That was 2006. My hopes weren't very high, after all, all we had were franchises owned by corporations that knew nothing of the Marvel comics, and we were only 2 years removed from Ang Lee's horrible rendition of The Hulk.
But 2008 was just around the corner, with solid performances by Robert Downey, Jr. in Iron Man and Ed Norton in The Incredible Hulk. Marvel had a plan at that point, as both films hinted with post-credit sequences towards an incredible event, the culmination of these heroes in one movie, The Avengers.
Which finally leads me back to the purpose of this review, my review of Thor.
|Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Odin (Anthony Hopkins)|
Chris Hemsworth plays the title character, Thor, and does a fantastic job displaying the heroes journey. He's witty, but not overtly funny; he's charming, but not sappy. His on-screen chemistry with Natalie Portman is strong, aided even more by Portman's natural grace.
Tom Hiddleston plays Loki, Thor's brother. Hiddleston, in my opinion, stole the show with his portrayal of the God of Mischief. His screen chemistry with Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins (Thor and Loki's father, Odin) sold those heavily-rendered CGI scenes.
The Asgardian scenes were downright beautiful, even for CGI. Each of them were rendered with breathtaking details, and the scenes were acted straight out of a Shakespearean play. Love? Check. Betrayal? Check. Jealousy? Check. Loss of innocence? Check.
I've read some dissatisfaction with the scenes on Earth, the whole "fish out of water" element to them. I personally enjoyed them. I didn't think the humor elements were overboard by any means, and the characters' portrayals of what would happen if this really did occur in real life was believable and plausible. I also didn't think the film was trying too hard to point ahead to The Avengers, though one scene featuring Hawkeye doing absolutely nothing was somewhat puzzling.
Now to my favorite part: the score. Patrick Doyle's music was incredibly moving, making you swell up inside with something I can't even describe. Music touches us all in a very special way, and this film is no different.
The only criticism that I had of this film was the length: I felt it was 15-20 minutes too short. Rene Russo had 2 lines that I remembered. I imagine that the 15-20 minutes I'm seeking is on the cutting room floor, with many of those being character-driven scenes involving Hopkins and Russo. Hopefully we get to see those on the DVD.
Overall, I give this movie a solid "A," an incredible way to start the 2011 summer movie season. And if this film is any indication on what we're to expect going forward, not only will Captain America be a treat, but The Avengers is going to be a smashing success.