My take on Thor

It’s been a while since I saw a movie in a cinema. The last, I think was Source Code. I must admit that there has been kind of a good movie drought in the past couple of weeks. However, Marvel’s offering Thor seemed to be the promise of better things to come. Besides, how could you screw up a comic book adaptation right?

Initially, I was not impressed by the trailer of Thor. Being a Marvel geek of sorts, I didn’t think that this bode well for the movie because I should have been excited about it. I watched The Mighty Thor cartoons when I was little and even went ahead to collect Marvel trading cards of him and his arch nemesis Loki. Maybe this lack of excitement was in part because I wanted the role to go to Triple H (of WWE fame). He had the looks, and the attitude, and great practice in wielding a sledgehammer, plus he was closer to Tony Starks’ age. There were also rumors that Brad Pitt was also being considered fro the part. I wonder what happened to that. However, after much speculation, the role eventually went to relative newcomer Chris Hemsworth, an Australian actor.

When I finally saw the movie, I understood why he bagged the part. Thor, in this movie, basically did not need to do any deep acting, so no problem, but Chris has a really strong voice and manner which lends strength to his character as the initially arrogant and headstrong son of Odin who was banished to Earth because of his foolhardy behavior of attacking Yodenheim despite a peace treaty agreed upon by the Frost Giants and Asgardians.

I liked the beginning parts of Thor’s stay on Earth, as he was learning how to adapt to regular life as an Average Joe. I think he pulled off the arrogance down pat. My favorites were the scene in the hospital where he went berserk and was felled by sedatives, and the part in New Mexico where he was throwing a fit and Darcy tasered him. Who could forget the coffeeshop scene where he asked for another mug of coffee by smashing the first one? The funny moments were great, but the dramatic moments when he is finally humbled by his inability to wrest Mjilnir from its resting place because he is not yet worthy, or the one where is is tricked by Loki to think that he caused Odin’s death, were also good. It was in these scenes that he began to understand his vulnerabilities and develop humility, which was the primary reason why he was banished.

After those scenes though, the pace suddenly slacked, and it took another while before picking up again.

The best thing about the movie, I think, is that the plot did not mess too much with the original mythos so comic books fans will have no complaints. Anthony Hopkins was a very commanding Odin, ruler of Asgard who is set to choose who between his children Thor or Loki should succeed him to the throne. My favorite character in this movie was Loki, although he was the jealous and scheming brother, because I could understand his character’s need to belong and his constant suffering from comparisons to his brother. His true origins as the son of a Frost Giant taken by Odin after the battle of Yodenheim was also reveled in this film, providing him a backstory and his subsequent thirst for revenge.

What I didn’t like too much was the set and the costumes. I thought they were a bit too metallic and too bulky for the characters, especially Heimdall’s gold get up, although it had a great contrast with his skin tone. I also did not like that the rooms in Asgard were so sparsely furnished. I just thought that there was something missing from the look. Lastly, I thought that Thor could have done away with the beard. The original young Thor did not have facial hair (I think they mixed it up with the new editions) but Chris does not have the strong Viking jaw so that’s probably why they disguised it with a beard.

Fans will be pumped to see a Stan Lee cameo, meet Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in one scene with the reappearance of Agent Coulson of SHIELD. The dialogue also made efforts to tie the film with other Marvel Avenger single features as it made reference to Tony Starks (Iron Man) in the scene where the Sentinel is sent down by Loki to destroy Thor and his friends.

All in all, it was a good effort by director Kenneth Branagh, although the movie could have benefitted from more action scenes. The movie pales in comparison to Iron Man, but understandably so because the previous movie was so kickass it set the bar sky high.