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    Thor (Movie Review)

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    Paeter
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    Thor (Movie Review)

    Post  Paeter on May 7th 2011, 5:44 pm

    I’m a huge comic book fan, though I mostly stick to DC characters. Thor is one of the most well-known Marvel Comics characters, and also one of the most powerful. So I was curious from the beginning how they planned to bring him to the big screen.

    My exposure to Thor has been intermittent, with the exception of Marvel’s “Ultimate” line of comics, in which I followed Thor along with The Avengers. Unlike other superheroes, who only take inspiration from the gods of ancient myth, Thor is an actual adaptation of Norse mythology into the comic book world. Although never before has that adaptation been cooler or more approachable visually and conceptually.

    The premise is that a human-like alien race called The Asgardians live on a distant planet where they wage war with other humanoid races, empowered by amazing technology that by our standards appears to be magic. The Asgardians age very slowly and gave ancient earthlings the impression (intentionally or not) that they were gods.

    Now, the arrogant Thor, son of king Odin, has been cast out of Asgard to earth for his reckless actions that threaten Asgard with war. Allegiances become divided among the elite friends and royal family members of the throne, and the conflict plays out, not in court politics, but massive epic fantasy brawls, both on earth and other worlds.

    This movie has lots of goodies and subtle nods that comic fans will appreciate, but it’s also very approachable as a fantasy movie for general audiences. Although the costumes make people look a bit like plastic action figures, the action and effects are great and they are held together by a solid story about family, humility and reconciliation.

    The cast did a good, though not fantastic job engaging me. Chris Hemsworth is a great Thor, though he lacked that extra bit of charisma that would have sold his arrogance more strongly. Natalie Portman is a fine leading lady, with brief moments of charm that almost lift her character out of “token love interest” status. Anthony Hopkins comes across surprisingly strong as Odin, despite his advancing years.

    A major part of the story involves Thor losing his powers for about 40 minutes of the movie. Personally, I hate superhero stories that take away the hero's powers for a significant length of time. I read comics and watch superhero flicks so that I can see those amazing powers in action! But every superhero on screen has a common weakness: Budget. And I can only assume that played a major role in crafting this plot from day one.

    Having said that, this story is carried well by its “non-super” elements, even during those 40 minutes of impotence. (And not everyone loses their powers, so there's still great action and visual effects to be had throughout the movie.) The rift between father and son and the rivalry between brothers serves well as the motivating conflict, and I genuinely cared about whether or not Thor and Odin would be able to repair their relationship.

    Along with these great themes, there are a few other tidbits that might be worth talking about. The suggestion that God or “gods” might be aliens with advanced technology has been around for awhile. This movie doesn't seem interested in making that claim universal to all religions, but the concept still present and may trigger some pondering. Odin also keeps a dark truth from one of his sons out of a desire to “protect him”. But burying the truth does more harm than good in the end. (A wise principle to remember.)

    Still, anything worth pondering or discussing from this movie will likely need to be pulled out with some effort. The central conflict (humility/reconciliation) is a good one, but isn't expressed with any complexity that requires deeper though after the credits roll.

    This is a great genre flick with heart that will likely excite comics fans in big ways and treat general audiences to a creative and cool fantasy adventure!

    Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence.

    Quality: 9.0/10

    Relevance: 7.0/10


    For information about my scoring system, visit- spiritblade.net/reviewscores

    Or listen to this review this weekend at- spiritblade.net/podcast


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    Re: Thor (Movie Review)

    Post  Guest on June 10th 2011, 2:11 am

    I wondered if that de-powered section of the movie would drive you crazy! It really is quite lengthy, with a nice tease at the mid-way point (will he make it to the hammer!? was the wrong question Smile ).

    It could have been worse. He could have been turned into a frog at some point, and followed it up by becoming Thor, the Frog of Thunder! Shocked Suspect Twisted Evil Cool

    Alternatively, someone's nose could be gushing blood... No

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    Re: Thor (Movie Review)

    Post  mindspike on June 10th 2011, 10:26 am

    A Pet Avengers reference?
    Really?
    You are a bad person. Rolling Eyes

    Next thing you know they'll have alien horse people picking up the hammer and gaining the power of Thor....


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    Re: Thor (Movie Review)

    Post  Paeter on June 10th 2011, 5:21 pm

    mindspike wrote:A Pet Avengers reference?
    Really?
    You are a bad person. Rolling Eyes

    Next thing you know they'll have alien horse people picking up the hammer and gaining the power of Thor....

    Is that what was up with that "something-something" Bill character? Weird.

    And I think the Batman Returns reference makes up for the Pet Avengers reference. Always one of my favorite lines, Kris. Thank you.


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    Re: Thor (Movie Review)

    Post  mindspike on June 11th 2011, 11:55 am

    My daughter loves the Pet Avengers...

    Beta Ray Bill was a strangely popular departure from the traditional take on Thor, but he made a welcome appearance in the animated "Planet Hulk".

    Hey, at least he doesn't wear blue and yellow spandex. Suspect


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    Re: Thor (Movie Review)

    Post  Paeter on June 13th 2011, 8:22 pm

    mindspike wrote:

    Hey, at least he doesn't wear blue and yellow spandex. Suspect

    I will not stand for anti-mutant racism on these boards. Wink


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