Summer Movie Review: Thor
Summer movie season is here! This is by far my favorite cinematic time of the year and this summer is offering up a freakish amount of popcorn fare and geek bait. My social calendar is already full of Friday night showings (I don’t believe in midnight shows) and Harry Potter themed parties. I’ll be doing some quick reviews of some of these screenings over the course of the summer. Today I kick things off with Thor. Sadly, I was never introduced to comic books until very recently and I have not read any of the Marvel stories. While I am at least a bit familiar with many super heroes through process of geek osmosis, Thor was and is completely new to me. The only exposure I’ve had to this character is from many, many viewings of Adventures in Babysitting as a geekling.
The first time I saw anything from the film was at Comic-Con last summer where they had set up a full-scale replica of the golden throne and brought along actors to sit in it and look awesome. While the sight was certainly imposing, the shiny gold seemed to be entering cheesy territory. When the trailers started coming out, my suspicions of fromage seemed to be confirmed. I went into the showing on Friday night with very few expectations. By time the credits rolled, I found myself pleasantly surprised. Did the film have flaws? Yes. Was it amazing? No. Did I have a really good time? Absolutely.
From what I saw, Marvel and the filmmakers had quite a job cut out for them bringing this story to mainstream audiences. The worlds of Asgard and Jotunheim are quite fantastica. It is extremely difficult to create such foreign locations without alienating viewers and appearing comical. I think by hiring a director, Kenneth Branaugh, with such gravitas, Marvel was attempting to ground the story. The worlds and characters felt real and I think that was a smart choice. As fantastical as the sets and situations were, I felt deeply connected to Thor and his compatriots. Thor’s struggle at the end with his feelings towards his brother were incredibly touching and I found him to be a compelling and sympathetic character. I very much look forward to seeing more from this character and storyline. Joss Whedon is my god and I can barely contain my excitement for the Avengers and I am pleased that he’s got such talent in his pocket.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how cool the women in this film were. Natalie Portman’s Jane may not have been wholly original, but she was likeable and charming. I loved how flustered she got around Thor’s ridiculous handsomeness. I hate it when movies ignore how good looking someone is. If I were a geeky scientist, I would also totally fall for him. Okay, I would fall for him if I was a salamander. Trust me, once you see that shirtless scene, you will understand. I’m a big fan of Kat Dennings and her Darcy provided a welcome dose of humor. She was smart and sassy. My favorite female character was definitely Sif. One of Thor’s most valued companions, she is a sexy, strong bad-ass. Not much was shared about her backstory, but the little bit that was sounded really interesting and I can’t wait to see more of her. I also loved how the filmmakers decided to cover her up. I gather that she is often scantily clad in some of the comics and I really appreciated that a warrior wouldn’t show off her cleavage. While fighting Ice Demons, you don’t want to worry about falling out of your corset.
Let me just end this by saying how awesome Loki is. I was not expecting to find his character so fascinating, but something about him really drew me in. I loved the relationship between him and Thor and being slowly introduced to his backstory and motivations. I am very pleased to hear that he will be playing a main character in the Avengers movie. There is going to be so much handsomeness in that film, I might go into a handsome coma. If you find me passed out in my seat, please throw some water on me.
Originally posted at: http://thelxl.com/2011/05/11/summer-movie-review-thor/