Thor, the new Marvel summer action flick, starring Chris Hemsworth (Star Trek) as the super hero/Norse god, Natalie Portman (this year’s busiest woman in Hollywood) as his love interest, and Anthony Hopkins and Rene Russo as his parents, had a boring plot that could not keep up with its action components.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the film’s special effects were spectacular and breathtaking – from the depiction of Asgard, the golden soaring city where Thor and his super-hero kind live, to the ‘rainbow’ bridge that reaches into space and connects the nine realms. But the story line was so well worn, and predictable, that it seemed antiquated and clunky besides its bright and shiny CGI environs.
Sir Anthony Hopkins as Odin was regal; Rene Russo was a surprising-in-a-good way choice for Frigga, Thor and Loki’s mother, who was fierce and tender at the same time. The film had plenty of whiz-bang action sequences, cars exploding, hot, shooting flames, planets spinning, ice crystals forming…..but the soul of the film seemed lacking, and the title role had little depth.
The bright spots were the scenes between Thor and Jane Foster, the physicist played by Natalie Portman, who is almost immediately smitten with the large, muscular stranger who literally falls from the sky while she is tracking an astrological phenomenon in the desert.
Those early fish-out-of-water (or god in the Land of Mortals) scenes were fun and interesting with good dialogue (as when Foster’s sidekick intern says: “hey, your homeless guy is really cut.”)
Unfortunately that type of smart and snarky dialogue was few and far between. Instead there were ponderous speeches, muscular bellowing and little intrigue or interest in a plot that took too long to get to the main points, and offered up reveals that were unsurprising.
That being said, as an action flick, it will sustain fans of that genre, despite its slow pacing and lack of salient plot.
Three out of five stars, mostly for the jaw-dropping special effects. Rated PG 13 – safe for all family members who can tolerate loud special effects. Best bet for action fans, and fans of this particular comic, who will mostly likely be highly offended by this whole review. Apologies to Thor fans in advance; this reviewer usually likes a good action movie, looks forward to the next Batman incarnation and adores the Hellboy series. Let the arrows fly.
Thor is playing in local Connecticut theatres now. You can catch it at the Bowtie Cinemas in Trumbull, as well as at the Fairfield Cinemas at Bullard Square.
Other film reviews you may enjoy:
Last Night– playing in limited release in theatres now, this film stars Kiera Knightly and Sam Worthington. A great flick.
The King’s Speech- outstanding performances by Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham-Carter make this unusual, but powerful film, well worth seeing. I predicted that it had a high probability to sweep the Oscars, with Firth a shoe-in for Best Actor. It was gratifying to see him win it.
The Black Swan- Natalie Portman won the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Actress in her performance in this film and she deserved it.
Winter’s Bone- an astonishing performance by Jennifer Lawrence, for which she has received an Academy award nomination. Lawrence is set to star in The Hunger Game films.
Tangled- great Disney flick, full of fun and action; good for the whole family. Available for rental at your local Connecticut Redbox.
The Infidel – a hilarious offering from last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, available now for rental or instant download on Netflix.
Win Win – Giamatti is wonderful in this film, now available on DVD.
Never Say Never – Justin Bieber, his rise to teen stardom and his dedicated fans. An interesting documentary and concert flick, fun and entertaining.
Love & Other Drugs- best for older teens and adults. Rated R for a reason. Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal are naked for most of the film.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- a real treat for HP fans