Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thor (2011)

For a summer superhero movie, Thor rightfully addresses what the Iron Man movies lacked: Action. And a whole lot of it. The sequences and fights are top-notch, especially when Thor and his friends battle the Frost Giants, and Asgard, Jotunheim and plus the end-credits sequence are absolutely beautiful. It's very much a pleasant surprise, since director Kenneth Branagh is more noted and established for his Shakespearean adaptations and heavier, dramatic work.

Unfortunately, as lovely as they looked, the non-Earth realms are a bit too developed, and some of the time spent on that could've been allocated to Thor's exile on Earth. I mean, this is an origin movie; we're supposed to see how Thor matures from reckless and arrogant youngling over the course of the film. Instead, all it took were 45 minutes real-time (which looked like 5 days in the movie) and two hits from Natalie Portman's 4WD for Thor's hammer Mjolnir to deem him worthy enough to return to him.

Speedy life lessons aside, the plot is most interesting when it shifts back to Asgard (double standard I know, but I compliment what I'm given), where the focus is more on Loki, Thor's half-brother and villain of the movie. Watching how Loki manipulates to keep his brother on Earth and pave his own way to the throne is just awesome, and I actually found myself waiting for each Earth scene to be over just so we could see what Loki is up to next.

[At that point I was wishing that Loki spin-off was in the works, though without Thor, it probably wouldn't be very interesting.]

Though a tad hammy (on second thought) at one point towards the end, Tom Hiddleston is perfect as Loki, with all that insecurity and vulnerability coming to a boil as the movie progresses. It is his lone scenes with Anthony Hopkins, who plays his father Odin, that he comes off as a very misguided, very sympathetic and tragic figure, in that he sees throne-usurping (and basically causing a whole lot of ruckus) as a way to live up to his father's expectations and gain parental approval.

Props must also go to Chris Hemsworth, who did a bang-up job as Thor (by not making him seem ridiculous), and it's his time on Earth (however brief) that Thor is most entertaining. Hemsworth was simply adorable, and his old-fashioned ways and absolute cluelessness brought the best out of the actors around him. My favourite scene had to be the one in the pet store, where he demands for a horse.

As with every Marvel movie, there be Easter eggs. The best is the you'll-miss-it-if-you-didn't-know-it Hawkeye cameo, because the scene where he chooses his bow over a regular, the shot pans back to the action so fast I thought he went for some state-of-the-art high-end firearm instead. It wasn't till he cocked his bow did I see it was Jeremy Renner. And realised that I was the only person in the theatre who realised that that was Hawkeye.

7.5/10. Thor is highly entertaining, and definitely exceeded expectations (because action makes me happy), and even a week after watching it, I still feel like going back to the theatres for a second round. But Thor's 180˚ was much, much too quick, and in terms of development, the focus should've been on Earth, not Asgard, no matter how awesome the end-result looked.

[Actually, Thor could've traded action for character development with Iron Man. Just sayin'.]

1 comment:

  1. I really liked this movie. I enjoyed it and it was a lot more entertaining and funny then i thought it would be. This movie was really good. Grade: B+