New Release Tuesday: Thor (2011)

10 05 2011

Tuesdays will focus on movies just released and to start it off is the first big blockbuster of the year: Thor.

This latest addition to the Marvel movie family is a good way to start off the Summer blockbuster season. The film tells the story of Thor, the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth), a hot-headed warrior who is the heir to Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) throne which reigns over Asgard. Due to his over-eager, aggressive nature Thor gets his powers stripped and is banished from his celestial home to Earth. There he meets Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), a young and beautiful astrophysicist who helps Thor regain his powers and save the world. Now there is nothing particularly fantastic about Thor but it hits all the right buttons to make a fun summer blockbuster.

He says his name is Thor…”

Casting Chris Hemsworth was a big gamble for the studio to take considering pretty much every other Marvel movie was getting the A-list treatment and he was best known for 15 minutes in Star Trek. Hemsworth does come through and becomes the highlight of a cast that includes Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, and Stellan Skarsgard. He is convincing as the stern, headstrong warrior and surprisingly comedic as a fish-out-of-water when on Earth. Anthony Hopkins brings the power you would expect out of someone of his stature and Tom Hiddleston gives a very good performance as Thor’s brother Loki. The same cannot be said though of Natalie Portman’s portrayal of Jane Foster. It should be noted that she wasn’t given much to work with but it is obvious Portman is just having some fun and didn’t take the role all that seriously which is quite understandable given her recent rigors in Black Swan.

“God, I hope you’re not crazy… “

Natalie Portman is quoted as saying one of the biggest reasons she did this movie was because Shakespearean director Kenneth Branagh was at the helm. This is an obviously good choice as the main plot of Thor draws much from that area, unfortunately like all movies that borrow its themes and ideas from Shakespeare they have been done so many times that without anything new brought to the table they become cliched and tired devices. Such is the case of Thor, despite the stylish setting of Asgard and snappy dialogue the story still feels old.

Thor has the action and humor to keep it moving along smoothly and although it never breaks any boundaries, or ever tries for that matter, it is hard not to at least enjoy the ride.

Score: 64/100




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