Friday, May 06, 2011

Thor 3D Review

Just got out of a screening of Thor 3D courtesy of the University of Lincoln Sci-Fi Society and my faith in Superhero movies has been restored again. And why is that? Because they got a director in who is not in it for the explosions and the crap story!

So Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the heir to the throne of Asgard, is exiled to Earth by his father (Sir Anthony Hopkins) after commiting an act of war against the Frost Giants. There, he is faced with the task of "growing up", with the help of Natalie Portman while his jealous brother (Tom Hiddleston) poses a new threat.
Anyone who has a faintest interest in movies know that this is highly anticipated. It is part of the "Marvel Reboot" which will finally see "The Avengers" come to the big screen. Iron Man, Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor will all come together under the guise of the maestro himself: Joss Whedon. Now already we have a problem... what if it flops comercially? Marvel have set themselves a really high bar here because it's one thing to invest in a possible movie franchise, but to invest in one that already has the ball rolling? (The Avengers started filming a few weeks ago) Well... that's what I thought everytime I saw a Thor advert, trailer, poster and internet article! But the peeps at Marvel can rest easy because they have a real gem on their hands...

Thor has a proper story, something that has been missing from Marvel since Bryan Singer took over from X-Men (still haven't seen Iron Man... sorry!) but it still had enough humour not to take itself too seriously. The references of other Marvel films was glorious (although one day they must explain just how Stan Lee manages to get involved all the time! :P) and the special effects... woah! I think I'll copy io9 in thinking that this is the best Superhero movie since The Dark Knight.

Kenneth Branagh. I love the bloke. Everything (well maybe not "everything" he has made some shit as well!) he has been involved with from Hamlet to Harry Potter are just pleasures to watch! Taking on a blockbuster was a surprising move by him. CGI! Superheroes! Oh my! But he pulls it off in spectacular style. Asgard is a rich world with jaw-dropping landscapes with a wonderfully explored culture. The film opens with a 30 minute sequence about Thor and his actions. It would have been so easy to package it all into a nice little opening montage like Michael Bay would have done. Thor manages to take the cliched "done bad and has to learn the error of his ways" story and turn it into a fresh, innovative movie.

Now, the characters. This is not your superhero movie that has a set piece at the end where he saves the girl. I won't spoil but it certainly struck me as a surprise. I love Chris Hemsworth! I remember him from Home and Away! And another sci-fi movie I saw not too long ago but I can't quite remember the name of it... :P Loki is another fresh villain because it is not a case of him being a baddie. He is a fully fleshed out character that goes through many significant changes throughout the film. At times, it can be heartbreaking. And Natalie portman... ah Natalie! She's been on a lot lately hasn't she? She was another surprising choice to cast in the damsel in distress roll... only she wasn't. Despite the fact she keeps hitting poor Thor with her RV she still manages to make him see the good in humanity and the balls to admit he was wrong...

A solid 4/5 movie! I am still thinking that Cowboys vs Aliens will be the best of the summer (Bond! INDY! *NERDGASM*) but if it isn't then I have something to fall back on.