Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
When I was a kid in the 80's, I collected a ton of comics. And I was a Marvel geek all the way.
I had such a huge pull list from my local comic book shop that that's pretty much where my weekly allowence went every week. I collected it all: Iron Man, X-Men, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Punisher and The Incredible Hulk. Like I said, I was Marvel all the way. But Thor never did anything for me. Maybe it was all that Asgaard and Shakespearean mumbo jumbo that turned me off. Or maybe it was seeing him in that made-for-TV movie "Incredible Hulk Returns" from 1988 with Lou Ferrigno that featured the Thor character. Sooooo bad and hilarious at the same time! But then again that was when Marvel was selling there property rights to everything and not giving a shit. Anybody else remember the never released Fantastic Four flick from 1994? If you were one of the lucky few to have actually had a chance to see it, then you know what i'm talking about.
But anyway, yea....Thor never did anything for me. So hearing they were making a big budget film with a relative unknown peaked my interest. And how it ties into the Avengers movie coming out next year, well I had no choice really other than to see it. But after hearing Kenneth Branagh was hired to direct, I was a little more persuaded as I felt it added a bit of class to the project.
I've seen plenty of Kenneth Branagh films before. And to be honest, nothing I've seen him do in the past would have ever suggested to me that he'd be able to helm a Marvel superhero flick. But in this case, i'm glad I was proven wrong. He does a fine job handling his first big budget effects laden project. I guess his experience with Shakespeare also doesn't hurt. That ridiculous dialog, he makes it all sound so cool. His direction is pretty solid, giving the film a lot of nice visuals. And he keeps the pace going pretty good. It does slow down a tad in the middle, but never enough to where you start looking at your watch. He was an odd choice when given such a huge character and property, but in the end it looks like he was the right guy for the job.
So lets go into the guy who actually plays Thor. Chris Hemsworth is going to be huge after this! I've got to give it to the guy, he's charismatic as hell, even when acting like a savage brute in the first half of the film. It's pretty hilarious though when he's on planet earth and smashing dishes on the ground, demanding another when he's thirsty. He pulls off the character so naturally whether he's being the spoiled, arrogant brute of the first half or the humbled and caring hero everyone knew he could be in the second half.
Oh! and I have to say what a complete and fucking shock it was to see Tadanobu "Ichi the Killer" Asano in this! Here he's playing one of Thor's men, Hogun. I was not expecting that. And Tom Hiddleston was just brilliant as Thor's conniving brother Loki. He plays him with such subtlety that you know theres always something going on behind those dead eyes of his.
Complaints. Just a few. As with films like Judge Dread, we have the central character of a movie named after his character that we've read in comic books for decades out of costume for a majority of the film. It just bothers me so much when they do that. Yes, the scenes when he's on earth a mere mortal fumbling all over the town are amusing, but I wanted to see Thor in a Thor movie in his Thor attire. Maybe they'll leave him in his costume more in The Avengers next year. I certainly hope so.
And as I stated before, it drags in the middle, but not too much. I also saw it in 3D, though I didn't want to. Believe it or not, that was the only option of watching it. I still can't believe they didn't have it showing in 2D anymore. It wasn't filmed in 3D so it took a lot out of the visuals. It was too dark and the colors were off. I think watching it on Blu-ray will be a better experience.