Monday, May 9, 2011

Thor Rocked Midgard - A Spoiler-Free Review

As originally posted in the Comics All Too Real Facebook page on April 29.

I had to chance to watch the movie last night.  Considering I’m all about super-heroes, I was all super-excited.  I remember as a kid enjoying deeply the Thor cartoon and liking all of his mythology through and through.  Oddly enough, as I grew up, the comic book turned me off with all the old Brit talk.  English is not my native tongue, so I really had issues figuring out what Thor and the Asgardians were trying to say.

I went to the teather with a friend and we discussed a lot about these kind of movies and why fans loved them or hated them deeply.  Some twitches are always made since movies and comic books are different mediums and they don’t work exactly the same.  We talked about costumes, too.  They’re never exactly as their classic counterparts and this is something celebrated by some and disliked by others.  Truth is, these days we’ll hardly ever see a super-hero movie that respects everything about a character, in fear it would be redundant to the comic book or not surprising enough.  No one owns the truth in this field, but it’s always good to keep in mind that not everyone is that open to serious “improvements” in the characters.  And yeah, we all remember when the first Spider-Man movie, as good as it was, introduced the organic web.

Anyway, Thor, the movie, did have some creative twists.  I won’t tell you which so you find on your own, but in my eyes, they’re not big enough to change what the characters stand for.  This Thor does live up to his name.  There’s all the mighty glory of being a “god” (even if he doesn’t refer about himself as such), the warrior strength and the incredible will shine through him in a very enjoyable way.  This movie shows a Thor that grows through the story and that’s something that can be a bit predictable, but helps you build a strong connection with the character.  Unlike other comic book heroes, Thor is difficult to handle because of his “godhood” he may feel distanced from mere humans at times, but believe me, this is a very human vision of the character.

I was told Thor’s director, Kenneth Branagh had a strong background in Shakespearean drama, and it shows in this movie in a good way.  Family ties are the center of the story and they’re strong and touching and quite convoluted.  Whether the relationship between Thor and Odin, his father; or the intense tie shared between brothers Thor and Loki; the drama flourishes in a strong and driving way.  It was thunderous and gave me shivers through the movie.

The acting was also at its best.  Anthony Hopkins as an old Odin was impressive.  Such strength in an aging god was breathtaking.  Nathalie Portman’s role wasn’t as dramatic as other ones she’s had, but it felt true to the story, even if it takes some liberties from the original Jane Foster character.  The one that probably impressed me the most was Tom Hiddleston as Loki.  I haven’t seen this actor before, but you ask me, his role was so delicately put together and so believable.  I’m not a big fan of Loki in the comic books, but in here, I was completely captured by this performance, by Loki’s motives, even the way he showed such frailty behind such a strong character.  I give kudos to the way Marvel portrays his villains, whether it’s the Green Goblin, Magneto or, in this case, Loki.  Last, but not least, Chris Hemsworth role as Thor was perfect.  He IS Thor without doubt.  He even added layers to the character that sometimes are missed, and he had enough charisma to keep the interest going for the entire movie.

As usual, it goes without saying that this is a very personal review, I don’t hold the absolute truth about anything I’ve mentioned above, but the impressions are true to these couple of fanboyish eyes.

I really hope you enjoy this movie as much as I did.  Cheers.

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