Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Natalie Portman as Jane Foster
Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Anthony Hopkins as Odin
Stellan Skarsgard as Erik Selvig
Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis
Idris Elba as Heimdall
I saw Thor in digital 3D a few days ago. Given the cast, I was expecting a solidly entertaining film. I was sorely disappointed.
The main problem here is that Thor is an entirely one-dimensional character. He roars, swears and swings around a hammer. That’s all he ever does. Odin punishes Thor for his arrogance and strips him of his powers until he learns humility. And so you’d expect some sequences showing Thor making mistakes, learning lessons and so on. We get none. Near the 75% mark, for some reason, Thor suddenly decides to sacrifice himself to save the lives of his friends. This is a strange development, because nothing has happened to give us clues as to why Thor would suddenly drop character and decide to be a hero.
I have never liked 3D, and this movie is a prime example of why. I can’t help but imagine how much brighter and more effective the effects would have been if they were shot in IMAX 2D. The worst part of the 3D would have to be how it’s used in Jotunheim. As you can imagine, the home of the Frost Giants is covered in…..well, frost. The 3D darkens an already dull image, and it’s quite a challenge to figure out what’s going on in the Jotunheim scenes.
Chris Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins in “Thor”
Coming to the good points, I can only think of Anthony Hopkins. He embodies Odin to the hilt, but it’s a limited role. Likewise for Natalie Portman and Stellan Skarsgard; two good actors in limited roles. Idris Elba was very impressive as Heimdall. But the shoddy screenplay, filled with ridiculous lines, lets them down. It’s never properly explained why Loki hates Thor. A better film would provide a clear back story, some evidence of Loki’s villainy. How do we know Loki’s the bad guy? Sif just blurts out “Loki’s always been jealous of Thor!”. There you have it, Loki’s our villain.
A superhero film is only as good as its villain. The last decade has seen some great characters in this genre: Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2, Scarecrow in Batman Begins, The Joker in The Dark Knight, and Obadiah Stane in Iron Man. Now those guys were villains. Next to them, Loki is dull as ditchwater. It’s also never properly explained why Thor would fall for Jane Foster in the first place. He’s a god, after all, and probably meets far more interesting people during his lunch hour. Their only interaction is when she hits him with her truck (twice) and when he draws a tree in her notebook. Hardly basis for a romance.
RATING (OUT OF 5):