Film review: Thor (2011)
By Owen Hughes
Is it pronounced ‘T-or’ or ‘TH-or’? Your Scandinavian friends will tell you that the H is silent, although the American filmmakers clearly wanted to avoid any confusion that may have arisen when cinema-goers were presented with a silent letter. How toughtful – sorry – thoughtful.
Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, an arrogant and unlikable young warrior who is in line to take his father Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) place as king of the mystical realm of Asgard. After his instatement ceremony is interrupted by the appearance of the Ice Giants, an ancient foe of Asgard, Thor defies his father by travelling to their world to confront them. He inadvertently breaks a long-standing truce with the giants, and for his recklessness, Odin strips Thor of his powers and banishes him to the mortal world. He places an enchantment on Thor’s über-hammer so that only a worthy warrior will be able to wield it, and with it the powers of the thunder God.
Thor can be generalised as a typical comic book adaptation. Implausible storyline? Check. Sparkly-eyed love interest? Check. Lots of cool, expensive special effects? Check. Not to mention the underlying genre-typified theme of balancing power and responsibility, as well as a handful of quirky one-liners and laugh-out-loud moments. Be wary of watching it in 3D, however: as with many 3D films, I couldn’t help feel that just by turning the brightness levels up a notch, everything would have been a lot easier to see. Particularly during the first fifteen or so minutes, where the scenes are largely set in darkness.
Though nowhere near as good as genre top-dogs such as The Dark Knight and Spiderman, Thor is still an entertaining – though relatively brainless – flick, and just about manages to define itself from the crowd with its dabbling in the world of lore and mysticism. Think Iron Man crossed with Lord of the Rings crossed with The Sword in the Stone. Hard to picture? You’ll understand once you see it.