By: Bryan Montgomery
Rating: 8 out of 10
When Iron Man hit theaters in 2008 trailers and commercials didn’t leave fans excited or optimistic. Upon its May release, it was seen as the biggest surprise of the summer. Thor is another Marvel film that surpasses minimal expectations to become a very successful film on multiple levels. Thor is a lot of fun, and a great way to kick off the summer.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is the God of Thunder in Asgard, and son to King Odin (Anthony Hopkins). After being banished from the realm by his father, scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and her team bring him in while he attempts to reconcile his current situation. Meanwhile, Thor’s brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) hatches a scheme to take over thekingdomofAsgard.
Thor is not an action movie, but more of a character piece. The film is about Thor, those whom he is close with, and the evolution of his character throughout the film.
Hemsworth is perfect as Thor. He was last seen in the newest iteration of Star Trek, where he played Captain Kirk’s doomed father, but Hemsworth simply fits as the God of Thunder.
Hemsworth also gets a great degree of assistance from his co-stars. Hiddleston is coniving and evil as Loki, asHopkinsdoes a great job playing the God of Thunder. In many ways, Hiddleston is the reason to see this film. Throughout the movie, his motives continue to shift, as does the pieces of his ultimate plan. Loki’s objectives continue to change so much that you continue to be surprised by his intentions all the way to the end of the film.
Portman does her best job to stay in a supporting role as Foster, and keeps the second act of the film from falling apart in her great scenes with Hemsworth. The film’s strongest piece is a great cast, and from that point forward, the story is able to carry itself.
The action set-pieces are also immensely entertaining. The initial sequence showing the battle between Thor and his warriors against the Frost Giants is as grand as the trailers indicate, and is immensely entertaining.
Unfortunately, the action sequences are more bookends in the film, the sequences in New Mexico are nowhere near as exciting as the Asgard fight scenes, and as a result somewhat disappoint. The film manages to pull itself together during the final battle in Asgard, which is one of the most impressive and entertaining final battle set-pieces in a very long time.
The shortfall for Thor is the story. The film is great, the characters are great and the action is great, but the plot has been done before, many times. Thor is very predictable, and when you leave the theater, your attention will be paid towards the characters and their interactions instead of the plot.
In regards to the 3D version of the film, don’t even bother. There were so few pieces of the film that were obviously in 3D, it would be better to see the film in its full, bright glory instead of a hindered, darkened 3D image.
Thor will suffice for Marvel fans, especially fans of The Avengers until the big film comes out next year. There are several surprises in the film, including one that literally made me jump out of my seat during Thor’s quest to find his hammer. Also – be sure to stay after the credits for a big surprise and a possible plot thread for The Avengers.
In a summer full of superhero films, Thor is a great way to lead off. The characters are great, the action is fun and although the plot falls short, the rest of the film more than makes up for its shortfall. By the Son of Odin…check out Thor.