Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thor-a review

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Kenneth Branagh, what got into you? You go from being the exclusive representative for modern day Shakespeare, to Frankenstein, a boon of other here and there period pieces--to Thor. I guess I see the connection. For someone into the "classics" the story of Thor's older than weather.

Chris Hemsworth, I remember you from that terrific opening sequence from the beginning JJ Abrams' Star Trek. You were Jim Kirk's dad. You sacrificed yourself by steering the Kelvin on a collision course. That scene made me cry. Nice to see you again. I see you've been working out, too. Who cares about milk--got protein shakes? You blond hunk o beefcake, you.

Natalie Portman, playing a frigid ballerina is one thing, but a brilliant astrophysicist with a thing for Norse gods? I know you've got a pretty face and all, but exuding a hyper intelligent understanding of dynamic processes of celestial objects and phenomena? Come on!

When asked why she took the role, Portman replied, "I just thought it sounded like a weird idea because Kenneth Branagh's directing it, so I was just like, 'Kenneth Branagh doing Thor is super-weird, I've gotta do it."

Like you know?

For it to be even remotely feasible for Thor and Portman to have a believable romantic connection in this comic-based Blockbuster, I had to pretend Thor as a huge movie buff back on Asgard; that The Professional was one of his favorite movies of all time, so when the time came and Thor met Natalie on earth, he didn't care that she was a performing multiple acts of involuntary manslaughter on him with her jeep. He wanted to make out with the girl from Garden State.

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And the Portman being used to this by now was all: guess what, you get to kiss me eventually. Aren't you stoked, Chet Hicklesworth, I mean Thor, I mean what-ever!

Less hard to believe and more enjoyable were the great supporting characters: Hopkins, so good, and the superstar who totally stole the heart-shaped pie had to be Heimdall (Idris Elba), gatekeeper of the Bifrost Bridge. Tom Hiddleston was also great as Thor's miserable milquetoast brother Loki.

Overall, the atmospheric effects were fantastic, pacing was quick, the story had substance, and lines mixed with comic timing let the humor take way of the movie taking itself too seriously. Entertainment is where it's at with Thor, a very 2011 film with zeitgeist-saturated thunder strokes galore, and many premeditated sequels to follow.

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