Posted on May 13th, 2011
I first typed BANG Movie Review: Thor, and it just didn’t look right. This movie requires CAPS, people.
I went to see the movie not knowing anything about the comic book it’s based on – except that it deals with the Norse god of thunder. I knew that it starred Chris Hemsworth, that guy from the Star Trek movie, and that he got all HUGE to play Thor. On the way to the theatre, Sean also told me it co-stars Sir Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, and Kat Dennings, and that it’s directed by Kenneth Branagh. This was reason enough for a night out (thanks to a birthday present cineplex gift card) to see YET ANOTHER comic book movie.
I’m not saying it that way as an insult. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against comic books in principle. Just because I never read them in my youth (other than Archie, and I know that’s not the same) doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the folklore. I respect my husband’s detailed (geeked-out) knowledge of the differences between DC and Marvel canons. I even read The Dark Knight Returns, to prove my love to him. (It was pretty cool and freaky.) And today, Sean would have been proud of me – a group of my Grade 6 students was trying to remember the regular name of The Hulk, and asked me if I knew. And I totally did, without any hesitation. (Bruce Banner. Not to be confused with Bruce Wayne.)
Anyway, I’ve learned a lot over the years, and I’ve very much enjoyed me some Superman, Batman, and Spiderman movies. And I only fell asleep during Iron Man for reasons of legitimate sleepiness. And The Hulk was pretty good. But… it’s not my own passion. When I hear about a new comic-book movie coming out, I don’t get all hyper like Sean does. Just so you know where I’m coming from.
Back to the point: Notes about THOR!
- So yeah, Chris Hemsworth. He’s the one in Star Trek who makes me choke up every time by sacrificing himself within the first ten minutes. He’s cute.
- He looks totally different in this movie. In his first scene, he’s this golden prince guy, like a lion-man with knightly hair, adored by the golden crowds, and he’s all grinning and full of armour, and yep, he’s still cute.
- He and the filmmakers obviously went to some lengths to make his muscles look like the crazy over-exaggerated ones that comic book artists draw.
I think they got fairly close. (I didn’t mind this scene.)
- I do think they should have laid off the hair dye on his eyebrows, though. I know he has to be blond, but his brows were too yellow and only showed up at certain angles.
- I didn’t expect to laugh as much as I did. I love when media-makers deliberately sink into a dramatic cliché and then throw the scene on its head. Joss Whedon is brilliant at this, and apparently Kenneth Branagh has a knack as well. For example, putting the swashbuckling, theatrical Thor in a modern-day New Mexico pet shop makes for some good chuckles.
- My comic-book savvy has developed enough that I caught the Iron Man reference in the dialogue. Boo-yah.
- Natalie Portman is freakin’ gorgeous. Her eyelashes are ridonculous.
- Thor’s realm was cool – I especially enjoyed the shiny rainbow bridge, the roiling seas, and the skies full of galactic majesty. It reminded me of my parents’ TimeLife books about weather and the universe that I used to stare at, trying to believe the images were real.
- The music was quite grandiose and valourous as well, even if the action did get simply too loud at certain points. (Sean actually agreed with me on this, and he has a higher tolerance for noise than I do.)
- I do think that, in spite of the self-mocking humour, the cheese factor was high, and the character development a little on the low side. I didn’t feel very thought-provoked or emotionally moved afterwards. (In case you’re wondering, I have felt both in the past after watching certain comic-book movies.) But I liked it.
- To sum up: a phrase my Grade 6 boys like to use (to apply to themselves) came to mind several times as I watched this movie: epically epic in every way. Well-done entertainment.