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Thor (film)

A 2011 action/fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh.

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2 stars: The God of thunder has lost his thunder

  • May 26, 2011

Long ago in the mythical kingdom of Asgard there lived a powerful but arrogant God by the name of Thor (from Old Norse Þórr), Thor is a God who lived for the glory, he lived for the fight, he lived for the the excitement and the pleasantry's that being the son of the king of all Asgard has brought him. But as fate may have it his arrogance and his lust for battle will  ultimately lead to his downfall, on the day he is about to be crowned king of all Asgard, the vile frost giants of Jötunheimr have somehow slipped through the defenses and entered the  Asgardian armory. In an attempt to steal back an ancient artifact, the Casket of Ancient Winters that once powered their ice covered home world of Jötunheimr. Out of anger and his unquenchable lust for battle, Thor disobeys his father's orders and with the help of his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), his childhood friend Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and The Warrior Three: Volstag (Ray Stevenson), Fandral (Joshua Dallas), and Hogun (Tadanobu Asano) to take revenge on the frost giants for their treachery. But by doing so he has caused a rift between the two races which may erupt into a full on war between Asgard and the frost giants of Jötunheimr, for his insolence   Odin(Anthony Hopkins) strips his  son of all his powers and banishes him to  the realm know as Earth so he may learn humility, kindness and honor. Little does Odin know that there is something evil brewing in the land of Asgard, something that will forever change the land of the Gods and the land of the mortals forever something that will cause an arrogant God to find the hero within and embrace his role as a hero of Earth and of Asgard? The hero we all know he is.

Kenneth Branagh's "Thor" is a glorious visual technical triumph, a stunning eye popping, hammer smashing spectacle that brims with Shakespearean gusto and comic book flare that leaps off the screen in a mix of sound and fury. It is with a heavy heart that I have to say that is where the appeal of this latest Marvel comic book blockbuster ends, “Thor" is an immensely appealing film and quite possibly one of the best looking action/fantasy adventures of the year. What it makes up with stunning visuals it lacks in character and depth it has no ebb no flow it's all just loud action sequences, lame one liners and  dialogue that lampoon's Shakespeare's so baldy that it would make literary scholars cry. Now don’t get me wrong, “Thor" is not inherently a bad film it just tries too hard to be good and it fails miserably at it. As I have said "Thor" is great to look at and it is great fun to watch as the story of an arrogant God getting his exactly what he deserves and learning a valuable lesson about the real meaning of being a God and the true meaning of power. Let me ask you this, what is the point if all there is is nothing more than just top-notch special effects and a few solid one-liners? A film is about story and characters it's about finding some kind of depth within the characters presented to you on screen, it’s about the words a characters have to say. A film should have some kind of meaning to it more than just big, explosive, high tech action sequences and Shakespearean gusto and flare. What is the point? What is the point when everything you have worked for adds up to nothing more that a live action version of a bad animated film. "Thor" is profoundly silly and it has no shame in reveling in its all glorious silliness as it chugs along to its set up ending for "The Avengers" film   slated for release summer of next year, in a film with this kind of talent (Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgård   and Chris Hemsworth) should not be this bad if only this film had taken itself as seriously as its actors did.

One of the things that took  me by  surprise while I was watching "Thor" was how amazing the high level of detail and care was taken into designing the worlds of Asgard and the icy home world of the frost giants of Jötunheimr. Both worlds act as contrast to each other the world of the Gods, Asgard, is a beautiful utopia that resembles the architecture of Heaven described in The Holy Bible and the world of the frost giants, which obviously  inspired by paintings, and descriptions of hell. There are some very minor biblical  themes   spread  through out the story of  "Thor", such as   the  look of the frost giants are based off that of demons and Laufey(Colm Feore), the king of the frost giants, has a strange resemblance to the devil with his blue skin, raspy voice and  chilling presence. While The All-Father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) king of all Asgard has more of the mannerism of GOD himself in how he interacts with his people and disciplines his unruly son. Even though those biblical themes are presents in this languid superhero, film they are sadly the high points in the character's design and the design of the magnificent world that the special effects team has so gloriously crafted for this film. To see their hard work wasted on a production such as this is almost an insult to special effects teams everywhere and the abysmal screenplay by Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz & Don Payne does nothing to strengthen the resolve of this film. In the scenes in Asgard  we are introduced to his father, Odin, his mother Frigga(Rene Russo and the very likeable Warrior Three( Ray Stevenson , Joshua Dallas and the exquisite Jaimie Alexander). They introduce these fine characters and never give them anything to do or say they're  just there to serve the film's plot  and nothing more, and it is a real shame too because they are very likeable  characters. "Thor" is a shamble of a film, a movie that has the style, the grace and the technical credits and strong cast to make it a slam bang, blockbuster summer fantasy/adventure   it should be instead of the inadequate superhero film that it is.

