Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Thor: True Strength or Comic on Steroids?
I spent Saturday night seeing "Thor" at Loews Waterfront Theatre. Before seeing "Thor" I had no background of any story lines or history of the comic aside from the facts that it was created in the 1960's, was about a very strong guy named Thor, and that creator Stan Lee had already created a super strength character, The Incredible Hulk, and thought the only way to make someone stronger than Hulk was to make the character a god. Thus, the genesis of comic book "Thor". Lee then chose the Norse God of Thunder, Thor, for his next creation.
When watching comic book movies you should always watch them with two lenses. The first lens being the movie while the second lens should be comparing how true the movie is to the comic book roots. Which lens you view the movie from can entirely change your perception of the movie. As stated in a previous post, I am not a huge comic book fan, so I watched "Thor" from the first lens.
"Thor" was filled which great action without too much CGI animation. There were times that CGI filled the screen, but it was done with taste and much more realistic than other movies which have gone over the top and taken the "realness" of characters. The action sequences were blended well with a compelling storyline which never allowed me to be bored. The plot was filled with fantasy, science fiction, and everyday life. This balance is so crucial to the comic world and "Thor" balanced all three aspects well as one would expect from any Marvel comic. The acting was what you would expect for a comic book movie, but I should add that lead actor Chris Hemsworth was a charming choice to star as Thor and did a great job.
The Norse God storyline was the most interesting part of "Thor" for me and is what kept me interested. We have all learned the myths of the Greek and Roman Gods, but for some reason the Norse tales rarely find their way into traditional school classrooms. The Norse Gods are based on the idea of cosmology that there are Nine Realms or Worlds and the Gods live in Asgard, which is the highest realm and home to the Gods. The Gods must interact with creatures from other realms, but also protect their homeland. "Thor" is the heir to the throne of Asgard, but is banished because his father and King, Odin, feels that Thor must learn humility and ends up living on earth.
Although the Norse God storyline was the most interesting aspect of the movie, the story then dives into the comic book vs. movie lens controversy. Fan boys of "Thor will argue that the after the banishment, "Thor" did not keep true to it's comic storyline and spirals into it's own story that can not hold a match to the comic. Upon return I read about the history of "Thor" and saw the glaring differences, but this did not spoil my enjoyment of the movie. I thought that the creators simply needed to make a great comic fit into 1 hour 54 minutes, which is long by some people's comic movie standards. I thought given the amount of story, complexity, and time restraints, "Thor" was a job well done and I recommend it to anyone seeking a fun movie experience, but just be sure to see it on the big screen as your home theatre will not do "Thor" justice.
Pills gives "Thor" 3/5 stars.