Saturday, May 7, 2011
Hi everyone! So the other night I went to the midnight screening of “Thor.” My thoughts? It was good. Really good actually. It didn’t re-invent the wheel as far as comic book movies go but it was still great fun and I walked out of the theater with a new appreciation for Marvel’s hammer wielding hero.
A lot of that had to do with the awesome performance of the lead actor Chris Hemsworth who was by far the standout of the movie. Looking as though he stepped right out from the pages of Norse mythology, Hemsworth plays Thor with the perfect mix of arrogance and charisma, seamlessly transitioning from badass warrior in one scene to silver tongued charmer in the next.
The movie begins with Thor being banished to earth and found by the lovely as always Natalie Portman who plays Jane Foster, a physisist studying trans dimensional wormholes, after she and a couple teammates accidentally nail Thor with an suv in the chaos of a dust storm that ensues from his exhile to earth.
From here the movie backtracks to an earlier time were we are introduced to Odin played with kingly perfection by Anthony Hopkins, the ruler of a god-like race of people who live in a fantastical realm called Asgard. I have to point out that some of my favorite scenes in the movie (despite the absence of Natalie Portman) were the ones that featured Asgard, it is an stunning picture of natural and architectural beauty and a place that is truly worthy to be called home to the gods.
Odin feels he is coming to the end of his reign as king and wants to bequeath his crown to his favorite son, Thor. The relationship between the two quickly sours however as the god of thunder defies his father’s wishes and leads a contingent of his warrior friends in an ill-planned attack on a neighboring realm belonging to a race of ice giants, breaking an uneasy truce that had kept the two realms from war.
Enraged by his son’s thoughtless disobedience and foolish attempt to make a name for himself Odin strips Thor of his godly powers and banishes him to midgard, which is there name for earth. Placing a powerful enchantment on Thor’s hammer, Mjolner, Odin also casts it to earth as well, were it lands in the middle of the desert.
Picking up from were the film began, Thor befriends Jane Foster and her crewmates after a rocky first day on earth which sees the raving Thunder god tossing around orderlies at a New Mexico hospital and being mistaken as someone with a serious case of mental illness.
Developing a fondness for the bearded blond, Foster agrees to help Thor on his quest to find his hammer and regain his godly powers. There are some very funny “fish out of water” scenes around this portion of the film which sees Thor who is totally naïve when it comes to the customs and etiquette of earth, approach situations with a typical Viking mentality. A great example of which is when he walks into a local pet store and demands a horse.
Back on Asgard, Thor’s half brother Loki, who unknowingly played a sly hand in orchestrating Thor’s banishment, conspires to steal his brother’s inheritence by manipulating events to his benefit.
Meanwhile, after finding his displaced hammer which has been quarantined by the covert government entity “shield,” Thor reaches a pivotal moment in his road to enlightenment when he realizes he is no longer worthy of hefting his faithful hammer when in refuses to budge under his still formidable strength.
Lost and confused, with his former confidence all but evaporated, Thor comes to appreciate the importance of humility and selflessness through his experience living as a mortal and growing emotionally attached to Jane and her friends. This internal transformation is complete when the end of the film sees Thor ready to pay the ultimate price to protect those his earlier self would certainly have looked down upon as beneath him.
All in all, I found Thor to be a wonderful blast of superhero fun that I look forward to revisiting again. By Odin’s Beard!