|Thor movie poster, property of Paramount Pictures and Marvel.|
Since the day Thor opened in our theater, floods of people have been washing up to see it. As I help these "Thorks" (as I've lovingly named them) get their concessions, they always ask me if I've seen it yet. And for a full week my answer was "no." They would always react the same way, "WHAT? But you work at a movie theater!! How have you not seen it yet?"
Truth was, I really wanted to see it. Well, not since the first trailer. I thought it looked stupid. But once it opened to moderately good reviews and I began to hear positive word-of-mouth from all my friends, my desire to see the movie shifted into high gear. Of course, I couldn't go see Thor without Brian, and that created the difficulty. It seemed that whenever I had a free night, he was either working or we had plans to do things with friends. One night we almost went, but we realized that the showtime we wanted was in 3D... Brian and I despise 3D more than we despise Glenn Beck or the cast of Jersey Shore.
So when I was sent home from work early last night, I decided to take advantage of my freed-up Friday night and convinced Brian to see Thor with me! And I am very happy to say that I was not disappointed! The story is of a hammer-wielding warrior named Thor (Chris Hemsworth) who is the next in line to be the king of a land called Asgard. However, his arrogant and foolhardy ways get him banished by his father Odin and sent to live on Earth without any of his powers. That is of course, unless he can become worthy to possess that power.
When he lands on Earth he is almost run over by Jane (Natalie Portman) who just so happens to be an astrophysicist. She's accompanied by Dr. Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) and her assistant Darcy (Kat Dennings). Rightly thinking that Thor may hold the answers to her quest to find a connection between Earth and other realms of the universe, Jane keeps Thor around. Although everyone can't get over how incredibly odd he is, their friendship with Thor is what causes him to have his change of heart. He falls in love with Jane (within a matter of days) and their relationship is really what drives him to become a more mature man.
Meanwhile, back on Asgard, Thor's brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has discovered a secret about his own past and origins. Combined with his existing jealousy of Thor and desire to make his father proud, this new revelation really propels him to take matters into his own hands now Thor is out of the picture. He becomes king and strikes up a devious scheme with Asgard's enemies, all while doing everything he can to ensure Thor never returns.
I don't want to give away the ending if you haven't seen this movie yet, but I'm sure it won't surprise you if I say that Thor ends up victorious in the end. I mean, when does the bad guy win? However, things do sort of lend themselves to a sequel... in this case, Thor's reprisal in The Avengers movie coming out next year. And although a lot of the movie sort of felt like prep-work for what lies ahead, I still felt Thor to be compelling and entertaining enough to stand alone.
I would say that Thor's biggest asset was its embrace of humor. The fantastical world of Asgard is breathtaking to behold, but the costumes and dialogue of the people there lend themselves to being goofy at best. Of course Thor looks cool, but his comrades look really ridiculous in their get-ups. But thankfully, the movie is aware of this and even plays it up to comic effect. Also, when Thor comes to Earth, there are several funny moments of the fish-out-of-water sort that really provide a great balance to all of the very grand and epic things happening back on Asgard.
In addition to its ability to laugh at itself, the movie also had a very human nature to it. A few very nice scenes with Jane and Thor quickly and believably established their romantic feelings in a natural and lighthearted way, and a good scene in a bar with Thor and Dr. Selvig was also very endearing. All of these scenes were very simple, but extremely essential in helping the audience feel like they could relate to this hammer-heaving hero. Natalie Portman is bubbly and charming and Thor is very charismatic (and easy on the eyes). I'm glad they found an actor to play Thor that wasn't just big and brawny but actually a decent actor.
This movie wasn't profound or groundbreaking in any way, but it has a lot going for it. The fantasy elements are visually beautiful, the action sequences are concise and well shot, and the story is simple yet sufficient... but really it was the humor and heart of Thor that won me over. I had a lot of fun while watching Thor, and having fun at the movies is always a good thing.
I guess this makes me a "Thork."
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