Thor: nothing much to see here

Thor is another in the line of comic-book superheros getting a movie leading up to next years release of The Avengers. But it seems that Marvel has either lost their way or just given up caring. In comparison with Iron Man and the Hulk reboot Thor falls flat. There are certain things one would expect a superhero have, especially one that is a lead up to a huge film like The Avengers. Things like why are they a hero, some character development, and like any good superhero movie, some action.

Other than the first count we find very little of anything. Thor is a hero because he is essentially a god, so kinda hard to mess that up. As for any kind of progression in character, what little there is seems to come with no reason and completely out of nowhere. This is even with letting the movie get away with its extremely contrived plot. Out of nowhere we get Thor changing from a war mongering spoiled prince to someone who seems willing to die for those he tried to kill at the start of the film. Maybe he was changed by his interactions with Jane (Natalie Portman) during his stay on Earth, but not only is this not shown at all her character doesn’t even seem capable of eliciting a change like this.

This would have to be one of the major issues with the film, the female lead isn’t much of a lead. Other than being the attractive character for Thor to fall in love with she doesn’t seem to be anything. All of her interactions with Thor are banal at best, with nothing more than loads of sexual tension. She seems to be nothing more than a way to drive Thor around New Mexico.

Thor (Chris Hemmsworth) seems decently well played, but being the odd newcomer to earth he is slightly off putting, though not necessarily in a bad way. But the best seems to be in the hands of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Dr. Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård). Partly because of better development, in Loki’s case, and overall better portrayal, even with far less screen time than Thor. Anthony Hopkins works well as Odin, though it’s hard to tell it’s him, but his limited time gives little room to do much.

As for action, in a movie this long about a superhero, even one who lost his power, there is surprisingly little. Other than a major fight at the start, “human” Thors fight with SHIELD agents and the robot, which looks surprisingly like Gort from The Day the Earth Stood still. But other than the beginning each of these sections is rather short and simplistic.This would of course not normally be an issue, but with how poor the interactions between Thor and Jane are the fights are probably the highlight.

There is also the problem of it being produced in 3D, which isn’t really a problem with the movie in an of itself. But until some better way of doing 3D is implemented it’s nothing more than a gimmick which overall seems to detract from most watching experiences.  One hopes that the laughable CGI when Odin is giving his speech to Asgard, where the people look like paper cut outs, is due to the glasses and not the actual artists.

All in all it is definitely not the best Marvel movie, not by a long shot, and if it were completely stand alone Thor would probably suffer the fate of the first Hulk movie. Thankfully Portman’s character doesn’t seem to be in the Avengers, so there is hope that Thor may yet come into being a real character with real interactions with people.

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~ by Chris Stevens on May 6, 2011.

2 Responses to “Thor: nothing much to see here”

  1. I agree, the film was OK but nothing special. It’s like they tried to use the Iron Man formula but missed the target. I have a feeling that by the end of the year I’m gonna be sick of Marvel…

    Lloyd – http://buffalo-press.com

  2. Ya, they seemed to try for that balance of humour and seriousness but just couldn’t pull it off. Hopefully they’ll raise the bar a bit with Captain America, because there is so much potential for something like the Avengers to be an awesome movie.

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