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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Garon's Movie Review: Thor

Written by:  Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz and Don Payne.  Story by: J. Michael Straczynski and Mark Protosevich.  Based on characters created by:  Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan SkarsgÄrd, Kat Dennings, Clark Gregg, Idris Elba , Colm Feore, Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Josh Dallas, Jaimie Alexander, and Rene Russo

The God of Thunder finally graces the the big screen, at least since Adventures In Babysitting, and contrary to my expectations, it's pretty good!

To be honest, I thought a Thor solo film would be a disaster.  I just thought his Norse mythology would prove to heavy for American audiences to digest.  Well, I'm happy to say I was wrong.

For this movie to be successful, Thor must be perfectly cast and I'm happy to say that Chris Hemsworth is perfectly cast.  He does a great job and brings Thor to life better than I would have thought possible.  Equal parts cocky and charming, his Thor is spot on.

Natalie Portman is pretty good as well here.  She doesn't have all that much to do to be honest but she's cute and quirky so it doesn't much matter.  I will say that Kat Dennings is a bit of a scene stealer as the comic relief but again, there wasn't much of her.

Anthony Hopkins turns in a great performance as Odin.  He really pulls off the multi-layered role of King and Father quite well.   I'm not sure anyone else would be any better for this role because he knocked it out of the park.

I have to say that I loved Tom Hiddelston's Loki.  I can't wait to see him in other films.  He is supposedly signed for three other Marvel titles.

As for Rene Russo, I have no idea why she is even there.  She has about four lines.

The rest of the cast does great as well, even if people seem to not like some of the characters.  I'll let you form your own opinion on The Warrior's Three.  Personally, I think the writer had no idea what to do with them.

The story finds Thor stripped of his powers and exiled to Earth after defying Odin's orders and essentially reigniting a war.  He has to learn valuable life lessons in order to become worthy of wielding Mjolnir (his magic hammer) again.

I won't say anything else for fear of spoiling.

I'll say that things seem to move pretty fast and it does feel like there were a lot of things cut out.  No doubt victims of test screenings.  These chops are noticeable but don't really take much away from the film itself.  I found myself thinking, "oh it feels like something was supposed to happen there, " just for a moment before slipping back into the world again.

Here comes my soap box moment:  DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE IN 3D.  It is unnecessary and only continues the tradition of lousy conversions.  The picture was much darker and at times felt slightly curved.  It does nothing to enhance the film and again is a big fat waste of money.  Plus I left with my eyes hurting.  Seriously, no 3D.  I beg you.

The visuals of Asgard are spectacular and the 3D does nothing but dim them.  It's sad really.  I don't understand why this has not gone away yet.  It's frustrating to say the least.

In the end, while Thor is not a perfect movie, it's a fun one that turned out better than I could ever have imagined.  It's a great look into the mythology of the character and his world.  It moves fast and it might feel a bit pat over all in terms of "learning his lesson" but at the end of the day it's pretty awesome to see Thor beating the holy hell out of things with that hammer.

Thor opens May 6!  That's tomorrow!

Also, be sure to stay through the credits.

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