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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Movie Review: Thor

Marvel Studios' THOR
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman,
Anthony Hopkins and Tom Hiddleton
Based on the Marvel Comics characters by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Larry Leiber
Distributed by Paramount Pictures

This movie has been hyped for a long time now, and I finally got to watch it yesterday. 

Was courage really immortal as the tag-line said?

Did it live up to the hype-machine that Marvel Studio's created? 

I'm not gonna lie. 

It met and even exceeded expectations. One of those rare summer blockbuster hits that GOT ME SMASHING FOR MORE. 

Kenneth Branagh's Thor is a big eye-candy that showcases stunning visual effects which bends the line between reality and fantasy, and one that is also emotionally deep and entertaining to boot.

Packed with a lot of epic action sequences, the movie had a lot memorable moments that would go down as the best, not only in comic book film adaptations, but also in cinematic history. Like the hammer-smashing, Earth-shattering epic battle between the Thor's 6-man Asgardian gang with  the Frost Giants of Jotunheim from the beginning of the movie, to that awe-inspiring kick-ass transformation by the hero after his trusty hammer - Mjolnir - comes back to him after being separated with it as part of his father's (Odin) punishment. That one got me literally wide-eyed giddy like a child going like: "WOOOOW".

The casting couldn't have been any better too. Chris Hemsworth was perfect for the role and I think it showed that he could be a bona-fide leading actor in the years to come. And with his performance as the arrogant hammer-wielding Thunder God - who was banished to Earth by his father in order for him to learn some humility - he has accomplished something big with this film and definitely etched his own name in Hollywood as one of its fastest rising stars. 

Natalie Portman, who plays Thor's love interest - astrophysicist Jane Foster - did a really good job as well in providing the romantic angle the movie needs as a counter balancing act to the angst and violent leading character. Her chemistry with Hemsworth is something really nice to see on the screen. Not to mention the nice smooch scene they had. 

Other actors like Anthony Hopkins (Thor's father Odindid bring justice to his character as well, and provided that no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners attitude that the "King of Asgard" needed. But probably the best actor was Tom Hiddleston who plays Loki - the jealous Norse God of Mischief and is Thor's "brother". His acting was superb which brought a lot of depth and drama to the whole film, and I've got to say, one of the finest memorable performances I have seen in a while. 

I really thought that they did well, especially the fanntastic acting by the supporting cast, namely the comic-relief that is Darcy (Kat Dennings), Heimdall, Asgard's gatekeeper (Idris Elba) up to Thor's bad-ass Asgardian friends Volstagg, Hogun, Fandall, and Sif.  And to think that most these actors/actresses are all "newbies" to mainstream films so to speak, that really says something. Their work on screen was believable and really complimented each other. 

Finally, J. Michael Straczynski and Mark Protosevich's  story  under Kenneth Branagh's direction is a formula that truly worked wonders for this film. They concocted a perfect mix of fantasy, well-placed humor, drama, and adventure that leaps through uber-realistic CGI universes and galaxies. Props to those CGI and visual effects people who spent long hours doing the post-production work. 

Add to that the intergalatic family conflict, love, and a humbling life lesson that spans realms and mystical kingdoms millions of light-years away, Thor is an epic popcorn flick that would make you scream for more "Hammer time!" after the credits roll.

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