REVIEW: Thor

This is coming from one who had almost no knowledge of the Thor comics before seeing the film and when the trailer aired, it looked like a very enjoyable film and would have stunning effects with a lot of good fun coming out of it. However, in many ways the film both really surprised me and expectedly blew me away. As predicted, the cinematography, art direction, visual effects and the action Thor was exactly what was required: magnificent and should pull off a few Academy Award nominations for Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and maybe even Best Costume Design. However, what was so surprising about Thor was how emotional it turned out to be, how gripping and epic it felt from the first shot to the last and despite that some may not believe it, Asgard and other worlds show that there could be another world like it and that the Universe is like a tree with planets on the end of the branch.

Just like Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk and the upcoming Captain America: The First AvengerThor is another MARVEL build-up to The Avengers which is due for release in 2012 and now after seeing this, I am even more excited about it andThor truly is the dark horse of those films. In fact, the dark horse of all MARVEL films thus far seeing as I underestimated it to start off with and look how great it turned out to be. This does have its similarities with Ancient Greece such as the Gods and monsters within and I do think that some kind of inspiration from that went towards the Thor comic itself but it still is an absolutely fantastic MARVEL creation with such a solid, imaginative and entertaining story.

At the centre of the story is the Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. As punishment by his father King Odin or Asgard, Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.

Chris Hemsworth didn’t seem entirely convincing as Thor to start off with seeing as in my opinion he looked rather flat for the character and perhaps could have picked a list of actors who looked like a better choice for Thor (my favourite pick was Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque). However, he was more or less an unexpected surprise and played Thor absolutely brilliantly. Hemsworth provided everything that is the Thor character in a nutshell: badass, a heartthrob and a bad boy turned to real hero. The Thor film itself as well as the Thor character is, in my mind, MARVEL’s own version of the greek mythological hero Hercules and the Gods and humans involved that are alike in so many ways and its funny that neither of them are classed as princes seeing as they are the son of a leader/king of Gods. Chris Hemsworth is one of those actors who not many people had even heard of before Thor was released but now it has been, it has truly become his breakthrough performance and hope to see more great roles in the near future, including The Avengers coming up in 2012.

Natalie Portman makes her return in a summer blockbuster for the first time since Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith and guess what? She delivers exactly what you expect of her: brilliant acting by playing such a lovable character which wasn’t really a huge surprise although her appearance in Thor made the film even more interesting. Jane Foster had so many similarities with Megara in Hercules (apart from being a scientist) due to the at-first oddness about Hercules and then binding love for him despite being so different. The great Sir Anthony Hopkins makes an appearance as King Odin (father of Thor) and to no surprise, gave a great performance. The character Odin had a lot of similarities with Marcus Aurelius in Gladiator who was portrayed by the late Richard Harris by both looks and personality and how they act towards their younger protégés. Stellen Skarsgard, Tom Hiddleston, Kat Dennings and Idris Elba gave good performances too. Also, keep an eye out for Jeremy Renner in this film. His role may be minor but his appearance of what we saw was pretty awesome.

Speaking for perhaps a lot of people who thought Kenneth Branagh as director of Thor was really surprising but my response to it was ”Uhh.. What?” especially the fact that his previous works as director have been films based on plays by the great William Shakespeare (Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet) so, yeah films totally different. Anyway, I as well as a lot of people were proven wrong and truly did underestimate Branagh’s directorial role in Thor. They perhaps couldn’t have found a better director now after watching it and it makes us all think now that if Bryan Singer, Brett Ratner, Jon Favreau or anyone else who has been the director of a MARVEL film before could have made it too soppy and like a lot of Hollywood crap we see nowadays. The action scenes were filmed unbelievably seeing as during throughout every single part, it really looked like real action rather than overloaded CGI effects like in a lot of films we see nowadays. I hope Kenneth Branagh considers making another action film like Thor or maybe even the sequel if planned because he went somewhere really special with this one and is bound to blow the audience away and totally surprise them.

Overall, Thor is such an entertaining, epic and highly intense MARVEL film that is perhaps is the dark-horse of summer blockbusters in 2011 (maybe even of the entire year) and was a surprisingly amazing film and the same thing could be said for J.J. Abram’s Star Trek in summer 2009. It is definitely the best MARVEL film in years (probably the best one since Spider-Man 2 in 2004). If this doesn’t pull off a few Academy Award nominations, they will need a brutal beating! Amazingly, Thor manages to provide both typical Hollywood and something that we haven’t seen before or at least something that we haven’t seen for a long time: a comic adaptation with a strong soul and was in a word; epic. I didn’t see the film in 3D but even after watching it, I wasn’t entirely convinced that a 3D release of the film was a good idea but Thor is still a brilliant film nevertheless. Thor will bring even more excitement to The Avengers! Speaking of which, if you are about to see the film at the cinema and are reading this review, make sure you stay until the ending credits for one last exciting build-up scene.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 18/05/2012.

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