Saturday, May 7, 2011
Thor mini-Review: Best Fantasy Movie Ever
Thor is astonishing. Plain and simple.
The first thing people are doing are comparing it to Iron Man and the other cape movies. That's quite the hard task, because Thor is not a super hero movie, it is a fantasy movie. And that is not a bad thing whatsoever.
Asgard is unbelievable. I have never seen a fantasy setting anywhere close on film. Not Avatar, not Lord of the Rings, not Star Wars, not even concept art. The place is other-worldly, and you'll spend the first few minutes trying to pick your jaw off the floor. As I was watching this, I was terrified that once the movie shifts to Earth, it just wouldn't be the same.
That's mostly true, but not always in a bad way. The Earth scenes are very funny. Basically, the movie becomes Viking in a small town (I was trying to think of a similar movie, and the only one coming to mind was Pauly Shore's Encino Man. I'm not sure how comparing those two makes me feel). I can't say if the humor will hold up over repeated viewings. The story does begin to drag long into the Earth part, but Chris Hemsworth does keep it enjoyable throughout.
With that in mind, Hemsworth will be a huge actor someday. The bad news, he'll mainly be in romantic comedies. He is built to play any action role he wanted, but he has the range, the charm, and the Aussieness to fit better in the cheaper and easier to make rom-coms. He is a former soap opera star anyway. The Avengers will take up most of his action film time, and other than that I can only picture him in movies I don't want to see. He's taking the Gerald Butler route.
As great as he is as Thor, Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Loki just about outshines him. In the comics, the God of Mischief is basically Marvel's answer to the Joker. In film, though, he plays a soft-spoken, conflicted, tragic-villain. People who aren't familiar may even think he is a good guy in the film, meaning I just spoiled it for all of them. Loki, in both Thor and in true mythology, was all about confusing his enemies, so it only makes sense that he confuses the audience, too.
My only true compliant may be a consequence of my hype. During the SHIELD raid, you are introduced to spoiler, easily one of my favorite comic characters. That entire scene is just done poorly. The middle of the scene is definitely played up, but the initial introduction to him is thrown together very fast. If a die-hard fan like me has trouble catching it, it is going to fly completely over the head of the average viewer. And then, the character goes away without doing anything.
Still, the movie is a must see. I am still blown away by how impressive Asgard is. That's visual effects at its finest. So go out and see Thor, because it truly is better than Iron Man and the other cape movies.
Also, this is the best Stan Lee cameo.