Sunday, 1 May 2011

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Thor 3D [Review]

Opinion: B

This is possibly a new venture by Marvel where they have opted a relatively more literary approach with Director Kenneth Branagh, whose previous works include Hamlet. In some ways it feels like an expensive play that tries to rush along with an irregular pace, but fret not as it renders the all-too-familiar slick visual effects and loud action (though brief) to satisfy the well-established army of Marvel fans.

The epic adventure THOR spans the Marvel Universe from present day Earth to the mystical realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. As a result, Thor is banished to Earth where he is forced to live among humans. When the most dangerous villain of his world sends its darkest forces to invade Earth, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero.

The film doesn't follow a linear timeline, which is common of recent Hollywood fares, but it does ply its story between two realms: Earth and the Celestial realms (consisting of Asgard and Jotunheim to be exact). Director Branagh reveals his forte during the scenes of Asgard where the development of the Norse God Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and his son Thor and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) takes place. It is here where the film really shines and entices one like how a mythical book of tales never fails to enchant children.

Let's face it, we human beings are always drawn to stuff that are magically unexplainable.

Of course, Thor fulfills the expectations of the audience and gets banished to Earth before the fish-out-of-water phase commences. But it seems like it wasn't the intention of the film to fully utilise this section of the script to maximise its entertainment potentials. Rooms of opportunities are plentiful for constructing hilarious scenarios and a better chemistry build-up between Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Thor.

But it was not meant to be.

With the middle act of Thor's adventure on Earth being constantly interrupted by the developments back in Asgard, it resulted in an uneven pace that doesn't engage its audience as well as I expected a Marvel film to be capable of.

Allow me to go into minor technicalities now.

Not sure if you realise it, but an overwhelming amount of slanted shots are noted throughout the film. If I were to put a number to it, it's likely to be say, 7 out of 10 shots. Or maybe 8. There's a reason to every frame composition, to mise-en-scene (which I agree that it might not be relevant for a Marvel blockbuster with all the fantastic VFX that the franchise is now renowned for), and to the camera work. Maybe it's just me, but I simply cannot understand his heavy use of slanted angles and in a particular scene, distracting camera motion that mildly irritates.

Two more technicalities to note:

Thor's hammer strikes impressively well against our ears but no where in sight in the third dimension.

Tech-chat aside, Chris Hemsworth is now a bright star to watch for. With his great portrayal of a Norse God who wields alarming strength and a Scandinavian charisma, ladies will be further weakened at their knees when Hemsworth goes topless. Not that his strength lies in his physique and good looks, but he embodies the character of Thor well enough. Same goes for Hiddleston as Loki and Hopkins as Odin, but the same cannot be said for a restricted Portman as Foster's role was very thinly-written.

Which translates into an implausible romance arc.

Thor satisfies the Marvel fan sufficiently before the next course is served in the form of Captain America, which is due later this Summer. With all these, it sets up a irrefutable hype revolving around the final project where all four Marvel heroes will converge in a single film.

The Avengers reveals a tiny teaser of itself at the end of the credit roll, so do stay behind till the end.


  1. There wasn't a tiny teaser of "The Avengers" at the end of the movie, at least in my country. Damn, I've been curious about it since I read that on your blog.

  2. Oh. I hope I won't be providing spoilers here but it's a brief scene involving Nick Frost (Samuel L. Jackson) and Erik Selvig. They also revealed what was in the suitcase that Nick Frost had in Iron Man 2.

  3. MY apologies! It's Nick Fury! Haha.

  4. Part of what I wanted from the film was a guy in armor with a giant hammer smacking frost giants in the face...and so I got that. It was a good time at the theaters, and that's all I asked for. Good review!

  5. @Dan Agreed and well said. Sometimes our expectations have to fall appropriately to various genre films. Thanks Dan for sharing your views! :)


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