Movie Review: Thor

Thor - International PosterHubby and I saw Thor on Saturday afternoon. We chose to see the 2D version, because we weren’t overly impressed with the effects in Avatar, and 2D was cheaper. After the film, hubby said it was just as well we chose 2D, because he was sure the tight shots and jerky camera movements in the fight scenes would have been nauseating in 3D.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We saw the film at the Rave Motion Pictures theatre on Bayou Boulevard in Pensacola. They had something set wrong, so that the house lights were on for the first 10 or 15 minutes. Not a very good way to begin a movie.

Marvel Comic's ThorThe film begins with scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and her team sitting in the New Mexico desert waiting to record an unusual atmospheric phenomenon that – until that night – had been as regular as clockwork. Just as they were about to give up and go home, the phenomenon begins, and as they’re driving around in the maelstrom, they slam into a man with their van. Of course, it’s Thor (Chris Hemsworth), who’s been cast out of Asgard. At that point, we go to Asgard a few days earlier and seeing the events that led up to Thor’s banishment.

Once we catch up, Jane and friends take Thor to the hospital, where he breaks out, and then they take him to breakfast. At the restaurant, one of the locals mentions that a “satellite” has fallen out of the sky nearby. Jane ends up taking Thor to the site, because he knows its his hammer, and he believes that once he retrieves it, he’ll have his powers back.

Anthony Hopkins as Odin flanked by Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki)Thor’s father (Anthony Hopkins) however has set a spell on the hammer, so that only one worthy of carrying it may move it. After battling his way through government troops to get to the hammer, Thor is crestfallen to see that he cannot pick it up. It’s a tragic moment of reckoning for the character, and Hemsworth plays it beautifully.

We go back and forth between present day Earth and Asgard, where Thor’s brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has learned a dark secret about his past. His anger and frustration leads him to send a warrior to Earth to destroy Thor, and he doesn’t care if Earth is destroyed in the process.

My husband and I thought the movie was very well done. Some of Pat Doyle’s music reminded Tim of the type of thing Christopher Nolan has had in some of his movies (Batman Begins, The Prestige), but, as hubby put it, “Then it developed into something quite nice.”

I thought the movie was paced quite well; hubby felt it had a few slow spots. I got a little tired of Jane Foster’s constant blush-and-drool over Thor.

The costumes were magnificent, and the production design overall was awesome. The only thing I didn’t particularly care for was the palace on Asgard, which I kept thinking looked like a cross between a pipe organ and the palace from The Little Mermaid. Hubby didn’t have any problem with it, and I’m probably the only person in the world who thought that.

The fight scenes, as are all fight scenes nowadays, were hard to follow. The shots were framed too tightly, they were edited too fast, and the jerky camera movements get Kenneth Branagh directed and starred in "Henry V" in 1989.irritating very fast. I don’t blame director Kenneth Branagh for that, because *all* movie fights seem to be shot and edited the exact  same way. It’s just the trend. I don’t want to be in the middle of the fight, though; I want to be on the hillside watching.

I’m quite thrilled that Thor is getting good reviews from both audiences and critics, and I hope its success means that Ken will have no trouble getting financing for whatever Shakespeare film he wants to do next.

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About Taminar

When I grow up, I want to make movies and write books. Now in my 50s, I wonder if I'll ever really accomplish the dreams of my youth. I have made two short films, one for a college film-making class, the other for an MTV-sponsored contest. I have written short plays that have been produced, and a few short stories and reviews that have been published. I also perform and direct for community theatre. My working life has included stints in local TV news, public relations, retail management and cashier, and for a couple of years, I made the rides go at Walt Disney World. I have three cats and a husband.
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