The film adaptation of the Marvel comics character based on Norse Mythology, entitled THOR may seem like a movie that could easily suck if it was given a less than excellent treatment. But it’s a good thing that it was not less than excellent; it exceeded the degree that we’d have wanted. Right off the start of this review let me tell you in advance that this movie is worth the full price you pay for it. THOR is an extremely spectacular eye candy filled with action, and at the same time, the kind of storyline and acting that passes beyond flying colours. Let me warn you that the next paragraph will be containing spoilers for the film.
Long ago, the Frost Giants terrorized humans, which were slaughtered by their menace. But then came the Asgardian Gods led by the great and powerful father god Odin, who has waged war upon the Frost Giants. The Asgardians drove back the Frost Giants to their homeworld. This leads to an awesome war sequence which reminds me of that brief and spectacular battle scene at the prologue of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
We then go to the scene where it is revealed that Odin has two sons Thor and Loki. Thor being promised to be the successor of Odin as King. And soon we get to see how Thor is actually this enormous jerk of a guy; ego as large as a planet and a recklessness of a child. In contrast, Loki is more careful of his actions and his humility greatly contrasts Thor’s arrogance. Interestingly, the story seems like its setting up Thor as the villainous character and the ever-cautious and quiet Loki as the more sympathetic one.
By his own gigantic sense of pride, fragile temper, and poor judgement of suspicion, Thor marches to the homeworld of the Frost Giants and picks a fight with them, breaking a truce that Odin wishes to have permanent peace someday. Eventually, Thor’s actions caused horrible consequences. And rightfully, Odin punishes Thor by banishing him to Earth as a mortal, so that he may learn humility and have his arrogance crushed.
Although that we do expect Loki to be indeed the villain of the story, his character here was successful in actually deceiving even its own audiences with his malice. The degree of acting and the character build-up at the early half of the film does make Loki seem to be the good guy, to a point that I was amazed as to wonder where and at which point of the story does Loki take the sudden turn to become the bad guy. Only at the second half of the movie did I ever succumb to the direction of the story and applaud to the fact that Loki is indeed the god of mischief as what was originally perceived of him to be in the comic books and in the Norse mythology itself.
It was never a mistake to choose Kenneth Branagh as the director of this film because he does weave a dramatic storyline that seems to indeed echo his background in Shakespearean drama, and the seemingly conscious effort to ensure that this movie is also immensely rich in eye candy, action, and adventure as well.
The concept designs are gorgeous; the costumes are superbly attractive; the color tone of the movie when it goes to scenes of Asgard are vibrant and appropriate to portray a world that is both magical and also suspiciously alien. The concept of the Asgardians and the Frost Giants, along with the magic are cleverly portrayed to be as such that magic and mythological gods could be things of science and beings of alien origin, but never explicably just one of both. Even the rainbow bridge in the comicbook versions are interpreted in this film as so that it does look like a rainbow, but never silly looking as expected.
Expectations have been exceeded with this movie. THOR is one of those comic-book concepts that have a heavy degree of fragility to be translated onscreen. The slightest mistake could have made this project look silly or awful. But Branagh and his team have succeeded in overcoming that incredible obstacle and proved that THOR is an excellently-made, and a cleverly-conceived movie. I will surely watch it again this weekend, this time; on 3-D.