Monday, May 9, 2011

"Thor" is an underwhelming kick-off for the summer season: C+

So, the summer season officially kicked off this weekend with the release of "Thor." I try to keep an open mind whenever I venture into the theater, especially when it comes to these Marvel-inspired productions. I didn't read too much about the movie, nor did I spend too much time watching the trailers. So hopefully my review will prove to be honest and un-biased. **SPOILERS AHEAD**

The movie opens with astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and her team watching the New Mexico sky in hopes of recording a unique cloud formation. In a hurried storm-chaser-esque bout of excitement, the three of them charge into the formation with their vehicle, only to crash into a shadowy figure of a man. The man is Thor (Chris Hemsworth), whose backstory is immediately cut to after the crash scene. Somewhere far off in the cosmos is a realm called Asgard, a golden city of opulence where super-beings exist. Thor is the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), an aging warrior and king of Asgard. On the day of his coronation, Thor prepares himself to be named the next king. Before Odin has a chance to make his son the new king, a group of Frost Giants break into the armory where their magical relic permanently resides. You see, back in the day, Odin conquered the Frost Giants and took with him their relic, which was their greatest source of power. No worries though, because the invading Frost Giants don't make it out of the armory alive.

In a fit of arrogant rage, Thor decides to take a trip to Jotunheim - the cold and desolate planet where the Frost Giants live. With his four best warriors at his side, Thor attempts to wreck havoc on the Frost Giants for interrupting the coronation ceremony. Once the dust settles from the battle, Odin arrives to take Thor and his comapny back to Asgard. Papa is not happy. He criticizes Thor for being a warmongerer, and becomes angry with him for jeopardizing the peace treaty that has been forged between Asgard and Jotunheim. Thor opens his big fat mouth and - basically - calls his dad out for being a pussy. Wrong move, Thor. Odin then strips Thor of his powers and his Hammer, and casts him out of Asgard. The Hammer soon follows, but not before Odin casts a spell upon it to ensure that only someone worthy could ever use its powers.

"Wait, your lips are vegan-safe AND Kosher right?"

So now, we're back to Earth where Jane crashes into Thor in the New Mexico desert. Now a human, Thor must first get used to life on Earth. There are a couple of funny moments, like when Thor smashes his coffee cup onto the diner floor in super-manly approval. Thor is obviously out of place in the small New Mexico town. Thor's Hammer crash lands too, drawing attention from the locals who try to move it from it's resting place - it's a sword-in-the-stone kind of thing. The Hammer also draws the attention of the notorious Marvel organization S.H.I.E.L.D., and they show up to quarantine the Hammer and to steal all of Jane's research. To be quite honest, the appearance of S.H.I.E.L.D. took me out of the movie for a bit. I had a feeling that this was going to happen, especially with Marvel's hostile summer box office takeover. Anyway, Thor has to fight his way through several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (including Jeremy Renner with his first Hawkeye cameo) to get to his beloved Hammer, which he cannot remove anyway since Odin deemed that only the worthy can wield it.

Wow, I'm going on and on here. I'll try to wrap it up soon.

Back in Asgard, Odin has fallen into a deep sleep. Unable to rule the kingdom of Asgard, Thor's younger brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) appoints himself king. Before Odin falls into his deep sleep, he reveals to Loki that he is not in fact his paternal son. Loki was an abandoned Frost Giant baby back in days of war, and Odin brought him back to Asgard to raise him as his own. In a fit of rage, Loki plots to destroy the entire Frost Giant population. But first, Loki must destroy Thor. He sends his great machine, The Destroyer (original, I know) to Earth in hopes of preventing Thor from ever making his return. Of course, Thor learns the error of his ways and the Hammer comes to his rescue.

Overall, "Thor" was mildly entertaining. All of the scenes in Asgard were pretty cool, with all the bright colors and the gilded costumes. I wish the movie had stayed in Asgard. The scenes with Thor in New Mexico, falling in love with Jane, fighting off S.H.I.E.L.D., and making a total ass of himself distracted me from the cool-factor that this movie really had going for it. Chris Hemsworth was an appropriate choice, and I also enjoyed the inclusions of Idris Elba (Asgardian gatekeeper Heimdall) and Ray Stevenson (Thor's warrior buddy Volstagg). However, I didn't care for the appearance of Jeremy Renner and Rene Russo. Some of the special effects looked a bit cheap, and some of the action scenes were really choppy. As I mentioned before, the scenes that took place in Asgard and Jotunheim were impressive in terms of visuals, and I wish the movie had not focused so much on Thor's experience on Earth. All in all, "Thor" was a decent superhero flick with all the standard superhero elements. It's not original, and it's not mind-blowing - it's decent.


  1. Hmmm I have seen mostly positive reviews for the film, but my initial view of it was that it would be bad, so you are probably right here. I'll have to see for myself though. Great review!

  2. B+ is a very fair call. I found it ho hum...neither great nor neither bad.

  3. I'm super biased since THOR has been my favorite comic book hero since forever. I loved the movie, but was also just relieved it wasn't Ghostrider/Daredevil horrible.

  4. I thought it was very cute and had lots of charm. A fun time at the Cinema. It wasn't amazing, but it kept me entertained for the most part, and in the end, it was a good time. Good Review!

  5. A fair evaluation. I liked it a bit more but I wavered on my grade a couple of times. You're right, the Asgard scenes make the movie.


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