Thor is the god of thunder and the box office, son of Odin and Lord over the nine realms eternal! In reality, he’s just a big, big kid with an even bigger hammer trying to please an over-achieving dad. By Odin’s beard, I will prove myself worthy in your eyes…now give me back my hammer…please? Besides, did I tell you I’ve met a girl? She’s really smart and you’ll really like her, dad.
One Word Movie Review: EPIC
When I was a kid, my dad would take me every Saturday to get my hair cut and afterwards, he’d buy me a comic book. It was my introduction to Marvel Comics and the Marvel Universe of super heroes and amazing fantasy; a parallel world of smart-ass guys with cool powers, epic battles and girl troubles galore. I was also immersed in Greek and Norse mythology big-time, starting with the names of the planets in our solar system and branching off to constellations and so on. The heavens were staring down at me, full of questions and heavy with the weight of the gods imagined by our distant ancestors.
So now, with the release of Thor, the great Marvel Norse God, home to Asgard and the nine realms and the evil yet playful Loki, I truly wanted this movie to deliver the imagination of my youth directly onto the screen. Well, rest easy my friends because this movie creates this slice of the Marvel Universe in spectacular fashion. Chris Hemsworth nails the God of Thunder with a mighty portrayal of strength, charm and humor, with an immortal’s arrogance tossed in. Natalie Portman plays the brainy Jane Foster as a clumsy yet charming absent-minded, socially inept scientist geek constantly driving into Thor with her truck. Underneath all that is her suppressed “hot chick who doesn’t know it” vibe just waiting to burst out for the right god/man/celestial traveller. Tom Hiddleston plays the charmingly evil Loki, biding his time under the shadow of his powerful older brother while secretly plotting to seize power over every damn realm in the cosmos.
Kenneth Branagh makes a welcome return to the cinema of epic stories of kings and sons and Shakespearean tragedies, balancing the action with the human side of this story; allowing the humor of a god stripped of power and banished to the dust of New Mexico to shine through with equal screen time as the cosmic battlegrounds.
I’ve admitted my bias towards this material but this, in some ways, raises the bar for Thor in my view. If this movie didn’t deliver, I would be trashing it all along the Rainbow Bridge to Asgard itself. But I don’t have to. In a crowded theater, the audience, myself included, had a thunderous good time.