Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Thor (2011)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

I’ve been meaning to watch The Avengers, which is based on the Marvel Comics universe.  The problem is that it draws from other Marvel-universe-inspired movies, including Thor.  It’s not that I mind watching many of these movies.  I had already seen Iron Man and probably would have watched Iron Man 2 anyway.

In Thor, the main character is Thor, Norse God of Thunder.  He’s the son of Odin, King of the Asgard.  Thor is about to receive some more power, but the Frost Giants attack Asgard to get back a relic.  (Years ago, the Asgard took said relic from the Frost Giants causing them to become mortal enemies.)  Thor drives back the unexpected attack, but wants answers.  He goes to their home planet and upsets an uneasy truce, requiring Odin to save Thor.

As punishment, Thor is banished to Earth.  His hammer, Mjolnir, is sent to Earth, as well.  Thor is found by Jane Foster, who is doing research with Erik Selvig (her mentor) and Darcy (her assistant).  The hammer attracts the attention of locals at first, then the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D., who want to figure out what it is.  Thor finds that he is stripped of his powers; he has to live on Earth as a mortal.  This isn’t easy for someone who’s as arrogant as Thor.  Of course, that’s the point.  Thor has to learn humility.

As you might expect, not all is going well on the Asgard home world.  Thor’s brother, Loki, is living up to his reputation as a troublemaker.  When Odin falls into a coma, it becomes evident that Loki is up to no good.  With Thor on Earth, there’s no one to stop Loki from doing as he pleases.

I have to admit that half of my motivation for watching this movie was because I want to eventually see the Avengers.  The other half was curiosity.  I was sort of familiar with the Marvel comics and wanted to see how they would handle it as a movie.  (Yes, this is one of those movies where someone has to learn a lesson and does so at the last possible moment.)  It’s also fun watching someone’s take on mythology.

The CGI was great.  Asgard and the Frost-Giant planet both appear to be all CGI.  (At least, the exterior shots anyway.)  The story was a little weak.  It seemed mostly like it was setting up The Avengers movie.  There were two notable references to other movies in the Marvel Universe.  At one point, Eric Selvig talks of knowing someone who was researching gamma radiation.  In another scene, a giant robot lands on Earth.  Someone asks if it’s one of Stark’s, referring to Tony Stark.

This isn’t to say that the movie’s not entertaining.  I rented it from Redbox for free using a code from Checkpoints.  I don’t know that I would have wanted to see the movie in theaters, but it was still fun to watch at home when I wasn’t paying for it.  I’d say that if it comes on one of the premium movie channels or you can get it on demand, go for it.  (Also, as with the other movies, watch after the credits.)

You don’t really have to have seen any of the previously released movies to watch this movie, nor will watching it ruin the other movies, but you may miss a few references.  It’s also not a movie for small children.  I’d say it’s good for teens and up, mostly due to some violence.  All in all, not a bad movie. 

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