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FILM REVIEW: Thor Kicks Major Asgard!

George 'El Guapo' Roush unleashes the power of his Mighty Snark on the latest Marvel Comics character to hit the big screen, THOR.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) get ready for battle. Ok, maybe just Thor.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) get ready for battle. Ok, maybe just Thor.

It's a superhero-filled world and I'm just living in it. Hollywood is not only embracing, they're practically kidnapping and force feeding the genre by making sure a superhero movie comes out once a month. Since Marvel is releasing two big tent pole movies this year in Thor and Captain America, I've had this theory that one of them was going to suck. And since Thor is pretty kickass, I guess it's Captain America that's going to be the film that ends up getting critically panned. I have no basis or reasoning for this theory, I'm just bored and home and these are the things I think about while feeding Chili Cheese Fritos to my cat.

If Online Movie Critics were Asgardians:

Drewman McWeenius of the Hitfix Realm: Guardian of the Golden Goatee, Drewman is the most well-connected of the Asgardians, using his sources to debunk rumors about Loki's sexuality. Drewman's main role in Asgard is to make sure the kitchen is stocked with his delicious smoked sausage recipes.

Todd of the Gilchrist: With his trusted loved one JapanoJen by his side, Todd of the Gilchrist ensures all Asgardians get along and treat each other well. If they do not, he will text them pictures of his cats to stop the bloodshed and start the smiles.

Devincini “Beard Lord” Faraci: If an Asgardian screws up, it is the job of The Beard Lord to make sure they know they screwed up by publicly humiliating them via the communication service called The OdinTwitter. Not one to shy from conflict, Devincini has had a long standing battle with one Robertine Stencil, a man often regarded as the janitor of Asgard because of the all the stupid shit that comes out of his mouth.

The High James of Rocchi: Regarded as too intelligent for the common god, The High James is in charge of Asgard's library and history after submitting a Qrank score higher than any of the gods combined. A polite and rather pleasant man, The High James does tend to argue with Odin quite a bit in regards to how horrible most Asgardians dress. Especially Sif, whom he calls, “An elegant whore draped in fake Nidavellir silk.”

Mr. Beaks: Not much is known of the god called Beaks. Odin calls upon him when he has questions regarding the various plays and theatrics the cultured Asgardians put on for everyone's entertainment. An asset to the arts, Beaks can confuse some with his obscure references to ancient Asgardian plays that haven't been spoken of for 500 years.

Should I finally start talking about the movie? Ok. After having defeated the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is now focused on Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his eventual rise to the throne of Asgard. But when a few Frost Giants somehow sneak into Asgard to try and retrieve the source of their power, Thor demands they invade the home of the Frost Giants to teach them a lesson. Against his father's command, Thor, his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and The Warriors Three travel to Jotunheim and start a fight they can't win. Lucky for them, Odin comes to bail them out. Thor and his piss-poor attitude get him cast out of Asgard by daddy Odin where he spends his days powerless on Earth until he learns some after-school special values baloney so he can once again pick up his hammer Mojonixon and return to Asgard.

On Earth, Thor meets cute scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), her snarky, annoying, granola looking friend Darcy (Kat Dennings) and scientist friend Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard). Although they don't believe Thor is the God of Thunder, they continue to hang out with him because he came from out of nowhere and has an amazing six-pack. They stay in the phoniest looking movie town I've ever seen constructed and share in the joys of diner food and sit on patio chairs and look up at the stars. Meanwhile, Loki has ascended to the throne as king after Odin has fallen into the Odin Sleep. Sif and The Warriors Three realize Loki is up to no good and with the help of Heimdall (Idris Elba), the gatekeeper of Bifrost Bridge and lone African-American in a city filled with godly honkys, they travel to Earth (or Midgard if you're anal) to help Thor and stop Loki.

