Monday, May 09, 2011

Movie Review: Thor

This movie was fantastic. It's gonna win awards.

Don't think about Norse mythology when you go see this movie. The names were originally taken from the mythology, but they were made into Marvel Comics characters.

"Thor" is a rather Shakespearean tale of intrigue and trickery in the royal court of the gods. Two brothers competing for the approval of their aging father and, to a lesser extent, the throne of Asgard itself. But an incident at the coronation ceremony leads to rash actions by a young and impetuous god that leads to a war with an ancient enemy. This leads to banishment and the discovery of the kidnapping of a infant from the enemy eons ago. Who else to direct something like this than Kenneth Branagh?

The story was written by J. Michael Straczynski who is best known for the five year epic called "Babylon 5".  These days he writes for Marvel Comics. So he's had plenty of experience writing these kinds of epics.

Thor, stripped of his powers and banished to Midgard (i.e. Earth) until he can become worthy of his powers, befriends a group of scientists who are trying to understand the wormhole that the Asgard use to travel to different realms. He tries to help them recover their research from SHIELD. SHIELD has established a camp around Thor's hammer that was sent to Earth with him. Nobody can lift the hammer who is not worthy, and for much of the movie that includes Thor.

The sweeping vistas of Asgard are awe inspiring. The battles are unlike those you've ever seen. And you don't need the 3D glasses or theater to appreciate it. We did without and were blown away. I think the 3D would be a distraction.

There are some acting roles that are destined for certain people. Patrick Stewart always had to play Professor X. JK Simmons was the only choice for J Jonah Jameson. Robert Downey Jr was an obvious pick for Tony Stark once I heard it. Then there are those roles that seem right with one actor until you see how they're written. Patrick Stewart would have made a great Mr Freeze, but the way the character was written wrote him out and Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed a better choice. And as much as I want to see Brian Blessed play Odin, this particular take on Odin wasn't a good fit. They did well in picking Anthony Hopkins.

I will get this on DVD without hesitation. I may see it again in theaters. It's that good.

1 comment:

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