Superhero Movies on Steroids Series: Movie #109

Thor (2011)

Plot: After disobeying his father (Anthony Hopkins), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is cast out of the powerful realm of Asgard, losing his power and throne, forever exiled to Earth. Thor befriends a group of scientists as he tries to take back his hammer, the source of his power.  Meanwhile, his mischievous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) takes over the throne on Asgard.

THOR!  This movie kicks ass!  Aside from bad ass action up and down this film, there is actual acting and character development going on.  You can’t say that about a lot of Marvel movies.  Why is the acting so good?  Kenneth Branagh is in the directing chair, and he could not have been a better choice.  When people first heard there was going to be a Thor movie, they all laughed, me included.  I thought there would be some cool hammer attacks, but nothing more.  Thor is basically a mix between Star Trek and Lord of the Rings, and while that seems awesome on paper, it’s also a recipe for a convoluted and silly disaster.  But Branagh actually makes it as cool as it sounds.  He blends the fantastical world of Asgard with Earth perfectly.  It’s beautifully edited.  Before this movie opened, I could already hear the inevitable complaints in my head from fanboys: ‘Asgard was cool, but then he went to Earth, and there should have been more Asgard!  Mmmmrrraaaaa!’  Not the case.  You get just enough of both worlds, and it transitions back and forth seamlessly.  And the setting of Asgard looks gorgeous.  Wow.  My favorite set piece though is the rainbow bridge.  That was fascinating to look at.  Thor describes his world as both science and magic, and the bridge truly looked like a combination of both things.  I also just love watching the portals open to other worlds.  The effects are top notch.  The action is outstanding, especially the Battle on Jotunheim.  Holy shit balls.  Thor just wrecks this place as if he were the Green Bay Packers playing the Seattle Seahawks (Sorry Seahawks fans).  The stuff he does with that hammer is jaw dropping.  And I love how all the characters display their own unique fighting styles.  The film probably could have used a tad more action though.  It slows up just a bit in the middle.  But the real strength of this movie really is the characters and acting.  Chris Hemsworth’s charisma is dripping off the screen.  He has several scenes with Anthony Hopkins, and Hemsworth is right there with him, and even out acts him at times.  Tom Hiddleston as Loki is one of the better superhero villains of recent memory.  He really is devious in every sense of the word, but he’s also a villain that you truly sympathize with when you learn his back story: A fantastic performance from Hiddleston.  What I appreciate about Thor is it’s plethora of great side characters, which is something Iron Man doesn’t have.  Sif is a strong character, and I thought the Warrior’s Three were a lot of fun.  The characters on Earth work great too.  Hemsworth and Natalie Portman have great chemistry, Stellan Skarsgard was extremely likable, and Kat Dennings as the comic relief is genuinely funny.  The whole ‘fish out of water’ angle works pretty well.  When Thor walks into the Pet Palace demanding a horse…that’s pretty funny, come on.  But it never gets too goofy.  The score is also very powerful.  This is easily an upper echelon superhero movie, and in my opinion, Marvel’s crowning achievement so far.  THE GOD OF THUNDER!

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 (Really Great)    

Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):

Best Performance: Chris Hemsworth as Thor
-He owns the screen.  From this point forward, no one else can play this role.

Worst Performance: Dakota Goyo as Young Thor
-I feel bad on this one, but I just couldn’t think of anyone else.  He’s in one scene, and has only one line I think, but it’s delivered horribly.  Sorry Dakota.

Best Line: “I have no plans to die today.” -Thor 
                         
“None do.”Heimdall
-Great line.  But it’s made even better when delivered by Heimdall, who’s just a total bad ass.

Worst Line: “Oh…My…God.” –Jane
-We just experienced this great emotional moment when Thor gets his hammer back, and his armor starts to re-form.  The score is blasting in epic fashion, but then Natalie Portman has to go and deliver this line in horrendous fashion.  It was a flashback to her Star Wars prequel days.  I don’t know how Branagh let this slide.

Best Fight:
-Thor and Loki at the end is more of an emotional fight then a straight up brawl, and those are the ones I usually prefer.  The fight is great to look at as they battle inside the observatory and then move out onto the bridge.  There’s a lot of awesome sound effects and clanging of the weapons.  This is a strong climax to the film.

WTF Moment:
-Asgard looks great, but why does the castle look like a church organ?

Best Scene:
-This was a tough pick.  I almost went with Thor’s banishment, but it barely gets edged out by Loki learning he’s adopted and a Frost Giant.  Tom Hiddleston is fantastic in this scene: he’s just completely destroyed by this information.  This is illustrated perfectly when Loki shouts ‘So I am no more than another stolen relic, locked up here until you might have use of me.’  Great line.  The scene is a great back and forth between him and Anthony Hopkins.

Worst Scene:
-Thor getting hit with a taser after landing on Earth is pretty bad.  It’s not so much the taser, but for some reason, Hemsworth’s acting sucks in this scene.

Funniest Moment:
-It was in the trailer a lot, but I really do like Thor’s approval of coffee.

Thor: This drink, I like it…Another!

Thor smashes the cup.

Bad Ass Moment:
-There’s a lot to choose from, including 500 different options just with Thor’s hammer alone, but I’m going a little unconventional here.  It’s a very subtle moment.  When Thor enters the palace to receive his kingship, the crowd goes crazy.  Odin simply stands up and lightly taps his staff.  It makes a thunderous noise that felt like it vibrated throughout the whole room, silencing everyone immediately.  I love that moment.

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2 comments

  1. Pingback: Superhero Movies on Steroids Series: THE FINAL RANKINGS « The Green Light

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