THOR Review [Oh, It’s Tuesday]

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THOR Review [Oh, It’s Tuesday]

The first official movie of the summer, I had high anticipation for THOR, but also curiously low expectations. Having seen it, I don’t think this will go down as the best movie for summer — or even make the top five, but it did have quite a few things going for it. Here are my thoughts:

1. Amazing production design. Asgard was just GORGEOUS to look at and CGI at it’s best. Unfortunately it’s resplendence didn’t play very well against the drabness of small-town Mexico. I found myself checking out on the New Mexico scenes and wondering what was going on in Asgard.

2. Natalie Portman as an astrophysicist. Some people complain about scientists being played by starlets with really glossy hair, but hey, my sister happens to be a gorgeous engineer, so I do believe that science and beauty can mix. Also, it was nice to see a superhero be attracted to someone’s “brain” for once. I thought the romance played nicely, with both Thor and Natalie Portman’s character having compelling reasons to like and respect the other.

3. Really convoluted rules. Remember how I’m always saying that the more complicated the story, the more simple the writing needs to be? I found myself really confused about the rules of the worlds and their showy gadgets presented in this film: what did what and who hailed from where and so on. Something happens in the end that’s obviously a set up for either THOR 2 or the Avengers movies, and I’m still wondering why the Asgardians couldn’t solve this seemingly insurmountable problem on their own.

4. Loki. A hero is only as good as his villain and this movie suffered from a few problems, writing-villain-wise. First of all, we don’t find out that he’s a known trickster until later in the film, when a character references it. Yet, there’s a scene when he and Thor are children, in which his “trickster” nature isn’t referenced at all. You can’t just say that a character has been known to play tricks halfway through the film. Either establish your villain from the get so that we know who we’re dealing with OR let his trickster nature be a surprise to everyone. The way Loki is presented here, you wonder why anyone would ever trust him, including Thor. Also, his decision-making seems to be more dictated by plot than reason or emotion.

5. Chris Hemsworth as Thor. What a charming actor. Though he was so ripped, I couldn’t help but wonder if his workout included a steroid coctail on the side throughout the entire movie. Still, as much as I love Alexander Skaarsgard from TRUE BLOOD (reportedly he was up for the role, too), I think this unknown was absolutely the right choice, making an unlikeable hero engaging and watchable from the get-go.

6. Last but not least….

The Anti-Paul Report

1. Were there any minorities in this film? Yes, The Gatekeeper is black, and one of Thor’s Warrior Three is Asian. Though there was a curious lack of Latinos in the New Mexico town. Are there really all-white small towns in New Mexico? I didn’t see any the last time I drove through there…

2. Did any of them have speaking parts? Yes!

3. How many of them were from THE WIRE? Idris Elba (Stringer Bell) plays the part of The Gatekeeper quite handsomely and does some great “acting with his eyes” despite the fact that his features are all but obscured by a golden helmet and orange contacts.