Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Late thoughts on Thor

I'll admit I'm a bit behind when it comes to the summer flicks, but seeing as shit's starting to really ramp up right now I figured I'd spend some time going over the flicks as I see them. Now when I say I'm behind, I really do mean it, I mean, so far I've only seen Thor, not that I really intend to watch every big flick of the summer, but there are several that I want to see, that I simply haven't yet. But no worries, I've got this weekend off from work and I plan to do some major catching up.

That doesn't matter right now though cause right now it's time to talk about Thor. I'll admit, for someone who talks endlessly about being in the right mood to watch a film, I sure as hell walked into Thor in the wrong fucking mood. It wasn't that I didn't want to see it that night, I did, but it happened after a 9 and a half hour work day with the knowledge that I had to wake up at 6:30 the next morning to take tests for 5 hours. Regardless, I walked out relatively happy if not a bit underwhelmed. Even then though, I knew I would watch the flick at least once more.

So I saw it again, this time after a well rested day with a few friends, and did find that my enjoyment of the flick was greater, although the little problems I had initially were still there.
I don't wanna spend a bunch of time reviewing the movie or anything so I'll keep this with a simple group of things I liked and things I didn't.

Stuff I liked:
The actors were all pretty spot on, with Chris Hemsworth having that sort of great charisma that made him a believable douche you love as well as a great true hero at the end. Tom Hiddleston probably could have easily given an almost clown-like performance, but instead gives a calmer, and in many ways much more evil performance. One imagines that if someone were really a great trickster, they wouldn't be running around giggling like Mark Hamill as The Trickster from that Flash tv series. Granted there are a few moments where he lets out that sort of sinister smile that makes you feel like you really are staring at one dementedly brilliant mother fucker. Anthony Hopkins brought a lot of gravitas, Natalie Portman was good enough, Kat Dennings was funny, Stellan Skarsgard was a great grounded human character, Idris Elba was HOLY FUCK awesome and so on and so forth, next point.

Marvel seems to have their formula down to a science at this point as all of the films released through the Marvel Studios banner seem to have a very similar feel to them, and that's a good thing. If we're supposed to believe that they inhabit the same universe it'd be strange if all the films felt completely different.

Branagh brought a great sense of epicness and scope to the flick when we were in Asgard, which is really pretty amazing when you consider that you really only see like 3 actual places in Asgard, there's that initial throne room, the bridge, and random castle dungeons and such.

Final thing I dug, I mean, it was just a solid summer flick that didn't submit to endless scenes of action and explosions and actually provided us with some solid characters and story. Aside from the performances there was no single thing that really stood out as fantastic, it was a lot of little things, done right, that created a greater whole.

Things I didn't care for:

While the special effects for Asgard were appropriately beautiful, the rest of it was a mixed bag ranging from pretty decent, to well, pretty bad, particularly the ice effects, which were at some points laughably bad. The Destroyer looked pretty cool though.

Plain and simple, I did not like the action staging. There was never a moment where I was even remotely impressed, and more than once I was completely confused at what what happening on screen, but that's more a fault with me than anything else. Branagh is obviously a drama driven director and it's there that he excels.

For me, when we entered the second act and Thor first showed up on earth, we cut back to Asgard a few too many times, and in my opinion, it completely killed the momentum. Obviously when we head back for the big drama stuff like Loki finding a little something out about himself it's great. But did we really need ten minutes of Lady Sif and the Warriors Three sitting around basically saying that the situation sucked? I mean, we can see that it sucks, but now we wanna see what's gonna happen to Thor on Earth, not see you guys sit around bitching, again though that may just be me.

In closing, it's really pretty simple, Thor is solid summer entertainment.

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