Thursday, 10 May 2012

The God Of Thunder

With the record breaking release of The Avengers (which I will be reviewing, don't you worry) I thought it's about time we jumped back and had a look at some of the other movies that have led up to this. I've already looked at Iron Man 2 but I've neglected a couple of others. Let's make it up to them. Starting with the Asgardian 'god', Thor.

Somewhere out there, there are other realms. One of these realms is the realm of Asgard. In other realms, particularly Earth, the Asgardians are regarded and worshipped as deities. A long time ago, they fought an evil race known as the Frost Giants, who were rather fond of attacking Earth. The Frost Giants were defeated by the Asgardians, led by the king Odin (Anthony Hopkins), and their power source was taken away. Odin recites this story to the audience by telling his two sons, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Time passes and Thor, as the oldest son of Odin, is preparing to take over as king. However, the coronation ceremony is disrupted by a few Frost Giants who are trying to steal back their power source. Thor demands that war is the only option and, despite Odin's direct commands to not attack, Thor travels with his greatest fighters to Jötunheim, the land of the Frost Giants. After battling carelessly against the Frost Giants, Odin arrives to protect his fighters. He tries to calm the Frost Giants and returns to Asgard with his sons and fighters. Furious, Odin banishes Thor to Earth where he is hit by a van containing three scientists, Jane (Natalie Portman), Erik (Stellan Skarsgård), and Darcy (Kat Dennings). Thor's aim is to get back to Asgard, but an evil plot may be brewing against him...

Stop! Hammer time!

A very solidly performed movie. Not a bad piece of acting in there. Admittedly, there's nothing that's exceptional either (though the fandoms of the internet may try to argue that). Chris Hemsworth was wonderfully naive in a sense of the world he was now inhabiting - walking into a pet shop and asking for a horse... or something large enough to ride - and also an extremely likeable character. My only issue, if any, is that his character changes too fast with little development. Tom Hiddleston, as Loki, is fantastic (and he may need therapy when he discovers he is not actually Loki). He's wonderfully bad but completely loveable, which I suppose the god of mischief should be. A great performance. Nice to see Natalie Portman in anything as she is always a fantastic actress, and Anthony Hopkins, as well, has still got plenty of game in him. A great performance as Odin, even with the occasional bit of incomprehensible yelling.

This reminds me a lot of this scene...
I'm unsure how this makes me feel.
(See here for why)

The wonder of this movie is the little bits of hinting that encourage even the least nerdy person to have a fan girl fit. Things like the inclusion of Hawkeye. Barely noticeable (if you're not aware who Hawkeye is) but so effective. A fantastic job from Kenneth Branagh and (to a far lesser extent) Joss Whedon for producing such a wonderfully playful and epic movie. If I had to chose one word to describe the film, it would be that: epic. From the visually stunning world of Asgard at the beginning to the large scale fight scenes between Frost Giants and gods, everything was epic and looked epic. the creators of the film knew exactly what they were aiming for and the hit it spot on. It was funny, epic, emotionally absorbing, and good fun to watch. You could loose yourself in it.

A big hand for everyone involved. It's no instant classic but it is the sort of film that can be watched again and again. Not too long, not to short, and constantly captivating.

Best Bit? My favourite moments were when Thor was on Earth and was unsure of everything around him. Smashing a cup of coffee, claiming that no one can stop the mighty son of Odin before being administered an anaesthetic. I kept laughing.

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