Thor - Review

My hopes for thor being any good were right from the start very low. First of all, i thought that thor was out of all the marvel superhero characters one of the silliest...and he is about to get a feature film? Second of all, the first pictures from the set didn't look convincing at all. "Thor" is definately one of those movies which are extremely hard not to fuck up.

Plot: The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.

As you might have noticed i am not a big thor fan. But as far as i know the plot differs a bit from the source material. In the comics thor is sent to earth without any memories about his godly origins. But turned out that it was a good decision to let thor keep his memory in the movie. Most of the comedy results from thor behaving like a god on earth while everyone else thinks he's a weirdo.
Though the story/plot doesn't reach new grounds concerning complexity etc., it's enough to guarantee good entertainment.

The acting is pretty ok but it's parts of the script which appear as a mixed bag. The movie constantly struggles between being good popcorn movie entertainment and incredibly cheesy. Those cheesy moments, which immediately trigger unintended comedy, mostly concern dialogue parts involving loki or odin.
It was a good choice to cast an unknown australian actor like chris hemsworth as thor. I think any other bigger actor would have probably destroyed any credibility in this role. Chris hemsworth does very well as thor and makes that character development work: first thor is a narcissistic unlikable asshole but he learns the value of human life bla's pretty clicheed but it's hemsworth acting and the sympathy that make it work.
It might be just a minor complaint but unfortunately thor's change happens a bit too fast. He was about 3 days on earth and that short time made him a new person?...write that down people: one weekend with natalie portman will change your life!

I was quite surprised that the cast also included natalie portman at all. She doesn't have much to act here and could easily be replaced by any other actress. Portman seemed a bit bland. Admitted she's sweet but i guess she just falls in love with thor way too soon. I mean like 20 min after meeting thor for the first time, she immediately starts to develop emotions for him. But i guess it's still entertaining and enjoyable to see her act in a simple popcorn movie for once.
The cast also includes kat dennings who solely has the purpose of being funny, but since the entire comedy suprisingly works throughout the whole movie, it's perfectly fine. So is actor stellan skarsgard as natalie portman's partner erik, although maybe he has a bit more of a complex character than dennings.
Another mentionable actor is anthony hopkins who does a good job but...well come on it's anthony hopkins delivering such cheesy lines and wearing that stupid golden eyepatch. It's just not a movie to put in such a high class actor...but well nevermind.
The movie features some great cameos though. The first one is OF COURSE stan lee. And yes it's a great cameo (possibly his best).
Another actor with a cool cameo is jeremy renner as hawkeye. His future role in the upcoming avengers movie gets teased here.

Speaking of avengers, there are avengers references up the ass in this movie. Nerds like me will definately recognize them but the casual movie goer probably won't. Still nice to have them in there to satisfy fans.

The action scenes are surprisingly good and feature some awesome sound design. Although some of them lack that excitement "punch" because ultimately it's immortals fighting. But still they are far better than i expected. I was worried about the movie failing at giving us good action scenes (with such a tiny hammer). But in the end, i was wrong.

A massive use of CGI in this movie was unavoidable. The CG is pretty good but nothing special compared to the special effects standards nowadays. I absolutely understand that they HAD TO include that much CG so it's ok (much like with "Transformers").
There is some impressive design of the world of asgard but i was always asking myself whether or not thor has "normal" clothes. We ALWAYS just see him walk around in his armour even when he's just walking around the palace.
Talking about clothing: if there was one big thing that i would have changed in this flick, then it's the costumes. They could have been far better. The acutal costumes in the final movie do match the shiny world of asgard but they still look rubbery and kind of "power rangers style".

And while we are at it, there are also some dramatic moments but i felt that they are easily the stupidest moments in the movie. One second there was a cool fight and then out of nowhere this SUPER-MELODRAMATIC SCORE sets in. The build up to the dramatic moments and the moments themselves feel silly and weak.

The 3d is pretty impressive when panning over the fantastic landscapes but it's mostly annoying during the action scenes who themselves are great. Overall really just watch it in 2D.

All in all, for a movie that was so easy to fail, director kenneth branagh made a fantastic job. It's good old popcorn movie fun. Of course it by far doesn't match up with high class comic movies like "dark knight" but it's one of the best if it comes to pure entertainment. "Thor" has some minor issues but they ultimately get meaningless regarding the overall experience. So for a good time, go see one of the most memorable movies this year so far: "Thor".

Final Verdict: 7 out of 10


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