Chris Hemsworth delivers sterling, rip snorting, and steal the show performance as the powerful God Thor. Hemsworth's performance as Thor is the key to the appeal of this film, without him this film would sadly fall apart at the seams by the finale he is the glue, the elastic in this films waistband without Hemsworth this film would be nothing more than a story about a God and his giant hammer of thunder. What I find most fascinating about his performance is how invested he is in it; he puts his heart and soul into this performance and makes the role his own. The way he spits out his words and bears his teeth at the screen gives him that   fierce determination that he needs to make it in the cutthroat business know as Hollywood. Hemsworth emerges as a true talent amongst young actors who have gained fame because they have starred in a popular film series ( Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, just to name  names) Hemsworth proves that he is a true star and a major new talent to watch. Let us just hope he makes better decisions than "Thor" in the future. The rest of the cast including Ray Stevenson, Joshua Dallas, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings  turn in  fine supporting performances in this rather dull superhero film.

"Thor" had the potential to be something more than just an entertaining film; it had the potential to be a truly great movie about the arrogance of man and the power of life. Instead this film decided  to waste its potential and its stunning cast on illogical plot  devices(an astrophysicist chasing storms?) dull action sequences(save for the fight with the destroyer) and a script  that does nothing but serves the short attention spans of modern audiences. This film has a mesmerizing visual style and a story that should appeal to the kid in all of us instead of boring us to tears.

3 1/2 stars: A god has fallen now a hero must rise to save our world and the world of the God's

