Tonight we checked out the Thor movie at the Bengies Drive In just up the road from us with a couple of friends. For me this was my first ever experience of a drive in, as we don’t have them in the UK, or in any of the other countries I’ve visited. Fun place, a very different way to view a movie and something to look at again once the weather really does warm up.
Out of all Marvel’s pantheon of superheroes The Mighty Thor is perhaps the hardest for people to relate to. He is after all a god, and his books seem to always get cancelled and then re-released. His one constant was his membership of the Avengers. Putting Thor in the team made him more relatable, he became something of a straight man, a seriously heroic front line heavy hitter, and later a master of dry humor.
The movie by Director Kenneth Branagh does a good job of bringing Thor down to earth, while explaining who and what he is. Using the old adage that magic is science we don’t understand yet, even the fantastic godlike nature of Asgard doesn’t feel to unearthly.
One of the things you have to remember is no movie adaptation is a perfect translation of a book or comic book. So what you have to hope for is the film keeps to the spirit and core of the work it is based on. While there are differences in the movie to the Thor books, one of them being the sudden ethnic diversity of Asgard, it doesn’t distract from the movie, because the film doesn’t make a big deal out it, one of my favorite lines was when the shield agents spot the Warriors Three and Sif and they report,”Xena, Jackie Chan, Robin Hood and a fat guy are here”.
Make no mistake this is a definitive and well put together Thor movie that pays homage to the source material, which if you consider it could of been a complete cheese fest. While I feel the movie is not Ironman; which I believe is still the most perfect comic book movie made so far, it is good solid superheroic fun. Taking the tip from Ironman that it shouldn’t take itself too seriously. The ending feels a little Donnar Superman, with the cataclysmic fight in a midwestern town.
Chris Helmsworth brings Thor to life on the screen, while he maybe a little on the small side to be Thor from the books, he brings an on screen toughness and that devil may care side of Thor into the role. To me that is enough, and we get a believable Thor out of him, and some fun light moments too. Honestly, they could of kept hitting Thor with a car and tazer him throughout the movie and I would still laugh. Anthony Hopkins chews the scenery up as Odin; his conflict scenes with Chris show what an actor he is, and its a credit to Chris that he kept up. Natalie Portman had little to really do except simper in her role as Jane Foster, but she makes a cute science nerd and isn’t lost on the screen.
Loki played by Tim Hiddleston was the most understated role in the movie, the trickster, the god of mischief puts a lot of things into action, with a wheels within wheels plan, that almost brings Thor down and gains him the throne of Asgard. Sneaky, a little snidey and perfectly done… I can only hope we see more of this actor playing Loki in future Marvel movies.
Final cool observations; Hawkeye puts in an appearance, even if he is using a compound bow, at least the character was written like him. The Warriors Three are fun and bombastic, Sif should of been a little more Xena like, she didn’t quite feel hard edged enough, and Heimdall was seriously bad ass. We also see an interesting side of SHIELD as they deal with all this new superhero weirdness, almost a casual offhandedness as the Destroyer lands in front of them.
Overall a good solid movie, a great step toward The Avengers and we got Thor that wasn’t to unearthly, whilst being unearthly. Have at thee!!!
3.5 thumbs up out of 5