Thursday, 19 May 2011

Thor: sore with a lisp

Often the anticipation of a film can end up ruining the experience, this may well have been the case if on my first two attempts to see the film I had succeeded.  The first time it was only showing in 3D, and having left the house without my wallet I was fifty pence short of the extra cost.  I wasn't too fussed, I hate paying extra to see an effect that will inevitably inspire a rant or two and I wanted to see Hanna anyway, so I did.  The second time I was late, and an incredible specimen of a snaking queue meant that I would have missed the first ten minutes of the film, so again I went with another option this time involving more wine and less popcorn.  On Tuesday I finally got to see Thor, anticipation curbed, objective head on.

Of all the Marvel franchise Thor is probably my least favourite.  It's the story that relies most on fantasy.  Of course we are talking about superheros and there is little subject matter that relies more heavily on fantasy, but it is a particular flavour unlike any other.  We have fantastic characters that have come about under freakish circumstances that reside in the real world.  Whereas Thor's home world plays a part throughout the comic book adventures.  We often get the point of view from Odin (Thor's father) at home in Asgard, which gives the reader a whole other perspective to think about.  Of course the story is also rooted in Norse mythology, and as such it is familiar with most.  These points move it down in the ranks as far as I'm concerned but will make the film more accessible to people who may not already have such an affinity with the Marvel world.

There are differences between the graphic novels and the film, Thor has no alter ego in the motion picture and because of this his love interest has had a change of career.  Nothing too major and by making Jane (Natalie Portman) a scientist rather than a nurse it becomes easier to write valid contribution for the character.  Having said that, the writers seem to have ignored this fact, Portman comes across as dizzy and clumsy from start to finish.  In fact all three scientists on the whole seem nonplussed, Prof. Selvig (Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd, who I always confuse with William Hurt) is resigning and a bit useless, where as Darcy (Kat Dennings) is simply useless although she does deliver one or two good one liners.  Which brings me to the comedy in the film, of which there is plenty.  From locals struggling to budge thors hammer to S.H.I.E.L.D agents descriptions of the most recent residents of New Mexico, humor definitely plays a part in keeping your attention for just short of two hours.  Thor (Chris Hemsworth) slamming about like a viking and raising eyebrow to the skies when a roll of thunder bellows also cause a wry grin. In a fairly tongue in cheek role he acts well.  His performance will see him in working in Hollywood at least for the time being. Loki (Tom Hiddleston, Thors brother) goes through a lot in the film, some of which could maybe have been saved for a later chapter.  Anthony Hopkins plays a very good Odin, which was a relief because he either hits the bulls eye or misses by a country mile.  The last character I'd like to mention is Volstagg of "the warriors three" this role must have been written for Brian Blessed, he's 74 this year but he would have been awesome nonetheless, Ray Stevenson just appears to be doing a poor Blessed impression.

For all it's faults I still enjoyed Thor.  If I'd seen it in 3D I don't think I would have.  I like the Juxtaposition between the highly polished, beautifully designed Asgard and a sleepy, dusty New Mexico town.  Though I do think it was holding back, The Avengers film will be with us soon and I expect to see the founding member putting his hammer to much greater effect next time.

You will more thank likely like this if you like super hero films.

You definitely won't like this if you're thinking that Brannagh is going to add a Shakespearean twang to the Marvel galaxy.


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