May 13, 2011

Thor Review

image from Amazon

In the year 965, Odin, King of Asgard wins his war against the Frost Giants and begins to train his two sons, Thor and Loki about what it takes to be a king for when he becomes to old to rule. The day finally comes for Odin to retire and his most arrogant, selfish, and strong-headed son, Thor is about to be crowned the new king. The ceremony is disrupted by by a small infiltration from the Frost Giants, breaking their post-war Truce. Thor leads his brother and friends into the realm of the Frost Giants, the leader of which claims no responsibility for the actions of a few, but Thor beats the crap out of enough of them to warrant a restart to the war. Odin is forced by politics to ban Thor to Earth, stripped of his powers and mighty Mjolnir hammer.

This film was really brilliant in it's character relationships and development. Thor starts off as a despicable jerk, and all of the villains are very sympathetic characters that make you understand the cause of any "evil" actions they might commit. By the end, the villains appear more villainous, and Thor looks like a completely changed guy. Other things like the ending, and allusions to The Avengers movie tie-in were really entertaining and well-done. I may be a minority on this case, but something that really struck me in this film as negative was it's reliance on CGI. I liked Avatar, but something about the CGI in this film made me think that in 20 years a rewatching will make it look hokey. Maybe the bigger sci-fi fans will really get an appreciation out of it. I can understand the choice to go CGI given that it's all Norse mythology-based so there should be a heavenly feel, but still, it didn't work for me personally.

My Highlights:
The fight scenes where Thor is allowed to use Mjolnir because they felt tailor-made for a video-game tie-in. Also, Hawkeye, and Loki's discovery. The post-credits scene probably would have been a highlight too if I hadn't forgotten Marvel's little Easter eggs and walked out before it happened :-(

Overall Rating:
It wasn't Spider-Man (1 or 2), Kick-Ass, Iron Man, or The Dark Knight, but it was pretty good. I'd rank this film better than a lot Ghost Rider! I went into this film like many mainstreamers, not knowing a lot about the Thor legacy. I know the basics of Norse mythology, and own a Thor graphic novel, but didn't know how the film would present the character. By the end of the film, I felt thoroughly invested in all of the characters and believed in the plot. Where the film suffers are in the graphics department (I especially thought the costumes looked really out of place. But maybe that was intentional to show culture clash between Asgard and New Mexico), and minor plot holes. There were parts of the story that felt very convoluted and left the impression that they could have been better executed. I award this film a respectable 4 *'s out of 5, or 8 *'s out of 10.

When You Should See It:
Because The Avengers movie is going to be something out of this world, I feel like everyone should see all of the Marvel films building up to it. There's so many subtle hints and so much character development in all of these films that they should all be seen before witnessing The Avengers. For those who don't know the films to watch: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Incredible Hulk (Edward Norton's, not Eric Bana).

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