I thought it would be interesting to get an honest review done on THOR by someone who actually has read the comic books and knows the mythology behind the story. And who better to ask than Joe D. Joe has been a comic book fan for life and with all the comic book films coming out this summer you can bet you'll hear from Joe again. So without further adieu Here'ssss Joe.
My name is Joe. John has asked me to review Thor for him from my comic book geek standpoint. Thanks to John, I was able to get an advance screening pass to see Thor this past Saturday morning… and I have to say, the short review is… Go. See. It.
Now… first off, as I mentioned, I’m a comic book geek. I’ve thoroughly been enjoying the onslaught of comic book movies within the last few years. I’m glad comics are finally getting the notoriety they deserve as a story-telling medium. Now, don’t get me wrong… there have been plenty of movies out there that have been mediocre at best when it comes to relaying their story. Most of which have been second string characters that most of us fans aren’t too concerned with... which is okay. But, there have been some mainstream, highly recognizable characters that were, in my opinion, treated poorly… every one remembers “X3” and “Superman Returns”? Yeah. Then we get the movies that grab you, sit you down, strap you in, and take you for one hell of a ride. Movies like “Batman Begins” and “Iron Man” have set the bar pretty darn high for comic book movies. Marvel Comics seems to be the front runner of the genre and has had three movies laying the groundwork for the upcoming Avengers based film… “Iron Man”, “Incredible Hulk” and “Iron Man 2”. This week, we get our fourth installment “Thor” and on July, 22nd we get fifth installment… ”Captain America”. I for one am extremely excited for these to all come together. But until then… let’s look at “Thor”.
Once again we see the stars... a monologue starts up… it is the voice of Odin (Anthony Hopkins) narrating on the creation of the universe, man, and a war between gods and monsters. We learn that Asgard has remained vigilant for centuries once its enemies were defeated and man was saved from destruction. This story is not only told for our benefit, but for the benefit of two young boys… Thor and Loki… brothers born to be kings... we get our first look into Thor’s warrior spirit as the young Thor talks of crushing his enemies. Fast forward to a grand ceremony… Thor is to be made king of Asgard. But, the coronation is cut short as enemies of old try to steal an ancient artifact, deep within Asgard’s vaults. Again, Thor shows his warrior’s spirit for battle, followed by a little chastising from Odin.
We now get to see the Warriors Three up nice and close… Fandral (Josh Dallas), Hogun (Tadanobu Asano), Volstagg (Ray Stevenson… formerly another Marvel character, the Punisher in “Punisher: War Zone), and Sif (Jaimie Alexander). I was hoping for Volstagg to be bigger, like in the comics. Ray Stevenson is a big guy… but Volstagg is bigger. After all… he is called the “Volstagg the Voluminous”. I was, at first, a little put off by having a Japanese actor portraying Hogun and an African American (Idris Elba) actor playing Heimdall… characters that are Norse in origin. But that was me not suspending disbelief. After seeing Heimdall in action and listening to him… it was all good. Hogun has few lines.
Thor, Loki, Sif, and the Warriors Three travel the Bifrost Bridge to meet Heimdall (the aforementioned Idris Elba) and as for passage to Jottenheim to seek out the transgressors. In Jottenheim, Thor lets his arrogance get the better of him and a battle ensues.
The action is presented well… we even get to see the classic maneuver of Thor throwing Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer) to only have it return to his hand. It’s all in the details right? Thor and his comrades wind up getting over-powered and rescued in turn by Odin himself. As they return to Asgard, we get to see the emotionally charged argument between Thor and Odin from the previews. Odin strips Thor of his power and banishes him to Midgard. As Thor is being sent, Odin whispers to Mjolnir the classic inscription Thor fans will be all too familiar with… “Whoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor”.
We have now caught back up to where Jane, Erik, and Darcy have found Thor. They take Thor to the hospital and continue on with their work. With Thor now on Midgard (Earth) we are treated to a few light hearted scenes of Thor learning of mortal life. The scene in which Thor has breakfast and discovers coffee is excellent.
Thor leans of Mjolnir’s descent to Midgard and sets out to reclaim it. We discover that S.H.I.E.L.D., and everyone’s new favorite agent, Agent Coulson, is back for more. As Thor tears through the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents at the site, we get introduced to Agent Barton. That’s right… Hawkeye makes his appearance in Thor played by Jeremy Renner. It’s a quick cameo that left me looking forward to his appearance in Avengers.
Unfortunately Thor fails to regain Mjolnir and is in turn taken prisoner by S.H.I.E.L.D. While in his cell, we once again see moments from the preview as Agent Coulson interrogates him as to where he comes from, who he is, and where he got his training. All to which Thor gives no response. As Agent Coulson steps out, the door slides and Loki makes his appearance on Midgard. Loki tells Thor that his banishment is permanent. Additional news leaves Thor broken and beaten. Loki departs and Thor accepts his fate.
We get to see Chris Hemsworth show Thor’s vulnerability… the opposing side of the coin to Thor’s arrogance and warrior’s pride. Thor does get released with a little help.
The movie continues with scenes switching from Asgard to Midgard. We learn of Loki’s plans and the plans of the others to get Thor’s banishment lifted. I feel I’ve already spoiled too much for you so I’ll keep the rest short and sweet. The Warrior’s Three and Sif make their way to Midgard, followed by the one weapon most warriors of Asgard fear. Thor has finally learned some humility from his time amongst the mortals and is deemed worthy to once again hold Mjolnir. The final battle between Thor and Loki rages on atop the Bifrost bridge. Thor makes one last daring gamble to save the Realms from Loki… a choice that may forever keep him from ever returning to Midgard and Jane Foster. In the end, we see life on both Asgard and Midgard move forward.
Overall, I was very pleased with “Thor”. I laude many kudos to Kenneth Branagh for his ability to not only have a good eye and make a visually stunning film, but I found that there was an excellent balance between action, drama, and comedy. The light hearted scenes showed some good character depth and had some fun moments. The action was superb. We got to see some classic Thor moves and the action overall didn’t overshadow the rest of the film. There were some good “WHOA!” moments, some great laugh out loud moments, and some good “That was cool!” moments.
I do recommend that you go see “Thor”… my wife was unable to attend, and I have no problem with going to see this again!
9 out of 10 Sandwiches
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