Thor (2011) - Film Review
The god of thunder.
They did a pretty good job of making a costume transition on-screen that I didn’t think was going to work. Thor works in a comic book but I just don’t think it transfers well to film. Every time someone told me they are going to make a Thor movie or suggested it I just went crazy. How can you really translate this into a film where contemporary audiences wouldn’t just sit there laughing at either the concept or the dialogue involved. Everything falls into the “thee” or “thou” category, this kind of pseudo Shakespearean speech. But the fact that they got writer Kenneth Branagh, who you can say is, “the Shakespeare guy” of hollywood, just pulled off this film together rather well. They pulled it off basically. I don’t know how it worked, but it just did for me. I can sit here and give you an elaborate plot narrative here but its a very simple premise. You have the warrior, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), from another realm who is basically a total pretentious bastard, and he mouths off his father who is supreme ruler of that realm. His father (Anthony Hopkins) has had enough, and he banishes him to planet Earth and takes away all of his supernatural powers of strength and flight away. While on Earth Thor learns humility and compassion from a astrophysicist (Natalie Portman) and her crew and gains back his powers and essentially the throne of Asgard. What this film does in the first hour is paint a really good picture and feel for Asgard. A lot of information and planning went into designing it and make it work for people to sit through this and not break down in laughter over its comical ideology. Asgard is the realm where Thor and Odin and the “superior beings” so to speak live. They were really trying to catch that Jack Kirby comic book style, and they managed to do it in a way that I didn’t think would look as believable, but it did for what it is. Another reason they were able to really sell the fantasy here is they had great actors. Anthony Hopkins delivered his Dr. Seuss level lines in a believable and engaging way. You get that authoritative, hostile, yet fatherly vibe from him. Chris Hemsworth was a perfect choice for Thor. He was really likable, comical yet the handsome rugged type that was needed for the role. Even the supportive roles fit well with the exception, and I know I’ll get heat for this, of Natalie Portman. Her character was just poorly developed and vague. You feel like her acting ability was wasted in this film delivering meagerly appropriate dialogue in each scene. In other words, it wasn’t her fault, they simply didn’t do much development with her character. She’s a good enough actress that she should be given more to do. Once Thor was banished to Earth, then you really got that silly, “fish out of water” type of comedy or humor, which it is, but it balances out with some of the heavier material presented in the first part. There was a bit of silliness with the climax of the film, and I can see where people will go and really start to feel the cheesiness, but regardless I enjoyed the film a lot, great fun for the family, and again, take it for what it is.
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