Holy cow Natalie Portman is stupid attractive.
Oh, right. The movie. Can we bring up the Thor title screen please?
Thor is a misguided film, but not without its share of charms and quirks. It’s a fairly predictable watch, demanding very little of your attention or intellect. Thor is a brat when he’s a kid, and needs to learn a lesson before he ascends to the throne of Asgard, so his father, Odin, sends him down to Earth without his Zeus-like powers. I guess he figured humans could teach Thor the value of humanity?
By splitting the screenplay into two halves, a romance between Thor and Jane on Earth and Loki’s villainous turn in Asgard, the film is unfortunately belittled, not so unlike Marvel’s previous outing with Iron Man 2. There is simply too much stuff going on at all the same time.
This seems to be a reoccurring problem that keeps popping up as I continue to review superhero movies, epitomized by movies like Sony’s Spider-Man 3. And I have suspicion this is not by coincidence. The problem with the superhero genre, in general, is that it focuses too much on entertainment and not enough on story. It fears to fully dive into its relationships, especially between the two love interests, and settles for generic action scenes that will inevitably satisfy its predominately teenage male audience.
I’m split as to which half should have gotten more attention. The time spent in Asgard is actually neat to see. A typical mix of the future and the old, but it makes for some amazing visuals. I liked most of the characters we meet there, except for maybe the over-characterized Thor and his bland father Odin. The story is probably the weakest aspect of the Asgard half of the movie, as it really is a story about sibling rivalry… without the other sibling even being present! Interesting idea in concept, but lacked the impact the directors were probably looking for. Loki should have been less obviously evil in order to make me care more about his plight.
The other half of the movie that takes places on Earth is far more crucial to the storyline, but is also less interesting. The romance between Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman is forced, as I found the actors to share little chemistry with one another. Comic relief comes in the form of Darcy Lewis as played by Kat Dennings, but her jokes fail to mesh with the overall tone of the movie, which relied more on visual humor than anything else. Scenes like the one between Thor and Professor Erik Selvig at the bar are the real comedic highlights.
I could have gone for either more world-building in Asgard or more of the visual humor that made Thor’s time in Earth so hilarious, but neither would solve the problem of its simplistic message about nobility and its awkward plot construction. Still, neither problems aren’t so bad, especially since there are aspects of Thor that do work, namely the visuals of Asgard and its humor on Earth.