When I heard the lineup for this summer and there were 4 superhero movies listed, “Thor” was not the top of the list as far as the one I HAD to see (that dubious honor goes to “Green Lantern” which comes out later). But as the months went on and the release date got closer and the trailer included more & more special effects, “Thor” took a giant leap forward on my list (still behind “Green Lantern” though) and so I decided to plunk down my $16 to see it in glorious IMAX 3D. Once again I was suckered by the Hollywood machine because once again, 3D fails to deliver. I’m sorry…but it just doesn’t seem to be getting through my thick skull that 3D just isn’t all that…but whatever. Now you know…IMAX yes, 3D no.
Okay…so what do I think about “Thor?” Well…I WANT to tell you it’s fantastic and that you should run out and see it right this second! But I can’t. It’s simply not THAT good. However I can tell you this…considering the idea that a Greek god would come to our planet as a banishment from Aasgard (the Greek version of heaven) and then fall in love with a mere mortal of a woman is kinda far fetched, this movie handles itself with a sense of humor and some pretty cool action.
Chris Hemsworth plays the God of Thunder as a fierce warrior who has plenty of charisma and is a bit of a hot-head. Because of his arrogance and thoughtlessness, his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) sends him spiraling to Earth without his godly strength or his mighty hammer. Once he awakens, he is befriended by a team of researchers (Natalie Portman, Kate Dennings and Stellan Skarsgard) who try to help him get his hammer back from the high-tech government group known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Of course this is all leading up to next summer’s Marvel movie, “The Avengers” so we get a glimpse of the hero “Hawkeye” (who is apparently too minor of a character to get his own flick) and Nick Fury.
Meanwhile, back on Aasgard, Thor’s brother Loki has taken over the realm as their father has grown ill. He has unleashed the feared Ice Giants into Aasgard in hopes of taking over after his father’s passing. Needless to say, Thor learns humility at some point, fights off a really big bad guy and ends up taking on Loki for control of Aasgard. There’s a lot going on in this movie however the pacing is good and the writing ain’t half bad considering the amount of time needed to get from one storyline to the next. If I have one (really big) complaint about this film it’s the relationship that director Kenneth Branagh tries to build between Thor and Natalie Portman’s character. At no given time do I believe that the 2 characters could fall in love, let alone develop the type of relationship that would bring about such a quick personality change in such a high-strung god. And I really have a hard time believing that he would consider leaving his life (that of a warrior and future king) to come back to Earth to battle “super villains” all because of a love for a woman. The kind of power that Thor has would make it relatively easy for him to take on such dastardly villains such as the Green Goblin or any movie bad guy. He’s a GOD, for crying out loud. On our planet he could take on ANYBODY. Why would he bother?
Oh well…that’s really my only complaint and seeing as how they are obviously gonna be bringing him in for the Avengers, they had to find SOMETHING to get him back here. So it’s all set up. There WILL be an Avengers movie and it WILL include Thor so there’s nothing I can really say other than the storyline seems a little flimsy. But the actors all did a decent job in their roles. I thought Hemsworth was an excellent choice for Thor. Tom Hiddleston was a good choice as his brother Loki. Anthony Hopkins is ALWAYS good in everything. The 3 researchers were okay but Portman’s talent seemed somewhat wasted in this role. There’s not a lot you can do when your main job is to look like you’re in love. So you get a lot of shots of her looking longingly at Hemsworth’s abs and having conversations about the difference between science and magic. It’s not surprising that the rest of the cast (including Rene Russo in a much publicized return to acting) goes without much to do and the four actors who play Thor’s best friends all go underdeveloped.
But you’re not going to see Thor for character development…you’re going for the action and there’s plenty of it! Lots of great CGI work in this one, especially when Thor and his friends go to pay a visit to the Ice Giants and end up in battle. And when Thor is flying through space with his hammer, the visuals really pop out at you (oh wait…I saw it in 3D…maybe THAT’S why the price was $7 more?).
Overall…this is a good summer flick. There’s not a lot to chew into even though the story gets a little complicated with the love angle but even then…it’s still a lot of fun. But I would recommend a regular size screen and a matinee because this film is nowhere near as big as the hype is.
Overall Rating: B
YES! We got a passing grade!!!!