director: Kenneth Branagh
writer: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz & Don Payne
starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddlestone and Anthony Hopkins
genre: Action | Comics | Sci-Fi
released: May 6, 2011 (U.S.), April 28, 2011 (Greece)
From all the Marvel properties that could have gone horribly wrong, "Thor" maybe, was top of the list. Trying to get the right mix of mythological, superhero, fantasy/sci-fi elements of the comics and on top of that, make the casual film goer, not get too confused or consider the film cheesy, was going to be a tough job. But, instead of us speaking of a another adaptation gone wrong. We have one of the best comic book films of the year and surely Marvel Studios best film yet. With director Kenneth Branagh at the helm, he's managed to bring the God of Thunder to his true glory on the big screen.
In the Marvel universe there are nine realms (planets), one of which is Earth. In charge of these realms is the planet Asgard, ruled by its king Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Its rivalry is with the realm of Jotunheim, against the race of Frost Giants ruled by Laufie (Colm Feore). From this rivalry, Odin teaches his two sons Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddlestone) the eventual battles they will yet to face and what lessons can be learned of true warriors and future kings to Asgard.
When the day comes for Thor to become king of Asgard, evil strikes and halts the passing of power. Thor's impatience, leads to confrontation with the Frost Giants. For this confrontation and for Asgard continued peace with Jotunheim, Thor is exiled to the realm of Midgard (Earth). There he will be discovered by the scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and be welcomed as a delusional person. In his time with the humans, he will see their value as beings and come to grips with past mistakes. Now he must reclaim his honor and fight his way back to Asgard to save his kin.
Thor is a marvelous film in many ways. The world it creates, the incorporation of the mythology, the details emphasized from the comics and the way it connects to a Earth reality and not seeming cheap by doing so. Also the choice of making Thor and the Norse gods into aliens, instead of mythological beings was a better approach for cinema audiences. This idea has been also used within the comics of Thor, but has changed from time to time, depending on the head writers direction and desired tone of the series.
From all of Marvel studios productions of late. Thor is by far my favorite. It's got the right mix of action, sci-fi, villains, cast and humor. It still might not be any way as perfect as the Dark Knight or even as close to the X-Men level of drama and action spectacle epicness. But its mighty close.
Kenneth Branagh might have been the oddest choice to direct the film. But a Shakespearean director, coordinated one of the best action films of the year. The frost giant/Thor fight couldn't be anything, but a fanboy's dream come true. In comparison, the action in the Iron Man films and Captain America was good. But settled for shorter sequences with less effects and fewer characters duking it out. Here, that was Marvels big step up. But there are other areas that Marvel still need to push the envelope.
Now as action film, Thor is great. As a sci-fi adventure, its very well done. As a comic book adaptation, its faithfuland follows the comic exactly where it needs to. But, as with every other Marvel film, its still not close to being more than a good action film. If it was a bit longer, with more substantial character development and maybe even intervening plot elements. Then the film could be at quality level, that we only could dream of it to be.This is not a jab only at Thor, but to Marvel Studios films in general. Sadly, it feels as if, there films are all too focused with whats going to happen in the upcoming Avengers film, then whats happening now.
"Thor" is a great comic book film. Fans loved it, casual audiences digged it, so if you've still not seen the film what are you waiting? Because "Avengers" is coming and its best to see the individual films first, before the big team is assembled for action.