FILM REVIEW - Thor
As I now have a lot more free time on my hands, I thought it was time to get back to watching films on the regular. Whilst I can’t yet watch these in the cinema, for now, on the TV screen will do. Being a superhero fan, regardless of your allegiance with DC or Marvel, you have to appreciate the successes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, MCU for short. I had already watched the first 3 films in this universe and I was ready to move on to number 4, which was Thor.
‘Thor’ tells the story of the Norse God Thor, who lives in the realm known as Asgard. Asgard which is ruled by the wise and elderly Odin has seen many a battle, and Thor, the young reigning prince has been part of numerous battles. But when a group of Frost Giants, who reside in a rivalling realm known as Jotunheim break into a secret vault in Asgard to steal a powerful and mystical artefact, Thor retaliates by travelling to their realm and starting a war. Angered by Thor’s actions, Odin banishes him to Earth as a mortal, unable to wield his mighty hammer, Mjolnir. Meanwhile, Thor’s younger brother, Loki, having learnt that he’s actually adopted sets out to seize the throne for himself, whilst doing what he does best, trickery. Thor, who is now just a man, makes friends on Earth and attempts to find a way back to his home. Unaware of what is transpiring on Asgard, Thor believes that his actions may have caused some permanent damage to his family. Can the young prince reclaim his powers and his kingdom? Or is he cursed to be a mortal forever more?
Now when this film came out, I’m pretty sure that most people were not aware of many of the main actors starring in this film. Now whilst, Anthony Hopkins, who played Odin, and Natalie Portman, who played Jane Foster, may have been known names in the industry, both Chris Hemsworth, who portrayed our titular character and Tom Hiddleston, who played Loki, were relative newcomers to the film scene. I thought Chris did a fantastic job of playing, essentially, a mythical jock. He was loud and proud and the scenes where he was endearingly dim were excellent. Hiddleston, I had heard, had auditioned for the role of Thor, but he was so good as Loki. The supporting cast was also superb and I personally appreciated the little cameo of a certain archer that worked for S.H.I.E.L.D.
So before I even watched this film, I was aware of the story of Thor (big mythology fan right here). And whilst I’m glad that I didn’t get to see Odin’s eight-legged horse, I was quite surprised at how the movie was transformed for a more superhero-themed style, whilst still representing its roots in mythology. I think having Loki’s backstory explored a little more may have benefitted the film, but the lack of didn’t cause any detriment. The first act and second act of the film were excellent in my opinion and the scene where Thor cannot lift his hammer on Earth was genuinely heartbreaking to watch. The one criticism I think that I would be able to offer is that I felt that the final act was a tad underwhelming. Thematically, it was clear that Shakespearean stories were an influence, and given that Kenneth Branagh directed it, it’s easy to see why.
With regards to the cinematography, I thought it was largely excellent. Despite not yet being in the grasp of Disney, Marvel Studios had a fairly large budget and it really showed with some of those sets and graphics. If I had to be pedantic and pick a fault, it would most likely be I wasn’t a massive fan of the makeup and prosthetics of the frost giants. I felt that could have been better. In terms of music, I don’t particularly remember thinking at any point that the soundtrack was phenomenal but again, this film was the beginning of its series, they probably wanted to see how it would do. Overall, a good entry into the MCU for the God of Thunder! Bring on the next film in the series!