It has been nearly 50 years since Thor was originally created as a comic book hero by Marvel Comics. In what seems as a last effort to milk the comic book turn movie trend, Hollywood gives us Thor. Speaking of trends in Hollywood, Thor does not seem to skimp in the product placement department (Acura being the main offender). Having never read the comic books, I can only base my review off this film. It seems fair to assume that a film would give you the proper background for those in that position. Spoiler alert, it does not.
The film takes place in Asgard, a fantasy realm where Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is about to become King in. Thor is a chiseled god whose muscles are as large as his arrogance. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) who is Thor’s father and current King, is interrupted moments before he announces the news of a new King by an attack on Asgard by the Frost Giants.
Thor is more of the act first think later type of character, which leads him to strike an attack on the Frost Giants against his father’s wishes. Thor is not the smartest god of Asgard, but I suppose you do not have to be when your special weapon is a large hammer. Odin decides to punish Thor by banishing him from Asgard to teach him to wise up. This benefits Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who is the outspoken but mischievous brother of Thor as he is now in position to become the ruler.
Thor’s banishment sends him to a small town in New Mexico. The film does not explain as to why that location but I can only presume it is because that is where the comic books sent him. Upon being transported to New Mexico he is hit by Jane Foster’s (Natalie Portman) van. Inside the van are Foster’s crew who are essentially weather chasers that have been noticing strange patterns in the sky.
Thor’s hammer also is transported to earth by Odin who renders it unless until it is in possession of a worthy persons hands. Luckily, the hammer happens to be transported close by just a little after Thor was. However, the hammer was lodged into the earth so firmly that nobody can pull it out. In an admittedly amusing scene, many of the locals make it an event to try pulling this large mysterious hammer out of the ground. But they all fail obviously because they are not worthy enough.
Jane is enthralled with Thor but does not start out on a good note. Literally moments after he is out of the hospital where Jane caused him to be after hitting him with her vehicle, take a guess at what happens again? Yep, she hits him again with her vehicle. The film is riddled with these types of cheesy, over-the-top events perhaps aimed to unsuccessfully entertain young children.
Still somehow Jane and Thor predictably fall for one another even after Thor makes a fool of himself trying to fit in on earth. Even before Thor suddenly decides to wise up and actually start helping others out, Jane seems to be in love with him. This proves that looks are clearly the most important feature. Thanks Hollywood.
Thor eventually realizes that he can use his special powers not only for his own advantage but also to help others in need. It was hard to care too much for the main character, because of how arrogant he was for most of the film. I know the idea was to ultimately show how he has grown from boyish acts to adulthood, but viewers must first have vested interest in the character before they can root for them. I suppose this a nice twist among most other comic book characters. It seems like most often the superhero is using his powers to help others before being tempted to use for their own good.
Almost always Natalie Portman’s roles in films are done fantastically, like her Oscar winning role in Black Swan. However, Thor managed to make Natalie Portman look dull and uninspired mostly with terrible dialog. I hate to say it but even her sidekick Darcy (Kat Dennings) had a much more memorable character even though her character was completely pointless other than some random comedic relief lines now and then.
Something that stood out to me was they did not go into as much detail as they could have. We see Odin without an eye but are never told how exactly that happened. Also, how did Loki just appear in the room in New Mexico then all of a sudden leave without being questioned by anyone? Why was Thor’s recently wounded face immediately heeled when he was transported back to his realm? Why did it take his hammer to transport to earth longer than it did for Thor?
At the very least, you will get a few laughs as were thrown in to perhaps keep the film watchable. But good luck trying to decipher what was meant to be funny and what was just an awful and cliché dialog that makes you laugh.
As much as I did not enjoy Thor, I cannot help but assume that if you are very into the comic book series of it that you may like this film much more. Although, my favorite film critic Roger Ebert once said that just because you like a film it does not mean that it is a good film. So perhaps hardcore fans may only better understand what is going on than actually consider it a good film.