A week or so ago, on the eve of Mother's Day, my wife and I took our sons (and their father) to see Thor
on the big screen.
To say I was anxiously awaiting this movie would be an understatement. To say the release of Thor
made me nervous would also be an understatement.
A live action version of Marvel's Thunder God was long overdue, but, if they never made one it could never suck.
Thus my conundrum.
We paid the upcharge and took in the movie in 3-D.
Unlike some folks I know
, I really enjoyed the movie. Of course, I left my critic's helmet at home. I wore only my winged fanboy helmet.
The movie opens with a heavy dose of mythology as the Aesir battle the Frost Giants. I was glad they did that. It showed me the creative team weren't going to shy away from the Norse mythology elements of the story.
After an ill-advised trip to Jotunheim (yes, I spelled that from memory), Thor is banished to Earth by Odin. This sets all of the other wheels in motion.
I can see why Kenneth Branagh was attracted to this movie. It brings the familial drama of Shakespeare together with action pieces every director wants to get his teeth into. They expanded the current Marvel movie mythos without giving subjugating Thor and the supporting cast to lesser roles.
We once again get to see Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson trying to make sense of the growing number of superpowers in his personal orbit. We also got the first appearance of Clint Barton aka Hawkeye as he drew down on Thor with a compound bow.
I've heard some people complain about the lack of deconstruction of the character. To those folks I say "lighten up!" Sometimes it's okay to just make a superhero movie. Marvel's Thor has always been about a prince learning humility. His time on Earth was the equivalent of being turned into a frog. Wait...they did that too in the comics.
The cast is equal to the task. Chris Hemsworth commands the screen as Thor, except when he's on the screen with Anthony Hopkins' Odin. That is as it should be. I enjoyed seeing the Warriors Three, Thor's boyhood friends turned adventuring team. Of course, no mention of Thor would be complete without mention of Loki. Tom Hiddleston was excellent, even going so far as owning Loki's curved horn helmet.
Idris Elba as Heimdall, the guardian of BiFrost, showed the sly wisdom the character is known for. Never willing to abandon his post, he is willing to stretch the limits of his oath to the breaking point for the good of the realm.
All that being said, to me, the true selling point of the movie was watching my 7 (nearly 8) year old sons enraptured by the heroics on the screen. Sure, I had to answer questions about Nick Fury's loyalties after the movie, but for the 2 hours we were in that theater, those boys (and their father's inner 8 year old) were enraptured. In fact, when Thor and the Destroyer were duking it out in the middle of town, High Noon
style, my inner 8 year old gave me a giant high five.
is not the strongest movie in the Marvel canon. That honor still belongs to Iron Man
. However, as a first outing for the character and the next building block on the road to The Avengers
it did exactly what it was supposed to do. It introduced Thor, possibly the least accessible of the original Avengers, to the Multiplex crowd.