REVIEW: Thor (2011)

Thor Poster

The following is a review of Thor, a Kenneth Branagh film.

Thor was the first film that really made it clear to me that Marvel Studios could make any hero character interesting and cool. What really made this film work was how they managed to add both humor and Shakespearian dialogue to a film about a Norse God. I absolutely love this film, though, I do realize that I might be one of the biggest fans of this film.

Thor follows the Norse God of thunder of the same name (played by Chris Hemsworth) as he is banished from Asgard and sent down to Earth. Thor’s half-brother Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston) had manipulated him, and now plotted to become the ruler of Asgard. Thor, now on Earth, now struggled to regain his mythological powers, and return to Asgard to save the realm.

One of the things I loved about this film was how it managed to sort of ‘familiarize’ its audience with the mythological and very ‘comic book-y’ elements by simply stating that what people on Asgard called magic, was, on Earth, referred to as science. It was a nice little way of helping the audience grasp this weird character. And the actors behind two of those weird characters do a remarkable job.

I honestly don’t remember what people were saying when Chris Hemsworth was cast as Thor Odinson. I imagine some were freaking out that the guy who played Kirk’s dad in the Star Trek-reboot was going to headline a Marvel blockbuster. Chris Hemsworth is a really good Thor. He looks the part, and gives a solid performance.

But Tom Hiddleston is the perfect Loki. There’s a real crisis of existence at the center of his character, and I cannot imagine anyone giving a better performance than what Hiddleston did with the character. Just look at the scene where his origin is revealed. Hiddleston not only holds his own in front of Anthony Hopkins. Hiddleston also completely steals the scene. Hiddleston’s Loki is clearly one of the best villains we’ve ever seen in a superhero film.

I can definitely see why one would dislike this film. The number of Dutch angles in this film is strange and could be annoying, the Frost Giants don’t exactly look real, and the Destroyer is a really boring and bland foe for Thor to take on.

But there is so much more to love about this film. The performances of Hiddleston and Hemsworth are just so strong – how they deliver their lines, and how they embody their characters. Asgard looks amazing, and it is one of the most elegant introductions of mythological elements into giant film franchises. Thor is one of the great Marvel-films.

8.5 out of 10

– I’m Jeffrey Rex

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