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THOR (2011)

>> Friday, May 6, 2011

Don't be Thor-ry, just don't let it happen again.

Although Fast Five claims to be the beginning of summer, I think this weekend counts way more - which is probably why it's starting off with one of the summer's biggest movies, Thor. However, much like Fast Five, I'm sad to say I'm pretty disappointed in this addition to the Marvel line-up, most recently preceded by the similarly disappointing Iron Man 2. The main difference between the two? I ultimately recommended Iron Man 2. Thor, however, does not get my recommendation - but you already know that from the big red door to the left. I know some people will like Thor and this decision was not the easiest for me to make - because I really wanted to like this film. In the end though, it fell short.

Thor (played well by Chris Hemsworth) is a cocky, arrogant God who only wants to fight, beat and destroy anybody and everybody who's willing to take on the challenge. He's kinda like the one guy outside the bar who wants to start a fight over nothing. After egging on his kingdom's (or realm, or planet - or whatever) number one enemy, his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) banishes him to Earth to teach him a lesson in humanity. There he meets Natalie Portman's character Jane Foster and develops a crush. It doesn't take long for Thor to start feeling that warmness inside and it takes even less time for his heart to grow three sizes - as well as you know, kick the shit out of a big, metal robot. Well done Thor, you attempted to not be such a dick. This all leads to another reason why I didn't like Thor, or why I've heard people mention Thor as their least favorite of the Marvel hero line-up.

If you look at nearly every other Marvel movie out there - the characters/superheroes all have one thing in common. They start off as a being a completely different person than that of their alter ego come the end of the movie. Thor on the other hand, is already a superhero - he just has an attitude problem. You can't make a movie out of someone learning to be less of a douchebag - well you can, but it has the same amount of impact as a 'no drugs' episode of Saved by the Bell. This causes there to be no character arc for Thor, so unlike Tony Stark let's say - you don't become interested in character and hence you care less about the story. Thor literally has less to fight for.

With a mystical being such as Thor, I would have preferred there to have been some mystery left to the guy and his story rather than spell it out as clear as day from the get go. If we could have perhaps left Thor's history more of a mystery - there may have been a bit more magic here. But now, the mystery is history and your left with something about as fun as a Wikipedia article on the subject. On that topic as well, I also enjoyed the scenes on Earth a lot more than on Thor's home planet (or whatever it is...) - so the more time on Earth the better.

Is Thor pretty at least? Hell yeah. Is the acting decent - sure. Does Thor fit all the criteria necessary to be a summer blockbuster? Definitely. But I feel my job as a film critic is to use my criticism in a way that will hopefully move the world of movies forward a little. In Thor's case, I'm attempting to make a statement about films and special effects. At which point do we stop admiring the pretty pictures on screen and focus on the story more? While Hollywood is slowly getting the point more and more as of late - sometimes you get a movie like Thor where it's drab, it's uninspiring, has no heart and is relentless in its effort to have you say 'that looks cool'.

On top of it all, with Avengers coming out next year - it's painfully obvious that Thor exists purely for the sake of lining up a few plot points necessary to further set up The Avengers. Overall, it may as well be considered a two hour long commercial for it. Even after the credits the movie proclaims 'Thor will return in The Avengers' (or something to that effect). So, if the story didn't lose interest for me, the fact it's a blatant marketing scheme and overall plot filler would have. For those of you wondering - you do get the fun stuff you'll be wanting to see and an inside joke here and there you'll enjoy. This includes an appearance by Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, a mention or two of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner - and of course the obligatory bonus scene after the credits.

I'm giving Thor the closed door it deserves. Personally, I'm looking way more forward to Captain America and Green Lantern. Thor feels like a prequel that should have been released perhaps after The Avengers - once we've gotten a chance to become attached to the character for a bit. For those of you out there who will tell me 'Well, Thor was fun - couldn't you just enjoy it for what it was?' The answer is yes - and I don't think it's completely unenjoyable. But realistically, if you want to see the movie - you will. It's the same for any movie, really, but if you're reading this before you're going to the movie - you've probably already made up your mind about whether you'll be standing in line later today or not. All I'm trying to do is point out why it didn't really need to exist in the first place - or at the very least, exist in the fashion that it does.

*Stills courtesy of Paramount Pictures


Anonymous May 7, 2011 at 12:29 PM  
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Angry Charlie May 7, 2011 at 2:17 PM  
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