Monday, May 9, 2011
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Chris Hemsworth - Thor
Natalie Portman - Jane Foster
Tom Hiddleston - Loki
The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.
Well it's almost summer this is marked by the release of the first of the four big superhero movie and this time it's Thor. I'll admit that I'm not really a fan of the comics even though I do like some of the artists Marvel has had for it's long and lengthy run since the character first appeared in Journey Into Mystery # 83 in 1962, even though the comic has been cancelled multiple times only to come back later. After being in development hell since 1990, the character is finally on the big screen and ready to take his place with the Avengers which releases next year, yet can the character and movie stand on it's own is the true question.
Let me just say that Chris Hemsworth has so much charisma that it actually shines throughout the whole film. Even the quieter scenes you still feel his presence even though he doesn't talk, the camera just loves this man. Hemsworth portrayal of Thor is just perfect as you can tell this man is something more and can do amazing things just by his demeanor. Hemsworth is the star of this film and you know why after watching it. Tom Hiddleston is intriguing to watch as Loki, not so much for his charisma but for the calculated cunning that you know lies behind the the caring exterior. This is a man that has so much disdain for his brother that every action he takes is to somehow get a upper hand over Thor no matter the cost. While Hemsworth's Thor has a boyish charm to him, Hiddleston's Loki is a stewing pot of anger that is disguised by niceness for his own purposes. I should mention that Natalie Portman to me runs either hot or cold, depending on the movie she is in, and in Thor you can tell she cares about her role, as her acting is sincere again and you know she's having fun playing the character of star struck Jane Foster.
As this movie is a connecting movie to Iron Man and The Avengers, I was surprised to see that this film easily stood on its own and told a very enjoyable origin story that didn't feel like a one. Kenneth Branagh who is know for directing more Shakespearean fare at first seemed an odd choice to direct a movie about a superhero god, yet he pulled it off. I think the main reason for this is due to that much of the movie is the story is about one brother at odds with the other and trying to make himself look better in their father's eye. While the movie is called Thor and his journey to becoming more than a prideful, arrogant boy into someone that is worthy to lead a kingdom, it can easily also be about Loki and his realization that he's more what has been let on by his father. I can easily say that Loki is the tragic Shakespearean figure due to that he thinks what he's doing is the right thing yet at the end it all turns against him. The story itself is finely tuned so where nothing seems like a waste, though the movie does slow down in parts it doesn't interrupt the pacing. Even the humor that is thrown in doesn't ruin or take away from what the story has built up.
My only complaint with the film is that some of the action does get lost due to the 3D post conversion as this process still isn't perfect and will probably never be able to compete with filming in 3D. Other than that, the views the audience are giving of Asgard are just beautiful and majestic, even though you aren't giving much in the way of how the society functions. What is giving though is the camaraderie and friendship between the Brothers Three, Sif, Thor, and Loki which can be story in and of itself what they have gone through together as the act more like family than friends. I should mention as well for any fanboy of comics, they will geek out (I did) when Jeremy Renner shows up as Clint Barton/ Hawkeye in a uncredited role, that was filmed after the main filming was finished it seemed, which helps tie Hemsworth and Renner's characters more into the whole movie universe that Marvel is building. While there is no telling where the next Thor movie will take place or what it will be about, this one stands on it's own just amazing and is a fun film that has more going for it than seems.
Thor's quick playtime with a giant frost doggy that ends with a reverse tracheotomy to the nape of it's neck.
Hey, we got Xena, Jackie Chan, Robin Hood, and that Lord Of The Rings guy coming!
Natalie Portman took the role of Jane Foster because she couldn't resist the opportunity of a comic-book film directed by acclaimed director Kenneth Branagh saying, "I was just like Kenneth Branagh doing 'Thor' is super-weird, I've gotta do it." This is also Portman's second movie based upon a comic, the first being V For Vendetta.
J. Michael Straczynski's recent run on the relaunched Thor comic is serving as the influence for the film, who also has a cameo in the film as one of the Townies.
The Eye of Agamotto, a very powerful magical amulet, can be seen in Odin's treasure room. This was a weapon wielded by a Marvel hero, Doctor Strange the Sorcerer Supreme.
Sir Anthony Hopkins signed on as Odin despite never reading a "Thor" comic or knowing anything about the Thor mythology. It was the concept of the father and son relationship that intrigued him about the role.
Sam Raimi after directing Darkman, pitched the idea of a Thor movie to Stan Lee and 20th Century Fox in 1990.