R’s Movie Review: Thor (2011)

Banana Boy P and I went watch “Thor” on its premiere here in the Philippines last Friday. Banana Boy certainly thought it was the next best thing after our graduation and we’ve got nothing but good things to say about it and we recommend those who haven’t watched it to see it. I’m here to give it a review though I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to give it a proper and objective one since I thought it was amazing and glorious. I’ve got a background on Norse mythology and I barely know the canon story of Marvel’s Thor, so does my boyfriend, but we came out saying we both enjoyed it and loved it immensely.

There were a lot of speculations coming from the skeptics, Marvel experts and Marvel noobs regarding how the movie will go. But I have to give credit for the director Kenneth Branagh for putting just the right amount of everything in the film. I didn’t expect to hear the audience cracking up and giggling at some intervals in the movie, which goes to show that the humor was approved—nothing to corny or trying-hard and a good break from the kick-assery of the action sequences and darker tones in the plot line.

Since this is a movie review, I’ll be nice to avoid any accidental spoilers by providing a cut. Please proceed at your own risk.

Let’s start with the setting. The plot of movie is set in the same Marvel universe as The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and the upcoming Captain America movie (you should listen to the characters—they’re giving hints on the closely interrelated network of superheroes). Banana Boy P and I noticed that Thor’s storyline follows after where the Iron Man 2 movie left off (post sequence) as part of the plot development and also giving it a sense of continuity.

The plot revolves around 2 distinct stories. The far off kingdom of Asgard is under threat because of Thor’s jealous and conniving brother Loki who sought out the Frost Giants to wage war against their kingdom and at the same time plotting to take over the throne as his father Odin, the All Father God of Thunder, falls into the Odinsleep, unable to wake until he’s recovered—which is a more fantastical type of story telling. Then the storyline goes to Thor’s situation in Earth where he was cast out by Odin because of his arrogance and insatiable want for blind violence for war and the throne. He was stripped of his powers and needed to prove his worth to return to Asgard and claim the throne. Thor’s story on Earth involves a lot of elements to set up for the subplot of SHIELD and the Avengers.

ASGARD WAS BREATHTAKING. I had to all caps that; words don’t do justice for its dazzling visuals. I have to commend the people responsible for Asgard’s look. It wasn’t overdone that it looked to fake to be real—from the shiny gold and silver of it’s magnificent towering buildings to the interiors of the chambers and even the glimpse of the greenery of the kingdom (the nebula skies, the fog, the constellations), it was well done.  I loved the gates that Heimdall guards and the short sequence where we learn where to find Asgard beyond Earth and the arrangement of the cluster of stars to make it look like the branches of Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life.

My favorite part was seeing the armor of the characters. The colors are saturated giving them a stark distinction from one to the other, most notably Loki’s and Thor’s. I loved the stark olive green of Loki’s overall armor with the cold glint of silver to Thor’s predominantly red one.

Let’s not forget the Bifrost Bridge or the ‘rainbow road’. It’s a vast glass like bridge structure connecting the kingdom of Asgard to its gates and various colors shoot along it and they seemingly pulsate and light up.

I won’t go over the details of the plot but let me just delve in the characters.  I love Anthony Hopkins and I loved him more playing Odin, the All Father and his role suits him very well. He was able to show Odin as the aging wise king at the same time as a classic father who’s stricter but loved and respected and a bit unforgiving for a son that messed up. He looked dashing in that armor, I just have to emphasize that. Natalie Portman is one of my favorite actresses but she was unused in this movie, well, I guess since her character is only a supporting role and it didn’t provide room for her character development. Very flat but she was still adorable and beautiful.

The notable thing about this movie is how the main characters shine and I love the fact it’s the kind of movie that relies less on the effects but on the excellent performances of the actors especially Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Tom Hiddleston as Loki (*sigh*). Yup, sila ang nagdala ng buong film. The tale of warring brothers is a classic plot line and the two actors played it well.  I wasn’t sure about these two in the beginning but I guess the director knew how to bring out his actors’ best once the story gets under way and they were both wonderful in their own way.

Chris got everything on the mark and he’s like a perfect discovery for this role and hit the personality and emotional volatility of Thor right off the mark. He was able to bring out the good side of Thor in that aggressive wall his character has, he’s also funny and naturally dashing which he carried out well in the character development of movie. I’d like to see him expand his career and potential in other challenging roles.

While everyone was in awe of Thor, I had my eyes on Loki the entire time. The first time he first appeared, all I could think off was that “where have you been hiding Tom Hiddleston?!” and it didn’t help that he was British. He’s such a good actor and a good choice for Loki’s role. Hiddleston made the villain Loki stand out:  he put enough charm and a smidgen of malice and evil to Loki and he came off as genuine to me at the same time. He was able to transmit Loki’s emotions all throughout the movie. He gave me the good kind of shivers and he made it difficult not to feel sympathetic for him. Besides, I’m so into the cold, hungry and lean looking villains with the conniving look in the eyes and the playful smirk of deceit, arrogance and malice. Jeezus, Tom Hiddleston please, he’s so distracting!

OVERALL, watch Thor, please? It did a good job in kicking off the summer as a blockbuster hit. It’s a good watch and makes for some great entertainment. And STAY IN THE AFTER CREDITS. PLEASE! It’s got references for what’s to come in the Captain America movie and The Avengers *excited*. It’s obvious that they’re definitely gearing up for the upcoming 2 movies because they’ve shown Hawkeseye and  Nick Fury already!

Let me fawn over Tom Hiddleston.

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