Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: Thor

 In rating and reviewing this movie I must admit some bias. My Dad was born in Sweden and because of this I am a fan of almost all things Scandinavian: Swedish meatballs, IKEA, The Swedish Chef, Bjorn Borg, ABBA and the Swedish Bikini Team. I have also been known to call to my native Gods for some “Viking Power” to smite my enemies or more likely to win at a game of air hockey. So with all of these things swaying my vote I will do my best to be an impartial judge of this movie. 

Going into this movie I was hoping for the best but I was a little nervous for a few reasons. The first reason being the fact that Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter) was directing the movie. Don't get me wrong I have enjoyed many of the films he has directed but he had almost exclusively dealt in all things Shakespearean. I didn't know how that would translate to an action film.  Second I wasn't sure how Chris Hemsworth would do as Thor since his biggest role to date had been him as James T. Kirk's father in the most recent Star Trek movie. Luckily for myself and the millions of others who went to see the movie both played out their roles very well.

The movie starts with a quick glimpse of Thor and Loki as children while they are being told that one day one of them would be king and that it is quite a responsibility. It quickly changes to show an adult Thor full of swagger heading up to his father Odin to be crowned king. As he is about to receive this honor one of the vaults holding their enemies greatest weapons is attacked. The guardian takes care of the problem but the situation leads to Thor showing off his impetuous nature. Thor demands that they go to war with the frost giants. He claims it is to put them in their place but it is more so he can gain personal glory in combat. Odin tells him that by no means can he leave Asgard(their home) to fight. Thor being himself leaves with his friends and brother and attacks the Frost Giants. Because of this attack war is declared and Odin banishes Thor to Earth and strips him of his power. He does send down Mjolnir(Thor's battle hammer) and says that whosoever has the right heart...or something...with be able to wield the power of Thor. While he is gone Loki starts plotting to take over the kingdom which is totally what the God of mischief would do.

To be honest I think that the director's background in Shakespeare helped this movie in a good number of ways. I think it led to better character development and it blended the action in with the comedy very well. All the supporting actors did a great job as well to make me love this movie (almost as much as I love Bjorn Borg. He is the real reason why I started wearing a headband for tennis.).
He even kind of looks like Thor.
So to wrap things up I really enjoyed this movie. The acting was great, the directing was well done and there were some rather funny lines that kept this movie a lighthearted affair. There has been talk of a Thor 2 and 3 and personally I hope it happens so I won't feel as out of place when I bust out my Viking costume and start to pillage the surrounding countryside. I also will be able to use new phrases to show I am surprised or outraged like "by Odin's beard!" or "by the ghosts of Valhalla!" or "by Loki's slacks!"(ok so all of them didn't work but it is a work in progress).

Rating 4.5 stars

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