Random Thoughts (Not a Review) on Thor

I caught a screening of Thor (Imax 3D) last night and was pleasantly surprised. Here’s the spoiler-free  summary: it’s worth seeing. Kenneth Branagh did a fine job directing what’s arguably the toughest movie in The Avengers series. It’s hard to convey the awesome power of a Norse god (Branagh did this) and it’s easy to get caught up in ridiculous mythology (Branagh avoided this pitfall). The movie is well paced and entertaining with some beautiful set pieces and great action scenes. While I didn’t enjoy it as much as Iron Man 2, I liked Thor on its own and as part of the lead-up to The Avengers. Now here are some random observations, criticisms, and silly thoughts on the movie. Spoilers ahead!

Costumes: The Asgardian costumes worked way better than most people expected (I had faith they would work). A lot of my friends ranted about how ridiculous the Asgardians looked in the stills released to magazines. I had no problem with the costumes in the movie. They looked fine on the Asgardian sets and appropriately out of place on the Earth sets. They also looked much better in motion than in stills — even Anthony Hopkins’ Odin getup!

Action: I love how modern action movies convey power. That’s one problem I always had with the original Superman movies — his punches never seemed epic. When someone like Superman or Thor lands a punch, people in the next county should feel it. Whether it was Thor bashing frost giants in the face or him decimating the ground with Mjolnir, the blows had an impact worthy of a god.

Warriors Three: I loved that these guys were in the movie and were mostly true to Stan Lee’s designs. That said, I would have done things differently. Fandral would have been played by Cary Elwes. Volstagg would have been green screened so that he’d be ridiculously large compared to his two companions. Hogun wouldn’t have sounded Asian; the character was modeled after Charles Bronson after all. When the Warriors Three and Sif were walking into town, there’s a hilarious bit with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent calling it in. That was my favorite joke in the movie.

Loki: I was really impressed with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. He had more depth than any other character in the film. Hiddleston did a wonderful job of making Loki seem charming, manipulative, and damaged all at once. I hope he gets some time to shine in The Avengers.

Thor: While Loki arguably stole the show, I was satisfied with Chris Hemsworth’s performance. From the trailers I knew he’d have the action elements down. I was pleasantly surprised by his charm. He also did a good job at transforming from an arrogant godling at the beginning of the movie and a more understanding deity at the end.

Signs: Of course there was a Stan Lee cameo, but I loved the use of signs in the movie for nerd shout-outs. There was one billboard that said, “Home of the Vikings”. That’s an obvious gag. There was another one that ended with, “Journey into Mystery”. That’s a super-cool and nerdy gag. Longtime comics fans will know that Journey into Mystery became Thor’s book starting with issue #83.

Chick Flick?: A lot of fanboys I know were worried that the movie would have too many scenes with a shirtless Chris Hemsworth. That wasn’t the case at all. His shirtless scenes were brief. If anything, there’s a lot of eye candy for guys and lesbians. Natalie Portman (Jane Foster) was a beautiful braniac. Kat Dennings (Darcy Lewis) was snarky, super cute, and charming. Jaimie Alexander (Sif) had the sexy warrior goddess thing going. There were plenty of beautiful women in this movie.

Hawkeye: When Thor is trying to get Mjolnir back from S.H.I.E.L.D., one soldier  goes for a bow instead of a gun. As a Hawkeye fan, I totally marked out. Of course this soldier ended up being Clint Barton! I hope he gets some bad-ass scenes in The Avengers.

Asgard or Mondrian?!?: Most of the set pieces were good, but there was one set that looked more like an Ian Schraeger hotel than a room in an Asgardian palace. It was kind of disorienting.

Black Heimdall: He was cool.

The Destroyer: He was cooler.

I was very satisfied with Thor. The action was great and the bits of humor were fun. The movie flowed nicely and I love what these Marvel movies are building towards. As a standalone movie, I enjoyed Thor. As part of The Avengers I liked how this tale is different from the Iron Man movies and presumably different from the Captain America movie. The movie succeeded in entertaining me, making me want to rewatch the Iron Man movies, and increasing my anticipation for the Captain America and The Avengers movies.

Of course I can’t wait to discuss the movie with you! If you catch Thor, kindly share your thoughts on the movie.

Author: RPadTV

http://www.RPad.TV

25 thoughts on “Random Thoughts (Not a Review) on Thor”

  1. I agree with your thoughts here Ray. I had a screening last night as well….mine was an iMac screening…hehe.

    I was really happy that Straczynski did the screenplay. I'm a huge Babylon 5 fan and trusted him with this difficult content. I was struck with the dilemma of deciding if they under budgeted the movie or have decided to save more of the story here for the Avengers movie. Based upon the happenings in this movie I feel that Thor will be huge in the Avengers.

    The action scenes were done well. They aren't grandiose like the Spiderman 2 action scenes, but they convey what needs to be conveyed well. I thought the actors took the material seriously and really did it well. It would have been so easy for them to have a very cheesy GateKeeper (who I liked very much). He might have had the best line/moment in the flick. Hint: His exchange with Loki on the bridge.

    Overall I thought that this was the one marvel movie that took story over action. It had too though. I was thinking this would be the lesser of the 2 movies this summer…but it has set the bar for Capt America to follow.

    I also came away inspired for a new goal….I want to be cut like Thor.

      1. Haha yeah that was a good one as well. I really liked how the characters were done. I can't recall one character that felt tacked on really.

