Sunday, May 08, 2011

"Thor" (2011) - Movie Review

Seeing IMAX 3D for the first time in Peoria, “Thor” is something to watch for in that technology. What a treat! I along like several others have been against 3D and I still do believe that it eats away the core nature of a film a little bit but watching “Thor” in 3D and mainly through the beautiful technology of IMAX I think there are films that beckons to be viewed in this format. Yet the truth remains which is whatever the magnanimity the brilliance of science and technology might bring the art of telling a story has to be the crux of any movie going experience including a blockbuster like “Thor”.

Opening the gateway for ridiculous blockbuster films that serenaded the preview for this film, “Thor” is sometime better and most of the times mediocre road the superhero films tend to take. Thor is played by Chris Hemworth who has imbibed the gym within himself and shaped into a rock giant. He lives in this magical world of Asgard, far far far and far away from Earth and other “realms”. Here magic happens because, well it happens. No reason or explanation other than the fact that of it being the source for plethora of larger than universe action sequences and backdrops.

Thor is arrogant, cocky and immature as any superhero with crazy powers would be. His father is Anthony Hopkins as a one eyed Odin, King of Asgard. As Thor proudly walks to accept the Kingdom from his father the blue skinned monsters Frost Giants (sounds like a delicious delight from Diary Queen!) sneak into steal the WMD of their world called the Casket of Ancient Winters (sounds like a classic dessert in a fine dine restaurant). As the ferocious young warmongering mind of Thor takes his allies to teach the Frost Giants a lesson, he gets a lesson of his own from Odin to be banished to the Earth for breaking the peace and prosperity that exists between Asgard and Jotunheim.

That gets you to the origins of Thor coming to Earth. The film maker are not so curious about the world of Asgard which is filled with sparkling bridges, golden structures and powers that makes nuclear weapons a water gun. Of course they are worried more about the rambunctious and irresponsible giant kid. That is indeed the reason we as the audience are out there but little do they care on providing some form of idea on this magnificent world of Asgard. For instance what is the day to day life of an Asgardian? Or for that fact the Frost Giants whom at the end Thor realizes are another race with innocent lives? The ridicule from the readers on this reviewer is well aware but for a superhero film to be greater than the genre itself, you got to go above and beyond. Even the “Iron Man” which proves merely a thriller and funny than a great superhero films has some grip on its ambience and characters. “Thor” does have those but aims low on several occasions.

What redeems the film out of the mediocrity is the last act wherein our beloved hero begins to understand the nature of leadership, wisdom and sacrifice. The plot with his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) provides a good revelation and his aspiration to please Odin makes complete sense in putting together this piece in nice order. The romance between Thor and the gorgeous young scientist Jane Foster played by Natalie Portman is there just enough to not become a distraction and exists for some sort of obligation which I am happy to fall for.

The build up of these Marvel comic characters to formulate the 2012 “The Avengers” paves way to bring S.H.I.E.L.D agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and does so rightly. The real wonders of this film is the glorious backdrop of Asgard given by Cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos and the great team of graphics. It is grandiose and flawed but it is more about witnessing these structures that is both poetic, glossy, boisterous and magnetic. Take the Bifrost Bridge leading to the gateway of traveling to other realms and the road to it glitters like spongy diamonds.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, “Thor” is considered and written by many critics as the right entry to the blockbuster and many claiming it to be a far better superhero film. True that it provides good entertainment and is an inch above the fiascos of this genre films. Apparently the standards of this genre has gone down considerably wherein people like Chris Nolan are the only ones taking it to phenomenal heights of realism, thrill and profundity. Ranking for what it is “Thor” is a fun film with some soul in its titular character but as a general scale for good films, it is average at its best.

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