Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday's Flick Picks

New Release - Thor (2011)

Marvel movie number whatever it is right now is the second big film of the summer. I only say that because Fast 5 has proven itself to be the first. Even though it is still officially Spring, the mega-blockbusters are beginning to roll themselves into theaters. Hopefully so that many moviegoers will roll green-colored- paper out of their wallets and roll their butts into the seats. Thor is one of many links on the path towards Marvel’s eventual Avengers destination. The next link on this road will be Captain America, which just might turn out to better than this step.

Chris Hemsworth takes on the role of the God of Thunder and the heir to Odin’s, the king of Asgard, (Anthony Hopkins) throne. From the beginning of the film, the audience can sense the jealousy that is pulsating from Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thor’s younger brother. When the day finally arrives for him to realize his destiny as King, the eldest prince proves that he truly isn’t ready. He carries himself with a brash and recklessness of a warrior but not a leader. After there is a breach in security by the Frost Giants, enemies to Odin and the people of Asgard, Thor instantly wishes to declare war upon them. Not even the strict forbiddance of this by his father deters the eventual hero from paying the race of giants a visit.

Thor enlists the help of his closest friends and allies to join him on the journey and without surprise nearly gets them killed. For this defiance, King Odin banishes his son, along with his legendary hammer, to the realm of none other than good ‘ol Earth. Here he meets, more like is nearly critically injured by her car, a mortal named Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Is it me or has she been in absolutely every movie this year? After he discovers that his hammer has been confiscated by S.H.I.E.L.D., he sets out to retrieve it. Back home, after King Odin has fallen ill, Loki replaces him as king and attempts to instill his own devious plans. He wants to rule over Asgard and make sure that his brother remains banished.

Before getting into what I disliked about the film, I’ll talk about what I enjoyed. The first half hour takes place in the other realm, within Asgard. There’s an action scene that pits Thor and his squad of warriors against the Frost Giants, most of whom are CGI-creations. The special effects that were used to make this scene were great. Crisp filming and detailed character depictions made for a very engaging fight scene. When it finally shifted back to puny Earth, I thought to myself how the movie could have possibly taken place in its entirety in Asgard and been great. But that wouldn’t exactly follow the story of Thor and set things up for The Avengers, would it?

I kind of hate to say it but after that, it kind of slid downhill for me. There were many portions that progressed the movie rather slowly, including the mini-romance between our hero and Natalie Portman. Someone should tell Mila Kunis & Ashton Kutcher that their sex buddy is getting wooed by a God. Until he realizes that his home world is in jeopardy, Thor is somewhat of a jerk. Demanding things and talking down to everyone, you can tell why his father banished him. But watching him trying to interact with mere humans does provide some humor. Of course there’s the shirtless shot for the ladies and the glimpse of a future Marvel hero who is currently working for S.H.I.E.L.D for the comic fans.

Superhero flicks are never known for their acting quality so I wasn’t extremely surprised by the lack of superb attempts in this film. Even Oscar winner Hopkins and veteran Rene Russo who played Thor’s mother couldn’t save the movie from that. Also, there wasn’t much action. It was pretty much whatever you saw in the trailers plus the “epic” end-fight which all hero movies have that contained all of the action scenes. Although Loki is helmed as Thor’s main antagonist throughout the comics and the film, I sort of saw where his character was coming from. He was possibly the wisest one after his father but no one wanted to take him seriously. I think that would push anyone to turn evil, don’t you? That’s how major corporations come tumbling down and tragic school shootings come about.

Overall, I think Thor would be a good, fun movie to take the kids to see. I’m not quite sure if die-hard comic fans would agree but how many times has Hollywood gotten these kinds of adaptations correct. Even with them being produced by Marvel Studios themselves. The God of Thunder may have possibly proved to be the God of a mild but relaxing rainstorm. I personally would claim X2: X-Men United, Spider-Man 2, and Iron Man as the best that Marvel has put out thus far. I give Thor “3.5 after-the-credit-waits only to be disappointed out of 5”.

“Do you want me to take him down or would you rather send in more guys for him to beat up?”