  2. I haven't seen the movie yet (though I want to), but I must say that this article needs more sexy pics of Natalie Portman.

    1. Unfortunately her scientist character didn't wear anything sexy. Scientists are like that. On a side note, I love how she followed up Black Swan with Your Highness and Thor.

  3. I will let you know my thoughts tomorrow. i will be watching this later on today!

    @rpad

    i don't know if you keep an eye on your old company but on aots yesterday Jericho was on and he dressed up as Thor it was pretty hilarious. He was on for like half of the show. I think you'd appreciate it.

    1. Thor was awesome. It did the same thing Iron Man did IMO. It made me care about a character that i never had an interest in. It was great action and a great story. I geeked out to all the nods that you mentioned but also with the science used in this film. I love the wormhole explanation I always wondered how they were going to pull off thor or anyone else traveling to earth. I expected more out of the Thor/Destroyer fight but overall great film. With the awesomeness of Thor, I can't see them having another villiain or whatever for The Avengers movie other than The Skrulls.

      @rpad did you wait for the bonus scene after the credits? Also, did you catch them mentioning the Hulk in the movie too?

  4. I saw Thor last night and I thought it was pretty good.

    Before I get into the movie, I got to see it in 3D for the 2D price. I don't know how that happened since it's $11.00 for a 2D adult ticket and $14.50 for an adult 3D ticket. If anybody can explain this aside from thinking that it's some kind of glitch on Fandango's part, please let me know.

    Since I don't really follow Thor (aside from The Ultimates), I can't really judge this against it's comics counterpart(s). As far as comparisons to the Ultimates, there's virtually nothing in common with it. That's O.K., though since the movie was a good "father-son" conflict story with a Marvel coat of paint.

    I was particularly amused about how a "thunder god" from another realm is banished to Earth as a punishment. Does that mean that these people view Earth as hell, or at the least, purgatory? It made for an interesting social commentary.

    I do agree with N8 when he says that Chris Hemsworth was smiling way too much in that movie. Realistically, at least if it were me, I wouldn't be smiling so much if I would be the one to be banished to a god-forsaken, back-water, underdeveloped civilization. I'd be downright sour and scowling all the time. I do get the fact that he's smitten with Natalie Portman, but there are other, more subtle ways to go about showing it through body language aside from radiantly smiling every five seconds like a 12-year-old who's looking at his first Playboy.

    The visual art and computer animation was pretty well done. Even though the 3D really didn't add all that much to suck me into the movie (more). It did add a bit of depth to the set pieces.

    Loki, the supporting characters and Odin all did a pretty good job as far as the acting is concerned and they each seemed to play their roles well enough. I didn't have problem with the costumes. It is kind of hard to argue about clothing from an imaginary land, anyway. It fit properly, and I think that's all that mattered.

    Even though I like Iron Man (1) better, I think Thor was still a good background movie for the character leading up to an Avengers movie. I'm now looking forward to Captain America. My only hope is that it is slightly better than the 1990 Matt Salinger one.

    -M

    P.S.- Can someone please tell me what the hell that thing in the briefcase was that Nick Fury referred to as "power" in the scene after the credits?

    1. @iceman

      it's a shot in the dark but i'm guessing it's the new element that Tony creates or finds out how to create in Iron Man 2.

    2. He smiles all the time because he is always confident and forward looking.

      Yeah I think Earth is purgatory for them lol.

      I liked Heimdall a lot.

      1. If it's a cosmic cube then the avengers villain could be the skrulls or thanos.

      2. @rpad

        I can see Loki being a villain in The Avengers but he cant be the main villain. I think it would make sense if it were Thanos, especially with them opening the idea of inter-dimensional travel in Thor. I can see Titan being one of the 7 branches of the universe.

      3. If it is Thanos… that would make 2 Marvel movies with Chris Evans in it where Galactus was a villain.

      4. That's actually part of the problem. Thanos usually requires Adam Warlock or the Silver Surfer as a hero. I don't think Warlock would translate well to movies and Silver Surfer's rights are currently licensed to Fox.

      5. Adam Warlock would be hard to do. I think his story would lend itself to an animated mini series rather than a 2 hour movie.

  5. I saw it on Thursday and have been trying to soak it in more before I talked about it.

    It turns out… I felt pretty much the same as Iceman. To elaborate on the smiling thing, his attitude I figured toward Natalie Portman should have been more like "I'm a Norse god, I will take the wench and her friend if I desire". Yet, he seemed a little too humbled with the whole "stuck on earth" situation.

    He can also be as confident and forward looking as possible, but that doesn't mean he's happy about his situation. Think about it… a spoiled kid get cast out of his house by his rich daddy and is forced to live among the peasants. This is not only the story of Marvel's Thor, but it's a classic literary point that dates back to at least the Prodigal Son story. In most of the other fictional stories that this tale has occurs in, the son is always humbled, and Thor fits this mold. But… in the and real life incidents and a great deal of the fictional iterations of this tale… it's usually a sting to the kid for a much longer kid than however long Thor was on Earth for. They are silver spoon born bastards we like to see knocked down to the common level.

    It's a riches to rags story.

    What I hope for the Avengers movie, is basically the plot of the first few issues. Loki controls the mind of the Hulk (which they eluded to as well). Thor comes to help and leads until Cap is unfrozen. This can all happen in the first 15 minutes or half hour.

    From there… Skrulls would be too awesome. I might collapse from nerd spasms.

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