“Thor” (2011) FILM REVIEW
Written by Jambareeqi
Posted 12th April, 2018
Thor is a God Prince of the majestic world of Asgard, with the throne in his sight, but his father, King Odin, doubts his son’s maturity. After Thor carelessly puts his race in danger through his own arrogance, Odin punishes the prince by banishing him to Earth, and bans him from using his powers until he is worthy.
Once on Earth, Thor meets a scientist called Jane Foster, who wants to learn more about Thor’s world, but the Prince is more focused on getting back to where he came from. Meanwhile, Odin becomes bed ridden, and his other son Loki takes over the kingdom, but the mischievous Loki has dark plans.
On paper, the premise for this film sounds like a recipe for another “Masters of the Universe”, with it’s tale of an otherworldly warrior being transported to modern America; but while the film isn’t super sophisticated or noteworthy, it’s at least more mature than most films that use this concept. Yes, there’s culture shock jokes here and there, but not to the point where it becomes obnoxious, and the “Thor doesn’t understand Earth customs” gags are surprisingly funny.
For someone who watched “The Avengers” before this film, I actually got a lot out of it, because it became a prequel in my eyes, and I could finally learn about the backstories for certain things I saw in “The Avengers”. I enjoyed discovering new details (well, new to me), from Loki’s adoption to Thor’s origins as a super hero. I particularly liked seeing Loki trying to pull off the good guy act, before taking over the Kingdom, because it’s interesting watching him attempting to keep reserved, when I’m so used to Hiddleston hamming up the role.
The Choice of Kenneth Branagh as director was a smart move, because the story calls for a Shakespearean sense of storytelling! Branagh approaches the material with a very theatrical eye, doing a great job capturing the beauty of Asgard, and finding the right level of melodrama for the cast to pull off; although, he does have a distinct affinity for dutch angles, a shot technique that he overindulges in a tad bit too much sometimes.
If anything, it’s Chris Hemsworth that holds this film together through his sheer charisma, he nails Thor’s cocky nature, but also wonderfully pulls off his more vulnerable side, and gives the character so much endearing charm. Some of the jokes could have been corny or flat in the wrong hands, but Hemsworth brings a great sense of comic timing to them, making sure gags hit the right beats, and knowing WHY Thor is reacting to some Earth things in quirky ways.
Watching Thor being stripped of everything he’s been privileged to, makes for a really appealing arc, as we watch him grow into a more humble man, and he trades arrogance for compassion. It’s fantastic to know that he’ll be rewarded for changing his values as a person, because it means we can end up rooting for his self-improvement, and we look forward to finding how Thor will prove himself worthy of his powers.
Most super hero origin stories involve a mutation, a special gift, or tragic influence, but Thor is one of the Marvel heroes who has to work hard for his powers, and I love that! It makes for a more personal journey, one of redemption.
Thor also develops an attraction towards Jane, because she’s a strong willed and intelligent woman with a passion for understanding his home. Luckily for the big guy, Jane returns those feelings, never being exactly subtle about having the hots for him haha! I really liked these two together, they showcased some very believable chemistry, and clearly look really into each other.
To Conclude, “Thor” may not be that exceptional as a film, playing things safe and simple, with it’s cliche premise of transporting a fantasy character into modern America, but it has a fun title character, strong romantic undertones, and some very funny comedic moments. It’s Hemsworth’s acting that really makes most of it work, but credit should also be given to everyone else for handling the film with affectionate commitment.