Wednesday, 11 May 2011



Dir: Kenneth Branagh (Sleuth (2007), Hamlet (1996), Henry V (1989), Dead Again)
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston, Rene Russo, Skarsgård, Jaimie Alexander, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson
USA, 2011

Seen: May 7, 2011 at Scotiabank in 2D

Reason to see: It's on my list of Most Anticipated Films of 2011 (#5) for loving Chris Hemsworth in Star Trek, being a long time fan of Kenneth Branagh and general epic-ness.

Ah, Thor. When I first heard about a film version of Thor I thought it wouldn't translate. I didn't know much of the character beyond blond wavy hair, red cape, big hammer and general Nordic epicness. But, then I heard it would be directed by Kenneth Branagh, and I sat up a little straighter and I love his work and he 'gets' epic. Then I heard it would star Chris Hemsworth of Star Trek (he played Kirk's Dad) and I sat up even straighter. Then I saw the first trailer and had to stand right up as I started laughing, because I had a feeling I was easily going to be won over by the film. And I was.

I don't want to say too much about the story itself as I was quite impressed by how it unfolded and it's a film that you don't really need to know too much going in. One of the coolest things about the film is that it's able to balance pretty high-fantasy stylings and old-world sensibilities as well as current day Earth in all its contemporary glory. The key that really makes both worlds work is who is at the the heart of the film itself: Chris Hemsworth who is absolutely perfect as Thor. He is believable as as both a god among men as he is a boy among gods. He can easily be charming and charismatic as well as being gregarious and ambitious.

I had a feeling Chris Hemsworth would be awesome in the role, and he was so that was pretty much enough to win me over but the film kept delivering on many more levels. I loved the combination and articulation of both science and magic. I loved the storytelling, characters and journeys of the film - and I was thrilled that I didn't actually know them going in so I'm not going to reveal to much there. I thought they handled the action well with a combination of camp and cleverness, and a nice variety of fighting, scenarios and settings. But what pushed me over the edge of solid enjoyment to full blast entertainment was the humour in the film. It took me by happy surprized how funny in both a current day context way as well as just straight-up humour way. The humour creates a wonderful lightness among what could feel like an overly serious world and adventure, but instead just feels like what could happen on the strangest day of someones life. The only thing that I could criticize the film for would be the romance elements, which I completely believed while I was watching the film but when later thought about them had a thread of doubt. Just a thread though, and not something i would hold against an otherwise purely entertainment packed film.

Overall, Thor is a great hero journey film, with fun characters, a great story and a charming sense of humour. It will easily be one of my favourites of the year and is a great start to the 2011 summer movie season. I'm already looking forward to seeing it again and I'd happily recommend it to fans of superhero films, adventure films, fantasy film and action films as it delivers on so many levels. Do yourself a favour and check it out and enjoy the entertaining ride.

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'd buy it and might even see it again in the theatre
I highly recommend it to fans of superhero films, fantasy films and/or adventure films

Also see: All 2011 Films Reviewed, Most Anticipated Films of 2011 and All Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011


Suzie Ridler said...

Woohoo! So glad you like this movie Shannon and I didn't know about Kenneth Branagh's involvement. I would have had the exact same reaction. I had heard the romance element was off from other critics too but hey, I am sure I will like it anyway. Now I really can't wait to see it! Thanks Shannon. Love that I can come here and not deal with spoilers, I really didn't want to hear too much about this one.

Andrew Robinson said...

Glad to hear you loved the movie just as much as me. I was very skeptical the whole way through, worrying about how it would look or whether it would good or bad, or if Hopkins was going to amp up the cheese (in a bad way). But everything turned out awesome and I hope that Capt. America can be as fun as this one was.

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