THOR: I thought the plot was strong, the acting was strong, the special effects were extremely strong, and Asgard was beautiful, however…I also felt like the storytelling was a bit lacking, the editing jumpy disrupting the flow, and seeing it in 3D is completely unnecessary, if not distracting at times.
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddelston, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, Kat Dennings
Premise: At Thor’s coronation to become king, Frost Giants from the planet Jotenheim (who currently had a truce with Odin, Thor’s father) invade Asgard in order to steal a casket Odin took from them during a battle long ago. In an act of retaliation, Thor, his brother Loki, The Warriors Three, and Sif, travel to Jotenheim – Thor looking for revenge, and his friends coming along to help. As a result of the devastation he caused, Odin banishes Thor to Earth without his powers. Thor must work together with scientists, Jane and Selvig to find a way to get back to Asgard. Meanwhile, back on his home planet, Odin falls into Odinsleep thus making Loki the new king. Loki discovers a betrayal/secret and makes it his mission to see that Thor never returns home.
My Review: So, okay, the premise is not entirely original. And in fact, it’s somewhat predictable. But that doesn’t mean that it was bad. I just think there were certain aspects that needed to be developed more. In fact, the movie runs at 1 hour 55 minutes and I think it needed an extra 15-20 minutes to flesh some of the characters out. More on that in a bit.
The scenes in Asgard were extremely well thought out. While the Warriors Three (Tadanobu Asano, Josh Dallas, Ray Stevenson) and Sif (Jaimie Alexander) were more sidekicks than anything, the relationship between Thor, his brother, Loki, and their father Odin was extremely strong. The funny thing, is watching Sir Anthony Hopkins on talk shows or interviews he seems like a sweet, old man. Sure he’s an extraordinary distinguished actor with many fantastic acting credits behind him, as well as a golden man to boot, but in real life, he looks someone you want to take by the hand and lead to protective safety. However as Odin, Hopkins was huge, and powerful, and he felt like a strong, confident, and also terrifying King. Also a stand out – Tom Hiddleston. Loki had a chance to be over the top, but Hiddleston’s acting was subtle, giving Loki a wide range of emotions and finding humanity behind his character. Yes, Loki was a villain, but he had good, if not completely selfish intentions.
However, the Earth scenes could have used more fleshing out, mainly the relationship between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). They didn’t spend enough time with each other for us to get the sense that they belong together – that Thor is in love with her. Sure they flirted, and Portman has that cute giggle, and who couldn’t/wouldn’t take their eyes off Hemsworth when he takes his shirt off, but that’s all purely surface things. I feel like this oversight could have been fixed with the simple act of Thor brushing Jane’s hair behind her ear when they were talking on the roof, or him grabbing her hand when they had breakfast the next morning. Even if when he *spoiler alert* fell to the ground after his battle with the Destroyer and Jane ran to be by his side. Thor could have reached up, stroked her face and tried to comfort her. But, no, everything just stayed at a lukewarm distance between them with just longing looks. We need more than longing looks people!
I also felt the editing was a bit jumpy. It was as if the editor (and director for that matter) had ADD. They were unable to finish a complete thought before we were moving on to the next plot point, or a new scene. Sometimes ending on a lingering look or giving the audience an extra beat to let the comedy of it all sink in, helps. Also, the soundtrack was a bit mellow dramatic and did not fit with the action during certain places (like the final confrontation with Thor and the Destroyer). They should have gotten the composer of the Sunshine Soundtrack to develop the soundtrack to Thor.
The action was pretty outstanding, which I think was helped with the spectacular costumes and special effects. And that Destroyer is BAD ASS. I want a 3 foot figure of that Destroyer and to display it on my front lawn for all to see. Yes, nerd alert, I know.
Here are some other subtle things I liked about the movie:
- Sif (Jaimie Alexander’s) look of contempt at Loki – She gives good burning rage.
- The way Hogan (Tadanobu Asano) and Fandral (Josh Dallas) grabbed Sif’s arms to stop her from pummeling Loki.
- The look in Loki’s eyes at Thor’s anger over,*spoiler alert*,the Frost Giants invading the weapons room to steal the casket. His eyes were so blue!
- In the scene where Loki and Thor are fighting and Loki is wondering if Thor’s change is because of Jane, I love the way Tom’s eyes are red, and tears are rolling down his face.
- When Odin (Anthony Hopkins) growls at Loki. (You know when you’re father is yelling at your brother and you try and help to defend him, but instead your father yells at you. So human and the godly world.)
- Selvig’s (Stellan Skarsgard) drunken smile.
- Kat Denning’s curtsey.
- Natalie Portman’s embarrassed/flustered giggle.
- The way Chris Hemsworth said, “I need a horse!”
- Darcy needs a last name. It was awkward when Thor was thanking them and Darcy had no last name.
- Thor looked like the Brawny Paper Towel Man in that red plaid jacket.
- Loki in real world clothes, is so dashing!
Overall, this movie was a great way to kick off the Summer. It was action packed, special effects packed and there were so many pretty things to look at! (Chris Hemsworth for the ladies, and Natalie Portman for the men.) Make sure you stay till the end of the credits for an extra scene. And DO NOT see it in 3D. It was completely unnecessary in 3D. Just see it on the big screen and save your money.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars