Now I think most people know the very basic info about Thor. “It’s that guy with the hammer right?” Yes sir, it’s that guy with the hammer. A viking legend that was smartly adapted to Marvel Comic lore by the skillful Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby. Lots of comic stories about Thor and his world out there. I collected more than a few growing up, and I enjoyed them as much as any comic. And now we have a movie to bring that story to life. I’m breaking this down a bit to give you a better idea of why I liked it.
Casting / Acting – The cast was a pretty good choice. Chris Hemsworth was not a bad choice. Another actor might have done it better but Hemsworth did a good job. The brother did get Big for the role. Physicality he looked like Thor, though Thor is bigger in the comic. Natalie Portman wasn’t bad either, but of course the part wasn’t much of a stretch for her. Anthony Hopkins did a great job, but I think the writing and tone couldn’t take advantage of Hopkins’ depth. All the other actors that played Loki, Thor’s friends, Jane Foster’s colleagues, the bad guys… they were all fine.. I especially noticed Idris Elba as Heimdall. He really had a presence. And because nobody really wanted to mess with him, including Thor. Some people were beefing about him being black, but it really wasn’t a big deal because he did his job. Jamie Alexander as Lady Sif got cool points for a split-second move she did.
Directing / Production – Kenneth Branagh is a very accomplished director as well as a Shakespearian actor. He knows what he is doing behind the camera and has good connection with his actors. His experiences added to the realism of Asgard, which was one thing I was worried about before I heard he was directing. I was happy for the most part at how they portrayed Asgard. Things could have gone horribly wrong, presenting a magical kingdom in a more adult story like this. I don’t think many will be disappointed.
Special Effects – Now on this I can say that they did a great job. The CG wasn’t ‘perfect’, but SF artist did bring the comic character of Thor to life! He was swinging and throwing the hammer just like the comic. And traveling the ‘Rainbow’ bridge was hot. His suit design worked too, though my costume designing friend said it could have been scuffed up more. I was smiling at certain moments when Thor was fighting the baddies.
Story – It wasn’t deep per say, but then it was an origin story. They seldom start out ‘deep’. But they did fit a lot of storytelling into a small space of a movie. The mix of family honor and betrayal and a little bit of a ‘falling in love’ story were told quickly, but not in a chopped up way. The pacing was moving along, especially with switching back and forth between Thor on earth and events happening in Asgard.
Extra Stuff – You all know by now that these Marvel Movies have been showing sneak peaks at the end of the credits. Geek Soul Brother is telling you to stay in your butt in the seat if you’re a comic lover, and I mean a comic lover. Most people won’t get it. And if your one of those ‘most’, have one of your level 7 or higher geek friends explain why I was smiling like a 5-year-old at an ice cream truck.
So there it is. My (first) review of a new movie. If you like this kind of stuff, then you should like Thor. Comparatively, just under the Ironman movies.