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The epic adventure Thor spans the Marvel universe from present-day Earth to the cosmic realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. As a result, Thor is banished to Earth where he is forced to live among humans. When the most dangerous villain of his world sends its darkest forces to invade Earth, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero.
Of all the folks in long underwear to be tapped for superhero films, Thor would seem to be the most problematic to properly pull off. (Hypothetical Hollywood conversation: "A guy in a tricked-out, easily merchandisable metal suit? Great! An Asgardian God of Thunder who says stuff like thee and thou? Um, is Moon Knight available?") Thankfully, the resulting film does its source material rather proud, via a committed cast and an approach that doesn't shy away from the over-the-top superheroics. When you're dealing with a flying guy wielding a huge hammer, gritty realism can be overrated, really. Blending elements from the celebrated comic arcs by Walter Simonson and J. Michael Straczynski, the story follows the headstrong Thunder God (Chris Hemsworth) as he is banished to Earth and stripped of his powers by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) after inadvertently starting a war with a planet of ticked-off Frost Giants. As his traitorous brother Loki (the terrific Tom Hiddleston) schemes in the wings, Thor must redeem himself and save the universe, with the aid of a beautiful scientist (Natalie Portman). Although director Kenneth Branagh certainly doesn't skimp on the in-jokes and fan-pleasing continuity references (be prepared to stick around after the credits, Marvel fans), his film distinguishes itself by adopting a larger-than-life cosmic Shakespearean air that sets itself apart from both the cerebral, grounded style made fashionable by The Dark Knight and the loose-limbed Rat Packish vibe of the Iron Man series. Glorying in the absolute unreality of its premise, Branagh's film is a swooping, Jack Kirby-inspired saga that brings the big-budget grins on a consistent basis, as well as tying in with the superhero battle royale The Avengers. --Andrew Wright
- 4 Deleted Scenes with optional commentary
- Road to the Avengers
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Top Customer Reviews
Sir Anthony Hopkins makes a surly, strong-willed and imposing kingly figure as Odin, but then again this guy's pretty awesome in most anything he does. Rene Russo is kept mostly to the sidelines as Thor's ever-worrying mother. With a hard-headed, blowhard war-monger AND a slick, devilishly-deceptive weasel for sons, who can blame her? Idris Elba proves to be a solid if unconventional choice as Bifrost guardian, Heimdall. The Warriors Three are all well-cast and a lot of fun; it's too bad they didn't have more to do. The love interest Jane Foster has been changed quite a bit from the comic origins, but it's more to modernize her than anything else. She was a typical 60's hand-wringing female in the comics, which certainly wouldn't sit very well with today's female audiences. I loved Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig, Foster's mentor & confidant. He helped make the film far better than it otherwise would have been. But it's Tom Hiddleston who steals the whole show as Thor's deliciously devious half-brother, Loki: God of Mischief. Hiddleston makes watching the entire movie worthwhile, ramping everything up another notch or two in every scene he's in.
The visuals rock! Asgard looks grand and the Rainbow Bridge shimmers like I always imagined it would in live action. The action bits are swell and Thor really gets to strut his stuff at the film's climax. Thor's hammer, Mjölnir, looks properly cool and has all the powers it should. His costume isn't too far removed from what he sports in the comics. In fact, my only real bitch is the beyond-stupid decision to ditch Thor's helmet. It's an iconic and import piece of his wardrobe. There's just no excuse. It's inclusion during the beginning of the coronation ceremony is a nice nod but then, inexplicably, we never see it again! Sorry folks, but if I'm going into battle against a nigh-indestructible opponent like The Destroyer, I'd definitely want to have my noggin protected! WTF, Marvel??? The town in the middle of nowhere seemed rather contrived too, while I'm at it, but whatever. Overall, I enjoyed THOR and found it to be a fun time-waster and another solid entry in Marvel's ever-expanding roster of cross-referencing, tightly inter-connected superhero films. Video & audio for this DVD were excellent and the bonus features were nice, if a little thin. I bought my DVD used thru Amazon, so it was a real bargain. 4 STARS.
Tom Hiddleston is the perfect Loki. In fact, everyone is quite good except one : Anthony Hopkins as Odin. The Odin I remember was a great, large man; elderly, but still easily the baddest ass in any room he stood. He could bundle up whole armies in a ball of energy and send them so far into the outer darkness Q couldn't find them. Stan Lee elevated Odin to nearly Divine status. He could access the power of the Universe like no other. Sir Anthony, a bit short and slight, looks more like an old Uncle waiting for the Big Man's return. James Cromwell would have been my choice for Odin. A tall man, the right age, a strong voice and a fine actor.
And what is this nonsense about their no longer being the immortal gods of legend? That was the greatest concept in the original comics, this idea of eternal beings charged with the protection of many realms, including us. Then what's the point of the Norse motif? What are they then, Norse aliens?
The production design is also a disappointment. Asgard looks like The Emerald City, only less-than, under new ownership, now painted gold, and nothing like Kirby's Asgard. Kirby had a way with other-worldly architecture like nobody else. This Asgard hasn't enough of the real splendor I would expect from the home of gods. But then they're not the gods any more.
Well, I won't deduct stars because they didn't call me and ask my opinion. Regardless of all of my complaints,Thor is a hoot - well done, great effects and a good story. But if you've read the old comics, you might want to keep your expectations on the low side.
I wasn't sure what Asgard might look like in the live film compared to Kirby's cosmic splendors of the kingdom, but I did like the design and effects for the city of Asgard, so it worked for me. Btw, I also really loved the costumes. As for the script, I liked it although Odin's last remarks weren't anything that was illuminating or surprising.
On the actresses and actors: some of the quality of acting isn't up to what it should be. However, I really enjoyed Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston as Thor and Loki and thought they were both good choices for their parts. I was also delighted to see the Warriors Three in the film. However, I wasn't as happy about the lack of content and development for their characters: Hogan (Tadanobu Asano) really has nothing to say or talk about, Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) is not quite as weighty and as buffoonish as the rolling comic mass from the comic books (but that's okay), and Fandral (Joshua Dallas) doesn't have enough time or witty dialogue to bring forth his genuine swashbuckling mirth. The selection of those three, however, still made me happy that these characters were in the film and wish there were more time spent developing/deepening their personalities. I really liked Jaimie Alexander's Sif (hubba-hubba), but again we hardly get a chance to spend much time with them.
Odin (Anthony Hopkins) voice seemed too soft and mild for me. I always imagined Odin with a more bombastic or booming voice. Ah well.
Natalie Portman wasn't very interesting as Jane Foster -- but, as I recall it, Jane Foster in the comic book wasn't very interesting either. The other actor (Stellan Skarsgård) and actress (Kat Dennings) seem to be in it only for the ride, and so they had very little drama or content to grasp in order to act out anything interesting in any manner or form.
I gave the film three-out-of-five stars. I'm hoping in the next Thor movie we'll see more content and development from the side characters and not just only the leads