What’s It About?
What We Thought:
Jess: Thor was…. fine. That’s the best word I can use to describe it. I was in no way astonished but I was entertained enough to not mind seeing it in theaters. If I was going to watch it at all I’d rather it be on the big screen to be able to appreciate the special effects. The movie was fun and did manage to get me more interested in the story of Thor than the trailer accomplished. It seems to be more of a means to an end, with that end being the Avengers movie slated to come out next year. This movie was required in order to flesh out that cast and build up the back story for the Thor character. This movie was at least able to include some references to the other Avengers movies in a less corny way than in Iron Man 2.
The plus side was that Chris Hemsworth was enjoyable in his role, although nowhere near the charm of Robert Downey Jr (but really, would that ever be a fair fight?). Natalie Portman’s role was a double-edged sword for me. On one hand she played a highly intelligent scientist which is a strong female role, but on the other hand she somehow can melt at the sight of a burly, blond-bearded man and lose all senses. Their romance is hardly developed other than her attraction to him, but I suppose that’s how most movies go. As one of the two big fans of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, I really like Kat Dennings and she was a source of humor in this movie, and brought out a lighter side.
Overall, I just felt that this movie was good enough but missing plenty. It could have used a solid extra half hour to flesh out the story on Earth, or maybe just cut down the sometimes tedious action scenes that I felt went a little too long at times. Like I said, it was fine.
Nick: When I see movies I like to see them in their best possible format. I love the highest quality audio and the best image resolution possible. It’s one of the many reasons I’m such a strong supporter of Blu-Ray and IMAX. But, unfortunately, I’m going to recommend up front that you NOT see THOR in IMAX 3D. Granted, I love IMAX, and 3D, when used properly, can be great. But THOR is already a powerhouse of special effects and wide ranges of color, and trying to process that while under the spell of IMAX 3D is almost too intense. So be wary when deciding what format to see it in.
That being said, THOR is a fantastical explosion of CGI and solid performances that acts as more of a hype film than stand alone fantasy-epic. All of the performances are solid. Natalie Portman’s innocence, Chris Hemsworth grandeur, Kat Dennings comedic timing, Tom Hiddleston’s inner torment, a wise Anthony Hopkins, an always welcomed bad-ass Idris Elba, and I could go on and on and on. Really, I could. There were many instances and opportunities for lines to come across as cheesy and fall short, but everyone pulled their weight and then some to come through with a solid movie. The special effects were great. The beauty and grand scale of Asgard and the cold desolate dark of the world in which the ice giants inhabit are impressively designed and presented to much visual delight. And the story, even for an origins story, is pretty solid. As if I haven’t stated this enough, THOR is a solid movie. But it lacks something.
The presence of S.H.I.E.L.D. is there and in full force. Stan Lee has a cameo (unsurprisingly his characters name is credited as “Stan the Man”). The score is great and the movie never feels like it drags. But there is something it’s missing, which leaves you wanting more (even after you stay past the credits and see an awesome follow-up scene that leads into Captain America). Maybe THOR is just riding the hype of the Avengers movie and Marvel is using it to get you excited for Captain America. As solid as I thought the movie was, unfortunately, I don’t see myself rushing out to pick it up when it gets released on Blu-Ray/DVD. Regardless of my inability to make reasons of this lacking feeling, don’t short yourself by not experiencing this film on the big screen. The mystical bridge leading you into Valhalla won’t look as impressive when your streaming it via Netflix.
Rob: I never really got into Thor when I was younger like I did with other Marvel characters. I knew the basic story of how he was a god that protected Earth, but I didn’t know how that came to be or even any supporting characters in his universe. So, watching this movie held more of a story-telling role for me than it may have for other people. I was kind of thankful for that because it added a lot more depth to my experience. Movies like Iron Man and Spider-Man seemed to create more depth in their plots than Thor.
I think part of what made those other movies more plot driven was the characters were easier to relate to. They were human so they seemed more human. Thor is this being from a completely different world. His problems are what kind of a King will he be and protecting his kingdom from Frost Giants. While this made for great story-telling, it kind of made me miss what I like so much about the other super heroes that have a human side.
Nothing about the movie is off putting. I went in expecting a early summer popcorn flick and it didn’t disappoint. I kind of have a feeling I’m going to enjoy Captain America a little more and I look forward to seeing Thor in the Avengers movie, but it almost felt like this movie was made so that Thor could be “introduced” before that film.