I’ve decided to go back and watch a bunch of movies based on comic books. No real reason, just something I thought would be fun. This time it was the 2011 movie Thor.
IMDb Rating: 7/10
Rotten Tomatoes critics: 77%
Rotten Tomatoes audience: 76%
My Rating: 7/10
When this first came out, I remember reading an interview (I couldn’t find the one I read, but this one is similar) with the director, Kenneth Branaugh, where he said that he chose to direct the movie because the story had a very Shakespearean feel to it. I get that, the story is one that’s really focused on two brothers vying for their father’s attention. One thing that’s really nice about this movie, and makes the characters more believable, is that Thor and Loki obviously care deeply for each other. The conflict between them isn’t so much about hatred or bitterness, it’s about personalities and methods. Loki seeks to rule because he doesn’t trust Thor’s personality. He considers him to be too arrogant and impulsive. Thor battles Loki because he doesn’t like his methods of deception and manipulation. Throughout it all, however, there’s a sense of love between the two.
Thor is a little different from the other origin films from Marvel, in that it’s not about how Thor gets his powers, it’s about how he becomes involved with Earth. It’s also the first Marvel movie that takes the action away from our planet and into the rest of the galaxy. In that way, it’s probably one of the more important films in the universe, if not necessarily one of the better movies.
I contend that one reason the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been so successful is that their movies have fantastic casting. This movie, with one exception, is the same. Chris Hemsworth, relatively unknown before this role, is an excellent Thor. Anthony Hopkins is great as Odin, and Tom Hiddleston is absolutely brilliant as Loki. Even in the minor roles, the acting is great. Stellan Skarsgård, Clark Gregg, Kat Dennings, and Idris Elba are excellent in their roles, occasionally stealing scenes away from the main characters. The exception to this great casting is Natalie Portman. She’s just okay, and it may be that I just didn’t like how her character was written, but she really disappointed me in this movie and is one of the reasons why I didn’t rate the film higher.
I was a little disappointed in the humor in the movie. I remember thinking that some of the scenes and lines were really funny when I first saw it. When rewatching, however, they lost their punch. I don’t know if it’s because I knew what was coming, or if it was because the jokes weren’t strong enough for repetition. The movie’s still fun, but I didn’t actually laugh like I did the first time.
The visual effect in the movie are great, as would be expected of a summer blockbuster. The costumes are fantastic, and the Earth-based settings are elegantly simple. There were a couple of things that I noticed this time around, that I didn’t pay attention to the first time I saw the film. First, the cinematography is beautiful. The transitions between the different realms does a great job of highlighting what makes the realm unique. Also, I really liked the music. It stayed nicely in the background for the most part, but when it swelled, it became noticeable without being distracting.
I liked the movie a lot. My last few comic book movies have been really bad, and I needed to watch a good one.