Friday, August 26, 2011

Thor (2011)

          Natalie Portman
          Anthony Hopkins
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Summary: The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.(via imdb). 
I have to hand it to Marvel Pictures. When they choose the directors for their movies, they really put some thought into it. Kenneth Branagh was a brilliant, if left field choice. Although he is more widely known for his Shakespeare adaptations, he lent this movie, which is somewhat flavored with that kind of dialog, the necessary gravitas it needed to be taken seriously.
Hemsworth looks so much like the cartoon version of Thor that it makes you wonder if his parents groomed him from a young age to play the part. His performance is good as the cocky Thor in the beginning, and borders on brilliant as he learns what it really means to be the Odin. Hopkins is exactly what you expect him to be and performs admirably. But, the real stand out in the cast is Tom Hiddleston as the god of mischief, Loki. He is mesmerizing and provides a real sense of menace and ambition that really delivers. Yes, some of the set pieces border on silly, but it's a rainbow bridge, what did you expect it to look like? And yes, the always impressive Idris Elba doesn't exactly look Norse in appearance, but casting scandals aside, he does a good job. You have to understand that, at its heart, it's an origin story, so there has to be some necessary exposition and the action won't kick in for  a while. I feel like Marvel knows what they're doing, and this film does its job well. It sets us one foot closer to The Avengers and sets up a sequel to come.

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