This movie does the Marvel character justice in spirit, if not in technical details. I didn’t read Journey into Mystery, but I distinctly remember some kind of connection between the god and a human host. Although Thor was meant to be a viking, not a knight, Chris Hemsworth pulls off the latter quite handsomely. Natalie Portman who plays Jane Foster, the astro-physicist / love interest didn’t quite grab my interest the way she did in the Star Wars prequels. I can’t quite put my finger on why, maybe it’s just the role she’s in this time. This incarnation of Jane Foster seems like a rip-off of Julianne Moore’s character from 2001’s Evolution, but it lacks … something. Anthony Hopkins delivers his usual outstanding performance and fits his role of Odin the All Father like no one can.
The action scenes in the movie are epic in scale, like the galactic or cosmic nature of the storyline. I think I’ve become too jaded by epic fantasy battles. I would have eaten this up before I saw Lord of the Rings, but now it feels like they are checking off a box in a punch list. I’m more interested in the small(er) scale fights like what I saw a month ago in Sucker Punch. I like it better when I can see recognizable characters in the melee rather than two armies pretending to be oceans.
Overall, I give Thor 4 stars out of 5. I think this film will be remembered as being better than average by the end of this summer’s movie season. I don’t think it will be the stand out. If you like comic book stories, this is definitely the film for you, go see it in the theaters. If you’re a fan of sci-fi and fantasy, but not so much the comic books…it’s a maybe, but put it in your Netflix queue at least.
And finally, Slice of Sci-Fi had an open ended question / lament about movies of the past decade and how there are almost no memorable quotes from genre films. I have to agree with their assessment. The writing and dialog in sci-fi and fantasy movies have not penetrated the mainstream consciousness. But there are good quotes from the last ten years that remain in the minds of geeks. And I think Thor will add one more quote to the zeitgeist. “Uh base…we have Xena, Jackie Chan and Robin Hood over here”.