A Man and His Hammer ... Thor Reviewed
As we continue along our run through the Marvel movies leading up to the Avengers, I was very intrigued about Thor. In my mind this was a very difficult movie to cast and to pull off a believable God of Thunder. However, when the casting of Chris Hemsworth was announced I was extremely encouraged of the possibilities. In my mind the performance that Hemsworth gave in the first 8 minutes of the Star Trek reboot sold me on both the potential of that movie, and also him as an actor. I was completely blown away by his performance and the subtle nuance he gave to a scene of pure heroism, loss, and love. It was a brilliant scene and performance and had me very optimistic for the potential of him bringing a depth of character to our Thor introduction.
Does the God of Thunder truly yield a big stick.. find out my thoughts in the Thor Review.
Kenneth Branagh was a very interesting choice to bring Thor to the big screen. His background in Shakespeare I feel was key in the hope that he would spin the big and mythical worlds with some much needed gravitas and humanity. I was very pleased with the way that he brought these character before our eyes. In a way, this is a great introduction to Thor, rather than the massive Thor adventure that I know we all hope to see one day. It is the story of a young man with an ego big enough to cover all of the nine realms, who must learn humility, and learn to deal with humanity in order to truly become the hero that we all know he can be.
If there are any complaints that I would have regarding the direction of the movie, it would be that there were perhaps a few aspects a bit too grounded in reality. With the story of Thor, there is much at your fingertips for the fantastical and epic, and some of adventure that is woven into this story of maturity and humility could have been taken further. I also felt a bit short changed in regards to Lady Sif and the Warriors 3. I felt we could have explored them a bit deeper in the story laying groundwork for further adventures, but I guess further adventures also allow time to delve into those characters further as well.
As has been a constant with the Marvel movies, they have found a way to get exceptional actors in supporting roles. Thor was no different as they we able to have Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard, and Idris Elba on board to play vital characters in this world.
All bring a extremely powerful level of depth to their characters. The way Odin can command his lines, and the emotion that he conveys as he banishes Thor are truly spot on. Hopkins is a master with his ability to captivate the audience, and to me, as Odin, he delivers another strong performance on so many levels.
In my eyes, the key to the believability of the Thor and Jane relationship was Jane herself. Jane needed to convey that she truly believed there was more to Thor than just the man she continued to hit with her car, while also being able to lose herself in this god of a man. She was most successful at this when Thor truly proves his worth. The facial expressions of Portman run every emotional range imaginable and you find yourself believing that she could truly be falling for him.
The biggest revelation outside of Chris Hemsworth being the ideal Thor, was Tom Hiddleston as Loki. I wasn't fully aware of Hiddleston before Thor, but damn did he give an exceptional performance. There was a depth of character and a depth of emotion that he brought to Loki as the confused and mischievous little brother. He is an exceptional young actor who I feel will become a big star very soon. I am very excited to see what he does with a deeper character arc in the Avengers.
In closing, I found Thor to be a very entertaining and well acted blockbuster with some stunning visual set pieces, great bits of humor, and a strong sense of humility. Although there are many that could have wished for more spectacle and a more epic feel to the movie, i loved that they introduced us to Thor in a very character driven movie that takes bits of action and adventure and weaves it into the story of self discovery. Thor is a character with great depth and great knowledge, and this movie launches the story in a way that hopefully paves the way for many fully realized adventures full of character and adventure.
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