The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.
I really thought I had already written my review for Thor but I guess not. This was actually one of the first movies I watched this calendar year; it’s been a while but I think I remember enough to write a full review of the movie ^_~ Contains some spoilers ahead!
What especially excited me about this movie compared to Iron Man (review) and Captain America: The First Avenger (review) was the fact that a good chunk of this movie is set in Asgard and elsewhere, which is thrilling for the sci-fi nerd in me. The Asgardians clearly have their own culture going on which reflects the Norse mythology that we know but then there’s more. I loved the concept of the nine realms and how we saw glimpses of Jotunheim and heard about the war against the Frost Giants. I reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaalllllllly hope we get to see more of that in the next installment of the series, I am very curious to learn more about the nine realms and Asgard’s role in all of them. It certainly adds a layer to the drama and the action that plays out in the film.
I enjoyed Thor’s personal story and character journey, of the arrogant god’s fall from grace, thrown to Earth and forced to survive in another culture altogether. Chris Hemsworth was fantastically casted for this role, he is pitch perfect in portraying Thor’s hot-headedness and his arrogance. Kudos to his dedication in preparing for the role too because he really does look the part (I’ve been saying this to all of the Marvel characters but it’s so true). It was amusing how Thor starts off on Earth (Darcy stunning him and later hitting him with the van was especially hilarious) because while his behaviour works well in Asgard, it does come off as strange on Earth (as an aside, I heard that Tony Stark mocks Thor’s way of speaking in The Avengers? lol, not surprised). But despite of his arrogance, Thor does have this…gentle (for lack of a better word) and soft demeanor to him, it’s just that he is a warrior first and foremost. I think showing his relationship with his brother, Loki, helped in establishing that nuance in his character, with his friends and his interaction with Jane Foster, Dr. Selvig and Darcy. Plus, the character journey was great because it helps build up Thor’s character and who he is outside of Mjolnir, his hammer, and his role as Odin’s heir as well as temper down some of his extreme characteristics such as his quick temper and his impatience.
Loki’s character development in this movie was also fantastic, just as complex and nuanced as Thor’s. He obviously looks up to his brother yet at the same time he has plans of his own and is quite skilled and deadly at the way he is able to manipulate events. The character pretty much lives up to his name. Tom Hiddleston is just amazing in this role, he really inhabits it and brings out this sort of pseudo-Shakespearean/Greek tragedy/terror of the gods from this character. I also love that he’s just as enthusiastic of the role off-screen. I’ve enjoyed his works on Return to Cranford and Miss Austen Regrets so I’m glad that he’s getting more recognition for his work.
The rest of the characters were great in their own way. The Warriors Three provides some humour to the scenes as well as support for Thor when he needs it; it’s always a joy to see Ray Stevenson on-screen. I was amazed to learn that Colm Feorne played Laufey, king of the Frost Giants; he’s a fantastic actor (and Canadian lol). Anthony Hopkins as Odin was a brilliant choice, he brings a gravitas to the role and it certain spruces up the dynamics in the family. Idris Elba as Heimdall was awesome, I admit I sort of freaked out at some point because I thought Loki was going to kill Heimdall and I was going to be all ;_; because he was really cool. Kat Dennings as Darcy turned out to be a lot more funnier than I expected (I’ve only started checking out her work recently and she’s got that particular brand of humour pegged down). I’m not sure how I feel about Natalie Portman as Jane Foster though; I guess it’s sort of the same vein as Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, I liked her enough but I wasn’t blown away or anything. I do remember thinking that I wished there had been more scenes between Jane Foster and Thor, their scenes seemed too brief.
Oh, and we got to see Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye for the first time! That was very cool =D
Overall, I enjoyed watching Thor, especially the segments that took place in Asgard, Jotunheim…basically anywhere else except Earth, lol. I didn’t mind the segments of the story that took place on Earth, they were interesting and you had S.H.I.E.L.D. involved quite a bit there (speaking of which, if you haven’t seen it you really need to check out that Marvel One-Shot video “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer”; I saw it in the Captain America: The First Avenger blu-ray special features and it is awesome) but I love sci-fi and fantasy and mythology so the Asgard stuff interested me a lot more. Kudos to Kenneth Branagh’s direction and vision in bringing the story to life because it certainly added that epic bit to the overall story.