Saturday, 7 May 2011
A thunderous, Thor-de-force.
12A, 130 Minutes. Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Jamie Alerxander, Rene Russo & Idris Elba. Director: Kenneth Branagh. Screenplay: Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz & Don Payne
By now you'll know what to expect from the Marvel franchise and it's budding Avenger series. Comic humor and action? Check! References to other movies? Check! Hilarious Stan Lee cameo's? Your damn right...check! Still anyone going into this film expecting the same old stuff, with their arms folded in prepared disappointment will be pleasantly surprised. Not that there's anything wrong with the other Marvel Films (they are great) but with all the sub-Avenger films and other superhero reboots coming out it's hard not to be geeked out (in the wrong way) with all this comic-book carnage. That is until you take in the excitement of 'Thor'.
OK so you may be familiar with the mythical or comic book story of 'Thor' (and let's face it both are treated like ancient text), but here's the skinny on the story of the God that's so ripped he looks like the dudes from '300' on steroids. So Thor's about to be named king by his father Odin (Hopkins) much to his brother Loki's dismay and jealousy, but then some frost giants (who look like some dodgy 'Star Trek' villains) attempt to steal their confiscated bio-frost (which sounds like some sort of detergent). So Thor armed wit his new vanity and arrogance seeks revenge much to his fathers disapproval.
This leads to his banishment to earth, where Thor is found by a research team led by Natalie Portman. This leads to some hilarious and peculiar happenings as Thor finds it hard to get to grips with coffee house etiquette and transportation means. Still if you think he's got problems back home his father's stress has led him to fall into a deep 'Odinsleep' (nice to have a type of sleep named after you hey?) which leads to the scheming Loki literally and figuratively assuming the throne. This leads to more problems for Thor as both his world and his new one are under serious threat, but can he get his Excalibur on and hammer down these problems?
This is some ridiculously good yarn wrapped up by director Branagh (who better for this, really) in all it's epic, loud Brian Blessed bravado. As entertaining as it is surprising this film is primed to storm the pre-summer blockbuster season no matter how 'Fast and Furious' it is. This film has realms of talent. After an impressive cameo in 'Star Trek', Chris Hemsworth bulks and beefs up beyond belief for a meaty role. While 'Black Swan' Oscar winner Natalie Portman spreads her wings and steps into Marvel's Gwyneth Paltrow type roll perfectly as the strong female lead. Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings also make the perfect team for her but Loki is not a good ally for his brother Thor and Tom Hiddleston plays this perfectly. Thor also has some friendly, funny and fantastic support from friends led by the beautiful and talented Jamie Alexander. Even though there in smaller roles new and established favourite talents Idris Elba and Rene Russo but in strong plays to help make this film that much bigger. Still it's legendary talent Anthony Hopkins who was born for his role as Odin, hamming it up and playing it perfectly to a tee.
Graphically speaking this movie is stunning and content wise it's suitable for adults and young kings. With some introductions to other Avenger characters in cameo's and some other movie references to Marvel at this film keeps both this franchise and series going. Exciting and funny this is pure entertainment and the mix between fantasy and real world works showing that this film doesn't treat itself so seriously. From the pomp and extravagance of the fantasy world to the easy going, small-town circumstance of the real world. It's this right mix and the fun, action-packed thrill-ride of this film that will extend this avenging franchises reign, leading fans to proclaim like 'Thor' after a drink for 'ANOOOOTHEEEERR'! TIM DAVID HARVEY.