Thor's first act sets up the world of Asgard and how Thor is a cocky, arrogant god who can actually back up how badass he is. The world of Asgard looks incredible and director Kenneth Branagh shows his strengths as a real actor's director, getting terrific performances out of his actors. (If this were a Lucas-directed film, he'd be happy if they didn't screw up the lines, no matter the delivery.) Hemsworth shows true strength in the role of Thor and he has the presence and attitude to play the God of Thunder. Hiddleston is perfect as Loki, and the two play off of each other really well. In fact, every actor in Thor did a wonderful job. I loved the scenes in Asgard and wish the film had spent more time there, because they were incredibly fascinating compared to the scenes that took place in Justconstructed Town on Earth. Especially when we have to deal with a bullshit romantic subplot between Jane and Thor.

The scenes that take place in Asgard were much more interesting compared to the scenes that took place in Justconstructed Town. What bothered me was the relationship between Thor and Jane. It felt too forced and I had a hard time believing Thor would care about this chick when he has other things to worry about. (Just goes to show you that dudes wanna get laid no matter what world they've landed on.) We get some humorous scenes like Thor smashing a coffee cup in a diner, but the film does tend to take itself pretty seriously. The stupid stuff is between Thor and Jane, though I must admit I would have enjoyed seeing him thunder pound her into next week. (Unfortunately, the film is PG-13.)

\Let me show you my hammer...

\Let me show you my hammer...

The action is pretty incredible and there are some really memorable scenes. Thor tears shit up when he confronts the Frost Giants. The way he uses Moomiznor as a weapon is so cool to watch - he throws it, swings it, smashes it on the ground and basically unleashes holy hell on everything in front of him. Sif and The Warriors Three do their part, but when Thor gets angry you really get a taste of how awesome his power is. I loved watching his fight scenes and they were really well done. When Thor tries to retrieve his hammer Mizjuniper after S.H.I.E.L.D. has surrounded it on Earth, we get some hand-to-hand combat scenes but they're pretty short. Jeremy Renner makes an appearance as Hawkeye, but all he does is stand in a gondola, point his bow, and ask what his orders are while Thor fights a soldier in the mud. That said, the mud scene should be quite enjoyable for the ladies out there who fantasize about rolling around on the ground with a beefcaked Hemsworth. But as I mentioned, the scenes on Earth seem to merely be filler. It's only later on when The Destroyer is sent to Earth by Loki that things really start to pick up and Thor realizes his destiny. If you don't know who The Destroyer is, imagine Gort from The Day The Earth Stood Still on steroids. And if you don't know who Gort is, you're an asshole and I want you to stop reading my review.



Unfortunately for me I had to watch Thor in 3D on the Paramount lot, where their projection was so dark that daytime scenes looked muddy, and I had to keep taking my glasses off. In fact, it almost ruined the film for me. There were times when I could barely see what was happening because the 3D projection was so dark. But take the glasses off and places like Asgard looked like a whole other realm. A realm covered in rainbows and candy instead of shadows and shit. I cannot stand 3D and I really wish studios would just give up on it until the projection and frame rates are up to par. (I cringe everytime I have to go to a press screening that's in 3D.) To me, and this especially rings true with animation, it's like a slap in the face to the people who worked on the film. I say this because the audience isn't seeing the movie the way it should be seen. I don't care if it was shot or converted to 3D, the experience as a whole adds nothing to a movie. There have been only two films where I thought the 3D worked – Coraline and Beowulf. For the rest, even Avatar, it was unnecessary. So I have to knock some points off of Thor because of this. See the movie in 2D if you can.

I'm happy that Thor turned out to be as good as it was. I'm glad Branagh and the 500 credited writers took the material serious and didn't make it campy because it could have easily gone there. There are some great scenes between Hiddleston and Hopkins that show how good Branagh is at directing this kind of Shakespearean material. Overall Thor is a really enjoyable film that should make fans of the comic extremely happy. Be sure to stay after the credits for a scene with S.H.I.E.L.D. that hints at what to expect in The Avengers.

In closing, I highly recommend Thor for fans of the comic and fans of action in general. The movie looks incredible, there's a lot of action, the story is well constructed and easy to follow (minus the love story crap) and I'm really looking forward to seeing what Marvel and Disney decide to do with a sequel and how Thor plays out in The Avengers. And in just a couple of months, another Marvel movie hits theaters. Will Captain America follow the serious tone of Thor or will it be a bit more light hearted? Least you won't have to wait thorever to find out.

Thor is in theaters now.

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