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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thor - Mini Film Review

Thor! Finally, right?

Yes! Apparently so.  We get a movie experience that we want from an amazing comic book character always believed to be to difficult to bring to life. There have been all types of films on the mythical Norse God, most of which are pretty horrible, or generally low brow. Even interpretations in science fiction, like the alien Thor from the planet Asgard in Stargate SG-1.

Thor is a beloved character, and Marvel's interpretation has taken that character and brought him down to earth, literally. The film does a great job of humanizing Thor and connecting him to us. I especially loved the manner in which "The Warriors Three" were placed into the film (Hogun, Fandral, and Valstagg) which helped in this process. The only issue I had was simply wanting more.  

The special effects in the film were fantastic and Chris Hemworth did what I thought was not doable without a giant bodybuilding focused actor, like the Arnold Schwarzenegger's of the world.  He made you feel like he was Thor.  A film like this is incredibly difficult to make. To keep in line with Marvel and appease the fans, hit the mainstream, and tie it into a larger story (coming next year).  So why was it one hour and forty-five minutes long?  

I think that Hollywood underestimates our attention spans - A.D.D. is what some of us suffer when dealing with boring and tedious subjects. Put a comic book in front of us or a comic book movie and we sit at attention. So why give us a shorter film? This movie could have entertained us more inside of Asgard, and given more insight into those characters (specifically, Odin and Thor) with another forty-five minutes. 

Perhaps the producers felt it was long enough to tie him into Avengers and wanted to leave other surprises. That's a big "IF?". Actually, it's more like a big "Perhaps?" since that is what I typed...derp.

Natalie Portman was great - coming off two other productions from "Your Highness" and last years "Black Swan" she is amazingly versatile. I remember a lot of arguments over Idris Elba as Heimdall and the issues of casting someone black for this role. He was awesome. Directed well, and utilized in his role appropriately...Again, I'm certain the audience wanted more.

Lets consider this for a moment.  It's not that the movie was a complete two - two and half hour film, and we wanted more, simply because it was so awesome. The film was fifteen minutes short of two hours and slowly rushed (if that makes sense) through the storyline.  

Overall, I still enjoyed it thoroughly as one of my favorite characters came to life.  It is an interesting thing to see Thor finally in the limelight. Realistically, Thor is one of the most powerful beings in the marvel Universe, he is a God, he is just about as strong as the Hulk, but for all that power he is usually overshadowed by other characters. I feel a little slighted that he didn't get a longer film. He will be key in the "The Avengers" next year, but he is also not it's principle character, that falls on Iron Man and Captain America - getting pushed back as the muscle.  

While that falls in line with the comics, I guess I loved the film so much, I wanted more and felt cheated.  I do not want to give plot points out like other reviews. We all know Odin is angered when Thor goes to war against his wishes, as a consequence to this recklessness Thor stripped of his power and cast down to Earth. We all know that S.H.I.E.L.D. finds the hammer and so on. Go watch the film and learn the rest.  It's worth the viewing and your eight bucks.

There are a few changes from the comic books, but those changes are not bad, and the amount of action given to us is solid with great storylines wrapping around that action. We get to see him kick ass as a man and we get to see him WTFPWN as a God...We could always use more, as I mentioned my one big gripe is literally we want more.

So I have a thumbs up for the film, it was a great spectacle, even though fleeting, and a thumbs down because of that fact. It was shorter than it should have been, and slightly rushed in a variety of areas where we wanted more. Specifically, the gorgeous bizarre of eye candy that was Asgard and the bifrost.

If you need more of a Thor fix as your excited little hearts can't get enough (like mine). Check out the "Hulk vs Thor" Animated feature which has an amazing battle between both of the title characters and has some great insight into Baldur, among others of Thor's comrades. Don't forget Thor: Tales of Asgard and the amazing Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers Motion Comics by Marvel Knights, all three are available on Netflix.

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