Tightened Crosshairs: The Thor Review

All right, as everyone knows, there are a LOT of super-hero movies coming out this summer. We’re looking at Green Lantern, X-Men: First Class, Captain America, and even the third Transformers movie tangentially. Outside of that, we’ve also got other comic book movies that aren’t superhero based like Cowboys and Aliens and Priest. Still, the summer was started off with a movie of a different color, so to speak, with Marvel Studios’ Thor.

First off, Marvel was smart when they chose their release date. In a summer laden with comic book movies, they were able to get a release date that cemented that every other comic movie that came out after it would be compared to Thor, rather than having their film compared to any others.

I’ve seen the movie twice now, once in 3D and once in just a regular movie theater, and I have to admit that I preferred the regular version. The 3D in this film did only some to enhance the viewing experience, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the 3D had been added later. Also, I’ve never seen a Kenneth Branagh movie, but all I heard were good things, so I was willing to go into this movie with optimism. I’ve said, as you know, that I read a ton of comic books. Thor is nowhere near the top tier of my favorite characters. Yes, he’s a quintessential Avenger and all of that, but he always seemed like the extra solution, or like he was on the team, but writers were constantly trying to find a way to weaken him or take him out of a fight. Plus, the Shakespearean dialogue made my head hurt. But y’know, the previews made it look like they were going for a more humorous, Iron Man-esque tone for the movie, and I was intrigued by that.

Some things about this movie just weren’t made for me. I’ll admit that. When it comes to big, sprawling scenery spreads like the Lord of the Rings trilogy or Avatar, I fall asleep. So when I was watching this movie for the second time through, I actually fell asleep while we were in Asgard. Those scenes just bored me to death. Also, I had a problem with the included presence of Sif and the Warriors Three, in that they didn’t really have a whole lot of investment in the plot. While I understand that we can’t have fully fledged character arcs for every character in a movie, I feel like their presence in this movie was wasted somewhat. They existed to retrieve Thor from Earth when the plot demanded it and nothing more.

Those were the things I disliked. There were several things that I loved, however. I loved, for one, the inclusion of Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. They’re hinting at the Avengers movie to come, and I like it. It’s an Easter egg for fans, but I loved it. Chris Hemsworth played the perfect Thor, both naive and in charge at the same time. I liked the changes that they made to Jane Foster, and I don’t think the other two characters with her are from the comics, but I enjoyed them, too. The inclusion of the Destroyer was interesting, and it was a nice break from the Frost Giants. Overall, it was a pretty accessible entry point for a character that’s going to be a centerpiece in the upcoming Avengers movie next summer.

Now, as for that pesky post-credits scene, well, I think hardcore comic fans will expect that the blue box is the Cosmic Cube. Does this mean the Cosmic Cube is a big part of the Captain America movie in July? We’ll have to wait and see, I suppose, as it may come into play in the Avengers movie later on as well. Plus, knowing outside of the movie that Loki is the foe in next summer’s blockbuster, I wasn’t cheated that he was alive. Also, I do think he’s only manipulating Selvik, but we’ll see there. I’m sure we’ll find out come next summer, right?

So, in the end, yes, this was a good movie. I guess I lost the point there, but hey, what can I say? I’m not that hard to please.

Next week: X-Men: First Class!

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