Thor-Movie Review

I review movies sometimes.  Just go with it.

Living in Argentina, I often don’t get to see movies for weeks or months after audiences in the States.  For some reason, Marvel comics movies tend to be the happy exception, and last night my wife and I went to see Thor.

While I love comic books, I’m more of a DC guy than a Marvel reader. I had no interest in or connection to Thor in anyway.  Frankly, I assumed it would terrible, but there was nothing else showing, and as my awesome wife says, “You can’t go too wrong with a comic book movie”.

So, with no expectations, we went to see Thor, and were promptly blown away.

The movie is mostly the origin myth/backstory for the character of Thor, dealing more with his mythological roots than his impact on Earth.  With movies like this, it’s all about the execution and level of respect the actors and director pay to the source material. If they take it and the audience seriously, there is fertile ground for excellent movie making.

I had no idea going in that the movie was directed by Kenneth Branagh, one of my favorite actors/directors.  He was an inspired choice as he brought the kind of Shakespearean gravity to the story of a rebellious prince cast out of his father’s kingdom.  Branagh seemed to instinctively understand that in the same way Shakespearean plays dealt with grand themes aimed at the masses of his day, that comics do the same in modern times. 

The movie is filled with jaw-dropping actions scenes, but the movie is not about the action. The special effects heavy set pieces prove entertaining rather than distracting because they are about the plot, rather than the plot being an excuse to blow something up every 15 minutes.  Thor’s take down of a giant beast was awesome in and of itself, but so much more so because there was a real sense of jeopardy established.

The movie was adequately acted (it seemed like Portman was having fun for once), but more than the acting, this film was about the construction and execution of the script.

I’m not going to spoil the movie for those who know nothing about Thor (like me).  But if you enjoyed the Iron Man movies, know this was done with a similar level of care.  It’s a worthy installment in the series of films leading up to the Avengers event.

Go see Thor, even if you weren’t interested.  I’m glad I did.