Thor Flies But Doesn’t Soar: a Recommendation from Steve

Back in my comic book days, my two favorite superheroes were Thor and Captain America.  After years of superhero movies, they are finally getting their turn on the big screen.  So, I’m excited, right?  Not really, no.  My comic book days were a long time ago and I’m actually a bit tired of superhero movies.  Nonetheless, I still hoped that Thor would capture some of the magic of Iron Man or The Dark Knight.  The short answer: it didn’t.  The longer answer: Thor is an entertaining movie, but it is far from being a great movie, or even a great comic book movie.  I was never bored, but I wasn’t enthralled, either (except during one scene towards the end which I will not reveal here).  Chris Hemsworth is quite good as Thor, convincing in his arrogance early in the film and in his shift to a deeper understanding of himself when he is banished to Earth.  He also brings a welcome playfulness to the role, but he is no Robert Downey, Jr.  Natalie Portman is not terrible as Jane.  (How’s that for faint praise?)  She’s not overly convincing as a supposedly brilliant scientist, more often seeming to be a bit of a ditz who falls for a hunk.  Unfortunately, her acting here is closer to Queen Amidala than to Nina, her Oscar-winning performance in Black Swan.  Some of the blame for that goes to the screenwriters (five writers, never a good sign!).  The script is lame at times.  Anthony Hopkins is fine as Odin, but I still think of Hannibal Lecter whenever I see him.  Tim Hiddleston is more creepy than mischievous as Loki and I found Asgard to be somewhat hokey.  The fight sequences were less than spectacular.  They certainly didn’t add anything new to the genre.  Despite all that, the movie still manages to be fun enough for me to recommend it.  Go see it, just don’t expect too much.  That’s how I now plan to approach Captain America.  A final note: I saw Thor in 3D.  I hate 3D!  More on that in an upcoming blog post.

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