471 of 540 people found the following review helpful
Epic, heroic fantasy.,
This review is from: Thor [DVD] (DVD)
Thor is Marvel's best superhero movie yet. It is even better than the first Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk films. It is also the most visually stunning of any Marvel film, with gorgeous fantasy settings, great costumes, and spectacular special effects.
In the same way as Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight worked just as well as a crime drama as a superhero movie, Thor works just as well as a standalone fantasy film. Even if I had not known that I was watching a comic book movie, I would have been just as happy with the story. In fact, I would say that you don't actually need to be familiar with the characters or the comic mythology to enjoy the film.
The story is set half in Asgard, the realm of the gods, and half in our world, Earth. Thor, the son of the king of Asgard, the wise Odin, is a proud and arrogant king-in-waiting. He makes a foolish mistake that brings his world to the brink of war and his father exiles him to our world as punishment, and maybe to teach him how to be a better man. On Earth, Thor makes some new friends and even begins to fall in love with a pretty scientist. Meanwhile, in Asgard, his brother Loki begins to put into motion a plot that may threaten Thor's home.
Two things about the film really stood out to me. The first is the absolutely beautiful settings and solid world-building in the movie. Asgard looks amazing, with settings such as the Rainbow Bridge, a crystal structure with colored lights running through it, spanning a sea that flows into a massive waterfall, cascading down into the open cosmos. Also, great costuming really makes the gods stand out, and adds to the film's epic feel. The second thing was the character of Loki, the film's antagonist. Watching the trailers, I expected a greasy, honorless villain (someone like Wormtongue from the Lord of the Rings). Instead I got the story of a hero, told in reverse. Loki's story mirrors his brother Thor's, but where Thor starts out as an arrogant royal brat and through his time on Earth comes to realize what it means to be a hero, Loki begins the story as a mischievous but honorable man, and over the course of the film turns into a really bad guy. As Thor rises, he falls. And when his final plan is revealed at the end of the film, it totally fits his personality and everything you know about him. In other superhero films, we're used to seeing the bad guy go on some kind of mindless rampage at the end of the film. We saw it in The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, the Spider Man movies, the Fantastic Four...but not here. Loki acts like a man with a purpose. Actually he has two purposes, both very personal to him. One is to do commit a terrible act of destruction, partly out of self-loathing and partly out of a twisted sense of honor toward his father. And the other is simply to beat his brother, proving himself Thor's equal. He is easily the deepest villain of any of the Marvel films so far.
The film is directed by Shakespearean actor Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart!), who handles the epic material perfectly. More than any Marvel film so far, this one focuses on the hero's journey. Even more than a comic book movie, this is a fantasy film about a hero. Expect father-son drama, palace intrigue in the realm of the gods, and an epic confrontation between two brothers who have been become very different people over the course of the story. There is also plenty of humor, with a few real laugh-out-loud moments. And there is a very sweet, almost cute romance woven into the story. It carries an innocent, young-love kind of feeling. It also takes the two characters, one a god more concerned with war and glory, the other a scientist more concerned with solving the mysteries of the universe, and brings them down to earth in their budding love for one another.
I would recommend Thor to any lover of fantasy films, as well as any fans of comic book movies such as Marvel's Avengers lineup. It is solid fantasy fun with a strong sense of the epic and the heroic. And when you see Thor finally wield his hammer and summon the lightning, you'll want to stand up and cheer.
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Showing 1-10 of 26 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 15, 2011 7:17:50 AM PDT
Posted on Jun 15, 2011 1:36:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 15, 2011 1:36:34 PM PDT
Edward F. Hudaverdi says:
So tell me -- if all you say is true, why did you give it only 4 stars?
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2011 5:10:55 AM PDT
Actually, there are a lot of things about the movie that rate 5 stars. The place where it ultimately fell short was that Thor's transformation from arrogant thug to full-blown hero seemed rushed. This includes his romantic subplot, which I felt never got fully fleshed out. Maybe the movie just needed twenty more minutes to show Thor becoming the person he turns into by the end of the film. Of course, there would be problems with doing it that way too: the audience would have to sit through twenty minutes more of a de-powered Thor, and he already seems to spend the bulk of the movie stripped of his abilities (which is perfectly fine by me as long as the story is good). Still, 4 stars is a good movie. I liked it a lot, and hope that Branagh comes back to give us a sequel. And if the post-credits scene is any indication, I really look forward to seeing a certain someone take on the Avengers in the upcoming film!
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2011 8:22:58 AM PDT
Edward F. Hudaverdi says:
Thanks for taking the time to ex[;ain your point of view. It makes sense!
Posted on Jun 25, 2011 8:44:32 AM PDT
I'm with you! This superhero movie is awesome!
Posted on Jun 30, 2011 12:40:44 PM PDT
A. ANDERSON says:
I agree, good movie... better than the trailers showed... luckily I went with an open mind. Thoroughly enjoyed it but I have to disagree with you about "best Marvel movie ever". I think Spider-Man (THE FIRST ONE) was the best. If you also grew up with comics as I did, Spider-Man was true to the original comic book.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2011 5:15:27 AM PDT
You are absolutely right. I should have been more specific when I mentioned Marvel Studios best movie. I mean that Thor is their best independent film yet. Spider-Man, Blade, and the awesome X-Men: First Class are all co-produced with other production companies. The current Avengers lineup are entirely, independently Marvel Studios films. I don't actually believe Thor is better than the first Spider-Man, but I really do think it was better than Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk (both movies that I like a lot). Here's hoping that Captain America and the Avengers are even better! (Of the three superhero films I've seen this Summer so far, I think X-Men: First Class is the best, followed by Thor, followed (distantly) by The Green Lantern (which is a fun movie, but I didn't feel like it tried to do anything special).
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2011 9:04:17 AM PDT
J. Coy says:
This ranks as one of the best fantasy movies I have ever seen. I would have liked for the romance subplot to have been a little deeper and for them to have had a HFN ending. I kind of felt cheated with the subplot, but I still think this is a fantastic movie, one I could watch again and again.
Posted on Jul 25, 2011 5:22:18 PM PDT
I liked the film about halfway. I felt all the Asgard scenes were awesome, but once the movie took me to Earth, I couldn't have been more bored. Thor's appeal, to me at least, was that he's like Superman level strong, so seeing him powerless on Earth for like an HOUR was quite boring to me. Also, I felt all the plotlines revolving around Earth were boring. The romance, like some said, was very thin, and even his redemption was thin. Imo, the entire film should've taken place in Asgard and centered around the Thor/Loki/Odin relationship, with him only arriving at the END of the film on Earth, ready for the events in the Avengers films. It just felt like every Earth scene in that movie was unnecessary and boring.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2011 4:36:23 AM PDT
zombie phreak says:
Dumb question, what is HFN?