Well folks, the summer movie season has officially begun with Marvel’s THOR. Fans of the character have been looking forward to the movie since last year (if not longer) when it was teased in the post-credits scene of Iron Man 2.
Was it worth that wait? And will Marvel’s first foray into the worlds of magic and fantasy be worth the price of admission, or is it going to fall to the wayside and be that irksome step along the Rainbow Bridge to the Avengers?
READ ON FAIR VIEWER, TO SEE MY OWN OPINION OF THE FILM!
So I’m still kind of coming off a Asgardian adventure high, thus all the thematics and puns… but yeah, lets go straight into it.
Thor, created by Stan The Man Lee, is the classic Marvel character based on the Norse god of thunder. Just as in mythology, that’s who he is in the comics. The film takes that same basis from mythology and sticks Thor and all of his fellow gods and goddesses up in Asgard along with the bifrost, the rainbow bridge, the world tree, and the others of the nine realms.
The film also follows a similar trope that the comics used as the origin of the character: Thor’s exile from Asgard. Because of his actions the god is sent down to Earth to be humbled before he can return to Asgard as a god. After a brief opening scene with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and her crew we get to see the backstory on that, which shows us a bit of history between Asgard and Jottunheim (the realm of the Frost Giants), and then the entire story of why exactly Thor has been banished from his own realm.
During those scenes we get a lot of fancy cinematography to show off the fantastic elements of the golden Asgard, and the dark and cold realm of the Frost Giants. There’s a lot to marvel at in these scenes, and a lot of it will certainly take the viewers breaths away, but at the same time it takes a little suspension of disbelief to allow yourself to accept that your watching a bunch of gods in their own realm.
In Asgard we’re given plenty of screen time with many of the supporting characters comic readers are familiar with, such as the Warriors Three and Lady Sif, Heimdall, and of course Loki and Odin. The entire cast really portrays their parts with excellence, but I have to give Idris Elba high props as Heimdall, and Tom Hiddleston was a more convincing Loki than I’d ever have asked for.
Now, after plenty of action and face time, and some godly drama up in Asgard, the scene switches back to Midgard *ahem* Earth, where Thor has landed and Jane Foster has started to study everything that has happened around them in New Mexico. From here the plot goes forth into Thor trying to re-obtain his hammer, Mjolnir, and then Loki being who he is and making some dastardly plans against Thor that he then has to defend Earth and eventually Asgard against. I really don’t want to go in depth with all that because it’d spoil the entire movie for my readers!
Now, I have to say that as much as I enjoyed the visual spectacle that was Asgard, it was really the scenes back on Earth that drove the movie forward. Filled with plenty of humor, as you would imagine from gods on Earth, and some nice dramatic moments between our hero and his future love interest. Plus plenty of SHIELD humor/action, which is always a plus, and something to be expected from Marvel’s movies. And especially one that’s supposed to be a stepping stone to the Avengers next summer.
So there’s a lot to love in the film as far as cinematography goes, and I have to say that almost every actor really plays their part well, but as always there are some missteps. I think that it is a very bold move for Marvel to try to translate a character such as Thor onto the big screen for such a wide audience, because he’s definitely one that’s not going to be so readily accepted as someone like, say, Iron Man or Captain America. He’s a character very different from the others, and it shows in this movie. Part of it is a good kind of diametric between Thor and his godly perception of everything as compared to how Earth perceives him, but some of it falls a bit short. There were some parts in there, such as ones with Thor using Mjolnir to fly, or some of the various actin sequences, which are just difficult to translate from page to film. I personally think they did as well as they could, but some of the audience is going to walk away chuckling at how silly it is for a large muscular man to be swinging around a hammer to attack his enemies as well as to fly.
I’d have to say all of that is my main complaint with the movie, and maybe the ending seemed a little too sudden for my tastes, but other than that there was definitely a ton to love in this movie. Comic fans are going to be cheering to themselves for several little cameos and appearances of different characters, items, and even some writers (more than just the usual Stan Lee cameo), and everyone NEEDS to make sure to stay until the end to see the little post-credits scene that seems to be leading directly into the potential conflict of The Avengers.
All in all, there’s a ton to enjoy about this movie, and I think fans of the character will definitely get a lot more out of it than those going in not knowing anything about him. For everyone else it should be a good fun way to start off the summer, as we have been given the first blockbuster of the season. Now Marvel fans have but two and a half months to wait for Captain America!
GO Rating: 4/5