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Coming out of this movie I couldn’t help but get a little more excited for Green Lantern. While these two heroes are from completely different comic book realms, I’ve heard that most of Green Lantern is off-world, which is kind of crazy for such a big summer blockbuster. I wasn’t sure how to feel about this at first, as most movies I’ve seen that travel this route often go unseen, or are unfortunately soaked in terrible CGI and bad dialogue.
After seeing Thor, which is basically an off-world sandwich with a hearty helping of Earth as the meaty insides, I’m pretty stoked to see what Green Lantern can do. I thoroughly enjoyed the Earthy insides, don’t get me wrong, but it was the off-world magic and luscious scenery that I came away liking most about this new installment in the Avengers build-up.
I won’t spoil any of the story, but just to catch up those who know nothing of Thor (as I did) I’ll give you a quick summary. All is well in Asgard when Thor pulls some macho madness which angers his father Odin and threatens the kingdom. In a rage Odin banishes Thor to Earth. In order to return, Thor has to overcome his haughty, self-serving attitude and prove himself worthy to be the next “all father” in Odin’s place. On Earth Thor runs into Shield (a common thread through the latest Marvel/Avenger movies), twitterpates Natalie Portman, and recovers his hammer before returning to Asgard. All in all, a pretty fun set-up for a summer popcorn-munching movie in my opinion.
I’ve heard Thor compared to the first Iron Man, and I’d agree to an extent. In a time when super hero movies were becoming bland and repetitive Iron Man came along and gave audiences something spunky, fun, and enjoyable. In the same sense, Thor has come along just as super hero movies are starting to stagnate in that strange neo-hero phase we’ve been seeing. Movies like Kickass and Super (which I’ve got nothing but love for) feature the average fanatical Joe and his ability to wear a costume and beat up baddies, which is fun, but it’s not super. I think what the genre needed was another jump-start from an out-of-this-world adventure to rejuvenate fans and get people excited for what’s to come. In my opinion, Thor does just that. It’s a blast, and it has me really excited to see how things tie together in Captain America and The Avengers.
So let’s break things down just a little before wrapping up. The performances were nothing to complain about, as I’ve read some critics doing. Aside from the general praise for Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and Tom Hiddleston as Loki, I’ve heard a lot of people ragging on the…filler that the supporting cast was. Many complaints were regarding how people didn’t need to be there, but I thought everyone did a great job making the role they had entertaining. These Marvel/Avenger movies are good at toning things down and giving big name actors little roles that they can have fun with and let the audience enjoy. Whether it was a quick side joke, or a brief reference to another Marvel character/movie, there was never a point where I rolled my eyes in anger or boredom. Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, while a little too “girly” for some of my more feminist friends, put a smile on my face every time she stuttered or flushed due to her obvious crush on Thor. It was cute, so sue me. The whole time Thor was on Earth could be called cute, and I think happy-go-lucky movie audiences will appreciate spending a little time with a few quirky humans before going back to Asgard.
As for Asgard, there are just some shots that are mind-bogglingly huge in perspective, which I thought was amazing. It’s often the humans or Asgardian’s who are the smallest things on screen, and it’s awesome. I loved the look of everything in Asgard. From the throne room to the rainbow bridge, it was all so full of color and bursting with a brilliance that just worked well.
I’m not going to detail any of the action sequences, but I will say that none of them were overdone or laugh-out-loud unbelievable. Again, it’s the scope of things that really made this movie for me, and gives me hopes for future films like Captain America, Green Lantern, The Avengers, and anything that’s going to ask audiences to suspend their grounded beliefs. There’s a bar to live up to, and if the next year’s worth of films jumps over that bar then we’re in for a real treat.
I’d recommend Thor for a fun night of fantasy escapism, whether you’re a casual moviegoer or a die-hard comic book fan. I personally know little to nothing of the Marvel universe outside of Saturday morning X-men cartoons from the 90’s, but I came out of Thor smiling and wanting more.
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