Sunday, November 5, 2017

Movie Review: Thor

Adding a third superhero to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and expanding it into a fantasy realm, this mediocre Marvel film was one of the first I felt really disappointed with after leaving the theater though I have learned to appreciate parts of it. Astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) waits for an event with her assistant Darcy Lewis (Kat Denning) and fellow scientist Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) when chaos rains down from the sky and Jane hits a man, Thor (Chris Hemsworth). The film jumps back with a monologue from Odin (Anthony Hopkins) lectures his two son, Thor and Loki (Tom Hiddleston), about the dangers of the frost giants and the wonders of Asgard. Thor is quick to violence while Loki is more crafty but Odin can only promote one to king. He chooses Thor but during his ceremony to receive the crown, the frost giants invade and try to steal a powerful weapon. Odin's security proves too powerful but Thor is angry the Jotunheim even attempted something so brash.

Thor stews but his friends Vostagg (Ray Stevenson), Hogun (Tadanobu Asano), Fandral (Josh Dallas), and Siff (Jaimie Alexander) discouraged him from doing anything. Loki, however, encourages Thor to disobey Odin with trickier and go to Jotunheim. Thor decides to fight back but must use the Bifrost guarded by Heimdall (Idris Elba) who is upset the frost giants were able to sneak by him. The group is transported to Jotunheim where Thor challenges King Laufey (Colm Feore). A battle is almost avoided but Laufey insulted Thor. The friends fight the frost giants including a giant dog beast that Thor flies through the mouth of and out the back of its head. Odin shows up to rescues the group as Frandral is injured but war has been declared. Enraged with Thor's actions, Odin banishes him to Earth and separates him from his hammer. This catches the film back up to the beginning where Jan hits Thor with the car and Darcy tases him. 

Jane and company drop Thor off at the hospital then return to their research. They look at the pictures during the incident and see Thor among the pictures so they want to question him when he wakes up. Thor wakes up distressed not to have his powers so he beats up the hospital staff and escapes only to get hit by Jane's car again. Meanwhile, a crowd has gathered around Mjolnir, Thor's Hammer, as various men try and fail to lift it. SHIELD's Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) takes notice of the strange object. Back in Asgard, Thor's friends mourn his absence while Lokie reveals that he alerted Odin. Loki also learns that he is descended from frost giants which is why he can't be king of Asgard. Thor's behavior does not go over well back on Earth. Selvig is skeptical of Thor's claims and convinces Jane to let him search for Mjolnir on his own. SHIELD confiscates all of Jane's equipment as she returns to the lab. 

Loki has taken control of Asgard as Odin has fallen into a deep sleep. Jane agrees to help Thor seek out Mjolnir after all. Jane and Thor discover that SHIELD has put up a perimeter around the hammer so Thor goes in beating up all the guards. Watching him from above and waiting for his shot to be called is Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) who only plays a small part in the film. Thor makes his way to the hammer only to find that he can't lift it. Distraught, he allows himself to be captured. Coulson interrogates him finding nothing of use but Loki stops by to tell him that Odin is dead. Thor is even more upset when Selvig comes to break him out. Selvig and Thor drink boilermakers until Selvig is wasted. Thor and Jane bond over science and magic by a campfire. Loki returns to Jotunheim to bargain with Laufey. Thor's friends want to go to Earth and with Heimdall's help, they reunite with Thor, letting some credibility to his story. Loki freeze Heimdall for his treason and sends down a giant metal creature that Odin use for security. Thor sacrifices himself, which earns him Mjolnir back and his powers. He defeats the metal monster and Heimdall frees himself to bring him and his friends back, but first, he makes a deal with Coulson to get Jane's stuff back and kisses Jane promising to return.

Thor returns just as Laufey invades Asgard but Loki stops him from killing Odin and using the frost giant attack as an excuse to destroy Jotunheim. He blasts Thor out of the tower and flees across the rainbow bridge. As Loki uses the Bifrost to destroy the frost giant planet, Thor confronts him and has to destroy the rainbow bridge to stop the destruction. They nearly fall into the void but Odin awakes to catch them though Loki still lets himself drift off into space. Thor is forced to remain in Asgard and Jane on Earth. Thor has some spectacular effects and director Kenneth Branagh brings out the Norse mythology fantasy quite well. Hemsworth is decent as the swaggering Thor while Hiddleston steals the show as the villainous Loki. Thor was just a bizarre stopping point to add the character to Marvel large stable as it moved closer to The Avengers. 

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