like I just sat through something that could have been summarized in five minutes during the first act of The Avengers – yet I was never bored.  I don’t have any explanation for that contradiction.

So who is Thor?  He’s the Norse God of Thunder.  If you need more background information on Thor, then I suggest you consult your local library, because this movie is not going to supply you with a lesson in mythology.  Still, it’s hard for me to separate in my mind a perceived flaw in the story telling because Marvel Comics has given me a lesson the inhabitants of Asgard, but I will say this; it would have been helpful to mention that Loki is the god of mischief.

The best thing I can say about this movie is that Chris Hemsworth is great – I never doubted he was Thor for a second and I look forward to seeing him in this role and others for a long time to come.  On and Idris Elba as Heimdall was great – well portrayed, well written – awesome.  The worst thing I can say about this movie is, couldn’t you develop [insert various characters/sub plots here] a little further?

Loki did what now?  I felt like the movie was trying to throw us a curve ball, like, “Oh… it was Loki who was behind it all!  Almost like he’s a trickster or something!”  His end of the plot (which kinda drives the whole movie) didn’t feel clear… his motivations seemed ill defined or weak – I can’t believe Loki let the Frost Giants into Asgard just to ruin his brother’s big day; but I  suppose you could argue he did that because he knew The Destroyer could handle the situation and it would win him some favor with the Frost Giant King…  eh.

Thor learned what now?  I think we can all agree that Odin sent Thor to earth so he’d learn some humility, but the moment when he goes from the guy who smashes mugs on the ground of diners to the hero who helps make breakfast and sacrifices his life for his friends is a bit unclear.

The “Odin Sleep” is what now?  If you thought Odin was having a stroke or something when he laid down on the steps, raise your hands.  It’s OK, it’s not your fault – the movie didn’t explain what was happening until after it happened.  Couldn’t Odin had said that he was making Thor king because he had to do his “Odin Sleep” thing at the beginning of movie, thereby creating a power vacuum that would have provided more than ample motivation for Loki to get his treason on?  Not only would one sentence at the botched coronation fixed this problem, it would have made the entire movie a lot stronger.

The Love Story – Was I in the bathroom when Thor and Natalie Portman fell in love?  No, I wasn’t – I just don’t know when it happened in the movie.  Obviously, Natalie Portman is very lovely, so I’m not giving Thor a hard time… and I guess Thor is jacked, so we can’t get too mad at Natalie Portman, so I guess I’ll have to let this go.

thor-natalie-portman-chris

They’re in love now!

The Warriors Three – have three characters ever been more under utilized?  Especially Volstagg, who is the only member of the group I can name.  I guess the movie made it clear that Thor was close with all of these characters, but who are they?  Seriously, what are their names?  I just happen to know that the beard guy is Volstagg because I wasted my time and money reading Siege:  Embedded which prominently featured Volstagg.

Female characters – no Enchantress?  I would have liked to see The Enchantress in this movie – she could have been flying her usual “I love Thor” flag and after he rejected her like he usually does, she could have teamed up with Loki, blah blah blah, hilarious antics ensue.   Instead we get Sif?  Who the hell is Sif?  I guess she hangs out with The Warriors Three, and she does seem kinda familiar… but whatever.

the-enchantress-thor

Nope. Not in the movie. Not once.

Are there any female characters for women to relate to in this movie?  I’m pretty sure there aren’t.  Well, Chris Hemsworth has his shirt off; hopefully that does something for the ladies.  But let’s see… Sif was at least in the mix and doing things; the Queen was useless, Natalie Portman was just sorta there, but it was nice that they snuck Kat Dennings into the movie as the wise cracking intern.

Clint Barton – what a tease.  My dork radar went crazy when Agent Coulson asked for a SHIELD agent to get up high with a gun and we saw a plethora of gun options, but the reaching hand grabbed a bow – DORK ALERT!  It’s Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye!  I didn’t know he was going to be in this movie!  Yeah… he’s not – we never see him again.  What a bunch of shiz!

hawkeye-thor-movie

This is Hawkeye’s only scene. Booooooo!

Technical stuff - Kenneth Branagh, who I know better as a brilliant actor, made some odd choices when it came time to put the camera somewhere.  Why did he do so many oddly framed, crooked angles? Even in closeups, there are these shots where the camera is totally sideways…  I don’t get what he was trying to convey.  Was I supposed to feel uncomfortable?  I didn’t get it – it just looked weird.  Also, many of the action scenes suffer from First Transformers Movie/Batman Begins syndrome, where the camera is too close to the action and you can’t tell what’s going on – I just assume that shots get framed in that matter to hide something, like an unfinished special effect.  I guess it’s supposed to create intimacy, and in Batman Begins, I think they were trying to convey the way Batman just jumps in on his opponent before they knew what hit them, but it didn’t work there, and it doesn’t work here.

The Standard Marvel Tease After the Credits – [THE FOLLOWING COULD SPOIL THE AVENGERS AND CAPTAIN AMERICA MOVIE, SO BE WARNED]  I guarantee you that device Nick Fury shows us is something the Red Skull invented during World War II to import monsters from one of the other realms that he wanted to unleash on the allies – Captain America stops him before he does it… then it turns up again in The Avengers, Loki teams up with the Red Skull and in the second act, they bring some horror to earth for The Avengers to fight…  that’s my guess.  (For dorks like myself, this is the movie version of the Cosmic Cube, I guess…  Pretty far departure from the comic book version…  you know, because it’s not a cube.)

Some final thoughts – I don’t know if this movie needed to be made, but one thing is for sure:  it’s out now, and they aren’t going to explain any of this stuff again, so if you intend on seeing The Avengers, you pretty much have to see this movie.  It’s certainly not a bad film, and I’m sure I”ll see it again someday, but Thor didn’t exactly blow my mind.  If not for the performance of Chris Hemsworth, this would be a below average movie.

My Rating: 3 out of 5

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About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of CreativeJamie.com and BomberBanter.com

Posted on May 14, 2011, in comic book reviews, movie reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

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