With all the favorable reviews out, does Thor live up to the hype?
Reviews can make or break a movie. As much as people bash film critics, claiming they "don't listen to reviews anyway", people will still flock to a movie depending on the word of mouth given. Thor is a movie that has been blessed with extremely positive reviews ever since it premiered overseas a few weeks ago, but sometimes even extremely positive reviews can hurt a movie. A great example is last year's Inception and the way critics gushed over it. When reading reviews in the weeks leading up to it, you would have thought the film was the Second Coming. I read reviews that said it was "too special to describe" and "something we have never seen before" and while I did like Inception immensely, I was just a little let down because all of the positive word of mouth had built my expectations up to such a degree that the movie would never, ever live up to it.
I was worried that the same would happen with Thor, thinking that my expectations were so high that there was no way the movie could possible deliver. I was wrong.
As a comic book adaptation and as a movie in general, Thor delivers in every way possible. It works on an action level, character level, comedy level, and especially on a performance level. Though it's just a summer popcorn movie, it kicks off the summer movie season in grand fashion and all subsequent comic book movies this year have a lot to live up to.
I want to stay as spoiler free as possible, but in short, Thor is the story of the Asgardian warrior banished to Earth to learn humility. The action switches back and forth between Earth and Asgard at a brisk pace, covering Thor's story as he tries to make his way back home and also showing Asgard and the shenanigans being caused by his brother, Loki. One thing that surprised me so much about Thor was the relationship between Thor and Loki, as it really is the heart of the movie. You really feel that Thor trusts and loves his brother, while Loki's feelings on Thor are made clear over time. One thing that makes their relationship so strong is the performances by Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, who both give their characters plenty of depth and humanity. I would say that Tom Hiddleston steals the movie as Loki, but Chris Hemsworth keeps right up with him through the movie, proving this movie is quite the coming out party for both young actors.
As for Loki, I have to say that he's my favorite Marvel villain yet (Red Skull could top him, but we'll see). Tom Hiddleston makes Loki a very sympathetic villain, and at times you find yourself kind of rooting for him because you can see where his motivations are coming from. As for Thor, well he really is the main focus of the movie. Thor could have been a very unsympathetic character at first, but he is always kept likable and human and you can't help but root for him the whole movie.
One thing about this that worried many fans was the comedic aspect, but that worked for the most part. Most of the comedy is delivered by Thor himself, and Kat Dennings, who is mostly there for comic relief but thankfully she isn't as annoying as she could have been.
As for the supporting cast, well I can't really pick out a weak link. Many times with a comic book movie, fans will complain that a certain character is in the movie but has little to do, and Thor fixes that problem. Many classic comic book characters are in this movie and all have a role to perform and all contribute to the plot at one point. All of the actors are spot on, especially Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, and Natalie Portman.
There are a few Easter eggs thrown in, and all of them work. After Iron Man 2 I was worried that this movie would be just another Avengers prequel, but thankfully it's more of a standalone movie while also planting seeds for future films. Jeremy Renner's cameo as Hawkeye was fun to see and really made me want to see what he's going to do in The Avengers. Sadly, we'll have to wait until next year to see more of Hawkeye in action.
So overall, Thor is another big success for Marvel. One thing that works for it is that it's vastly different from any other superhero movie we've seen before. While it isn't groundbreaking like The Dark Knight, its enough of a departure to be something fresh, new, and exciting. It moves along at a steady pace and is never boring. The action is solid but the story and relationship between the characters is what keeps you watching. Director Kenneth Branaugh made his reputation on directing Shakespeare adaptations, and he translates the same sense of epic scale and character drama to this movie. So I give Thor 5/5 and it's definitely kicking the summer off on the right foot.
: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct
. ComicBookMovie.com is protected from liability under "safe harbor" provisions and will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. For expeditious removal, contact us HERE