**A long format review from 2011**
So, Thor has only been out for a week and a half, and already it’s grossed $100 million! Pretty fucking good considering it hasn’t even been released in America yet, where like, every movie ever makes most of its money. As you may have guessed, yes, I did finally get around to seeing le Thor, hence the delay in my review of The Incredible Hulk. But know what? Fuck you man! I just watched fucking Thor!!
So in case you couldn’t guess, I was rather damn impressed with it all. Why? Well boys and girls, strap your tolerance boots on, this one could get long.
The Computer Graphics were some of the best I’ve ever seen. Now I’m not one to believe that CGI is the sort of thing that could make or break a film, but having it be this fantastic goes quite a ways to helping out. I also was unfortunate in my having to watch it in 3D, and yet it was worth it. This is a pretty big statement from me. I despise 3D… I even walked out of the cinema not feeling nauseous. A tad headache-y sure, but that was it. So congrats Thor.
The comic relief was powerful. In that “funny but not silly” kind of way. I mean, it’s all a bit silly, but it would have been so easy to fall into the cheesy trap with this film. The writing team and director Kenneth Branagh (The Boat that Rocked, Sleuth, Hamlet) did a fantastic job of keeping the audience engaged and not descending too far into shameless, lame, self-parody.
The characters of the film were written almost as strongly as they were in Iron Man 1 & 2, not quite, but they did have quite a number more to work through, so they couldn’t work with everyone as well as they did with Tony Stark and Pepper Potts. They also managed to totally pull off an American movie with romance and comedy, in a way that totally avoided those awful American Romantic Comedies (my least favourite genre in the history of ever).
There’s this whole thing where Thor comes from another world. Which was after all really the only way you could bring a God into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has been so grounded in reality. And I’ll tell you, Asgard (Thor’s home planet) was fucking great. They pulled off this crazy similarities in appearance between family members on Asgard, despite the fact that none of the actors are related. You may disagree with me on inspection of posters and whatnot, but after seeing the movie, you’ll get what I mean. Also the actors they got to play the younger Loki and Thor were eerily believable. Like, to an actually kind of scary point. I wonder if any of it was fake… The Frost Giant homeworld of Jotunheim is also visually stunning.
The sound effects were very confronting. I couldn’t really figure out if I though this was a good or a bad thing… It’ll be interesting to rewatch on DVD, and see if it was only so crazy because of the speakers in the theatre. Thor may have lacked the wholeness as a film felt by Iron Man 1 & 2, or The Incredible Hulk, but it was perfect as a lead up to The Avengers, which, now that it’s all set in stone, is really kind of needed. With Thor more than the other heroes it’s the most important, because there was really no way to humanise that sort of character, he’s just so outlandish that you really need an entire film just to ground him in this world they’re developing.
But all of the things I’ve had to say about the film were basically leading up to this one big thing; the cast! The cast was incredible, not only did they manage to snag a total of THREE of my favourite underrated actors ever, one of them just so happened to my favourite actor in the whole wide world, Ray Stevenson!
We have Australian (fuck yes Australia!) Chris Hemsworth (Home and Away [Hey! We all have to start somewhere, right?], A Perfect Getaway, Ca$h, Cabin in the Woods) playing Thor, Natalie Portman (Black Swan, V For Vendetta) playing Thor’s love interest; Jane Foster (lots of people have started having a problem with Natalie Portman nowadays, but I still love her), Anthony Hopkins (The Rite, The Wolfman, Beowulf, Red Dragon, Hannibal, The Silence of the Lambs [Yes, this is the same guy who played Hannibal Lecter. I fucking know, right!?] Bram Stroker’s Dracula) as Thor’s father; Odin, Stellan Skarsgard (King Arthur, Exorcist: The Beginning, Beowulf & Grendel, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Angels & Demons) as Dr. Erik Selvig; Jane Foster’s mentor, Ray Stevenson (Rome, King Arthur, Outpost, Punisher: War Zone, The Book of Eli) as Thor’s friend, and member of the Warriors Three (above); Volstagg, Jeremy Renner (S.W.A.T., The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 28 Weeks Later, The Hurt Locker, The Town) as Hawkeye; the S.H.I.E.L.D. sharpshooter, and Samuel L. Jackson (The Exorcist III, Jurassic Park, Jackie Brown, Shaft, Pulp Fiction, the Star Wars prequel trilogy, S.W.A.T., Snakes on a Plane, 1408, Cleaner, The Spirit, Inglourious Basterds) as S.H.I.E.L.D. Director; General Nick Fury… And those are just the actors I already adore.
I’ve now also grown quite attached to Tom Hiddleston (Wallander) who plays Loki, Thor’s brother, and the main antagonist, as well as Joshua Dallas (Doctor Who and The Descent Part II) who plays another of the Warriors Three (above), and Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Defendor) who plays D’arcy Lewis; Jane Foster’s friend and colleague.
As I always like to say, I watched this film in a theatre (Belcompton, shit, uh, Belconnen, Hoyts to be specific). I really think this film has lasting value, but it’s important to note that I almost always feel a film is enhanced when watched on the big screen, especially with Action films, effects films, epic films and franchise films. Thor happens to be all of those things. I was especially excited waiting for the post-credits scene to come up in that huge cinema. So please take into consideration that I reviewed this on the silver screen, if you happen to be watching it on DVD or BluRay or some such. Because you better of not fucking downloaded it!! Damn scum…