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June 02, 2011
Great review, looks like I made the right call waiting for the rental.
May 27, 2011
Lopez, you may have said it better than I did. I wanted to like this one, and it is an easy film to be entertained with. But it wasn't the definitive Thor. It had a pretty simple narrative and the characterization was lacking. It was alright I suppose if it was just a part of a new franchise.
May 27, 2011
Thank you, this is the kind of film that you like more while you're watching it than in retrospect it looked great and had fine performances but, it was lacking in some many areas such as you said in the narrative and characterization. But it is definitely a fun movie to blow two hours on. And they are planning to make a sequel but not until "The Avengers" film in 2012.
More Thor (2011 movie) reviews
review by . May 06, 2011
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Whosoever Holds This Hammer If He Be Worthy, Shall Possess The Power of Thor!!
Those who follow my blurbs and/or write ups know that I have recently posted a sort of ‘guide’ to Thor since I think it is safe to assume that not that many folks have knowledge of the character and who he is. The character isn’t as widely popular as “Superman” or as familiar as Spider-Man. Well, after almost 50 years, the Marvel character known as “Thor” is finally being unleashed as a massive mainstream movie. When I heard that the first intended director …
review by . May 05, 2011
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The God of Thunder Finally On His First Feature Film...Hype On!!
It is pretty much to be expected that I will be reviewing the film “Thor” for Movie Hype since I am a Marvel comics nut and that I pretty much almost own (or owned, since I lost a small number in a flood) every issue of the comic series since Thor first appeared in “Journey Into Mystery”. I even used "Thor" as my profile avatar in this site for awhile (people asked me: "Is that He-Man?" LOL!). To hype up the film adaptation of Marvel’s own “God …
review by . May 06, 2012
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Remember the 80's with movies like Masters of the Universe, Beastmaster 2, among others that took it's far out fantasy characters from another world, took them from that other world and dropped them into modern day Earth?  How about other comic movies like Judge Dredd that remove the protagonist from his job and have him more down to earth or less fantastic?  Thats what sadly happens here to Thor but don't compare this completely to those I just mentioned as it's not that …
review by . May 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Most people would recognize Kenneth Branagh as one of top Shakespearean actors or more recently for his role as Professor Lockhart.  His is a brilliant actor in just about everything he does (even though sometimes over acted), and although this is not his first stab at directing it is his first take at a film of such "epic" proportions. I will however be completely honest with you, if you attempt to go see Thor in 3D you are wasting your money.  There is NOTHING 3D about this …
review by . December 06, 2011
'Thor' at first glance doesn't do anything new, but it's so well done, it absorbs for two hours and leaves one feeling entirely transported. The plot is hardly convoluted: Thor is groomed to be the next successor for his elderly father, but Thors headstrong, warlord character flaws get him kicked out of the galaxy (sort of a part Scandinavia in space) and sent to earth, almost powerless. The culture clash is like an alien pro wrestler caught in a web of our present, complicated society. Kenneth …
review by . May 10, 2011
   And so begins the summer; not with a whimper, but with a bang. Yes, Kenneth Branagh’s super-hero epic has arrived, and it’s… really quite good, actually, provided you just put your brain into neutral and let the sheer energy of it all roll over you. The story tells the tale of Thor (Chris Hemsworth, who is certainly not the worst-looking man ever filmed), a young Asgardian about to be made heir to the throne by his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins). In the background …
review by . October 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**1/2 out of ****     Explosions, special effects, a sense of humor, and enthusiastic, dedicated leads. I'm getting tired of superhero movies; as 2011 seems to be a pretty big year for them, albeit a very mediocre one. You've got your good superhero movies and then you've got the ones that lack depth of importance. Chances are, I will forget most of the superhero movies I've seen including the ones that I simply liked. The ones that I loved shall get a much more appropriate treatment. …
review by . June 01, 2011
Call Down Thunder!
I've waited a very long time to see a film adaptation of Thor hit the big screen.  I've always been a fan of Marvel's version of the God of Thunder, and I'm even a bigger fan of the Thor of Norse mythology.  When I heard that Kenneth Branagh would be at the helm of this project, I knew immediately that Marvel was doing something really special with the story, and I was right.      Thor opens with a description of the great battle between the Asgardians …
review by . May 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The superhero movie has been a staple of the big budget studio blockbuster for a decade now. They always make it one of their tent pole movies; and even if it gets bad reviews the studio always gets their money back, and then some. Since movies like ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Iron Man,’ the bar is now so high it may not be possible to just crank these movies out. Unless you are looking to only use this plot as a jumping off point to a huge ensemble undertaking next year …
review by . September 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I wasn't expecting much when I saw this film. I was thinking that it would be worse than Daredevil. It was actually better. Asgard had been at war with the Storm Giants but a truce now prevails. Thor and his brother Loki are shown being tutored by their father, Odin who is also King of Asgard.    Odin decides that he will name Thor as his air and on the day he will make it public, some Storm Giants are able to sneak in to try to steal a casket that will give their realm great …
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C.R. Lopez ()
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Poster art for "Thor 3D."
Marvel Studios expands its film universe with a new type of superhero: THOR. This epic adventure spans the Marvel Universe; from present day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth. Kenneth Branagh directs this fantasy epic which stars Australian actor Chris Hemsworth as the ancient Norse god, Tom Hiddleston as his evil brother Loki, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, a young woman who befriends Thor on Earth, and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Thor's father and king of Asgard. Expect to see agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., previously seen in ''Iron Man,'' to make an appearance, further forshadowing the coming of The Avengers!

Directed by Kenneth Branagh. With Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth, Idris Elba.  Visit IMDb for Photos, Showtimes, Cast, Crew, Reviews, Plot Summary, Comments, Discussions, Taglines, Trailers, Posters, Fan Sites
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Director: Kenneth Branagh
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 115 minutes
Studio: Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures
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