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Monday, May 16, 2011

Movie Review: Thor

THOR     $$ ½
114 Minutes
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman
Director: Kenneth Branagh

            At long last, the god of Thunder has arrived in theaters. This is an event I had been anticipating since its filming was announced. After all, this is Thor. A man’s man. Or rather, a man’s god. Okay, a really macho dude. You get the point. I love Viking stories and the Norse mythology so my expectation for the movie was high.
            The film takes a step from the traditional Thor legends by setting Asgard in a land of combined magic and science. I didn’t mind the departure from the standard mythology and admit that it allows for a visually amazing blend of old and new.
            Thor, the movie that is, starts off with a recap of the war between the Asgardians and the frost giants. The giants are defeated and the source of their power is taken by Odin. This sets up an uneasy peace between the two races that lasts until a small party of giants sneak into Asgard and attempt to retake their “power casket” by force.
            Even though the giants are thwarted in their efforts, Thor decides this is an act of war and, against his father’s wishes, travels to Jotunheim to seek redemption for the attack. Loki, Volstagg, Vandral, Hogan and Sif assist Thor in his battle against the entire giant race. The giants prove too much for the reckless band of heroes and Odin has to save them.
            Odin is none too happy about Thor’s disobedience and strips him of his powers and banishes him to Earth. From there it’s the age old story of god falls to Earth, god meets mortal girl, god beats up bad guys and a few good guys too.

            I was disappointed with this movie. My favorite part was when Thor and his friends fight what seems to be the entire giant world. Unfortunately, the scenes are dark and the editing jumps from shot to shot in a way that made it difficult for me to follow what was happening.
            The rest of the film amounted to watching a spoiled child throw a tantrum. I thought this was supposed to be the God of Thunder - not the god of petulance. If this movie is targeting teenagers then I can see they have hit the appropriate level of resonance with the audience. Thor disobeys his father, is sent to his room (Earth) until he learns to play nicely with the other children, and meets a swell girl there. He certainly spends plenty of time without a shirt to give the young female portion of the audience reason to swoon.
            I gave Thor a 2 ½ rating. For the action scenes, you will want to see it on the big screen with accompanying high-definition sound, but as far as story goes I could have waited until it hit the discount theaters, or even as a rental. Overall, it was an amusing movie and the actors / characters were entertaining enough.

            Randy’s Rating System

0         = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.
$         = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.
$$       = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.
$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.
$$$$   = Full Price   See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.

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