Thor has pretty much leap-frogged Spiderman on my “Favorite Superhero’s List.” He stands at No. 2 now, right behind Batman. Honestly, I’m shocked that it’s taken me this long to get hip to something so blatantly cool. The character really doesn’t need much justification: dude’s the Viking god of Thunder, he can fly and he wields a hammer that was crafted in the core of a dying star. He really doesn’t give a f*ck and is probably having sex with your girlfriend at this very moment.
I give the character Thor an incredibly strong endorsement, which is important, because he’s really all that this movie has going for it. As has become the Marvel way of doing things in light of the inevitable Avengers movie, Thor feels like a total prequel. An entertaining-as-hell prequel, and one well worth the eight dollars I paid to see it, but a movie more worried about introducing the audience to a character than establishing a conflict. Or a semblance of plot. Honestly, anything other than attaining quality shots of Chris Hemsworth mugging for the camera was pretty much an afterthought in Thor.
This movie couldn’t be more by-the-book, or rife with half-baked plot points.
Example One: There’s the mortal girl – played by Natalie Portman – who teaches the all-powerful god of thunder how to love.
Example Two: There’s the wise, all-seeing black guy (played by Stringer Bell).
Example Three: The race of protagonists that Thor and his god friends are constantly at odds with are called Frost Giants. Yes, Frost Giants. Though a friend informed me that this notorious race was featured heavily in the comic books, I can’t take a movie all too seriously that features enemies that would haunt the characters in a story concocted by one of my nieces.
I’m not trying to say that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the movie, I just question the legitimacy of this Avengers crap that Marvel is undertaking. At some point, it’d be nice to see a thoughtfully-made superhero movie that delivers on a visual and emotional level. Spiderman, Spiderman 2 and Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies proved that the genre can be about more than just filling seats and selling popcorn, which appears to be the direction that Marvel is comfortable in going. With two more movies – X-Men: First Class and Captain America: The First Avenger – slated for release by the end of the summer, they are going to be one of the more heavily scrutinized brand names in the entertainment business for the foreseeable future. And since we can already count America as being as being fodder for the Avengers, Avengers had better be a goddamned masterpiece.
So, should you see Thor? I’d recommend it to anybody with a remote interest in action, superheroes or general bad-assery. Chris Hemsworth is incredibly entertaining, Natalie Portman is Natalie Portman and the visuals are fantastic. I liked it more than Iron Man. It has enough good going for it that it will do more than just pass time until Avengers, which, at this point, is probably the best complement one can bestow on a Marvel film.