Posted by ron On May - 8 - 2011

The harder sell in the movie Thor was not the CGI but convincing us that a winner of the genetic lottery, Natalie Portman had a hard time finding a decent guy. By decent she meant, a beefcake straight from the cover of Playgirl magazine.

The Gods are angry and there will be hell to pay in the movie Thor directed by Shakespearean legend, Kenneth Branagh. In a house of two princes, the relationship between two worlds will once again, come into play as a banished warmongering young prince learned nobility wasn’t a birthright but earned through peace and understanding.

Branagh’s film might not be of the classical comic book interpretation of Thor but he did succeed in creating a credible interpretation of his own, a super hero tale of romance. He channeled his Shakespearian stage play experience into decent dialogue that epitomized rhythmic wordy monologue derived from comic books. As the All Father Odin, Anthony Hopkins set the tone having established a regal presence within these characters by carefully weighing his words with every breath. Chris Hemsworth worked within his limitations but it was Ray Stevenson as Volstagg who was one line away from bellowing, “What’s in your wallet?” Within the realm of Asgard, these ornate caped warriors are convincing as something one would see at the Metropolitan Opera. The transition of taking these characters and putting them into the world an audience might relate to wasn’t quite as seamless but Branagh did spare his audience the obligatory, “You must be European…”

Screenwriters Ashley Miller and Zach Stentz best known for their work on Agent Cody Banks weren’t very efficient in terms of balancing out the scenes between Asgard and Midgard headed into the second and third act. The time and care invested to make the budding romance between Thor and Jane Foster credible was not as caring when it came to the Odin sleep and Loki’s somewhat convoluted plot.
As the brilliant astrophysicist Jane Foster who can’t drive, Natalie Portman worked well with the limited material as a giggly girl who hasn’t met many desired beefcakes. Arguably more wasted talent than Rene Russo’s appearance was Kat Dennings who played a useless demographic named Darcy. She was an intentional character shoehorned into the story to provide campy laugh every time the studio execs feared Thor might turn its audience off by taking itself a little too seriously. Gotta ask, was Hilary Duff too busy at the time?

Thor faltered in the last act. The much hyped battle against the Destroyer was over before it even started. Loki’s lie within a lie within a lie just had too many plot points that didn’t make any sense. It was the plot equivalent of Bernie Madoff lying to his investors in order to gain the presidency by dooming those evil rich people. Silly and misguided, one wondered if the god of lies and mischief lied to himself. Thankfully, the film never wasted too much time with super villain explanations. Instead, it’s one hammer strike away from the credits.

Thor rates a Strong Bow cider. Sweet tasting and easy going down so long as you don’t get too carried away trying to make sense of it.


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Thoughts on Cinema is dedicated to film reviews. An uncompromising opinion on the intellectual, artistic, and entertainment value to the consumer. With rising ticket prices, we dedicate ourselves to present to you content regarding what you should or should not be viewing. -Ronald H. Pollock Founder and Editor in Chief



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