I forgot how many games are coming out in the next few months. Dead Island is the next, hitting next Tuesday. The game would have sold me just with that first cinematic trailer (really one of my favorite gaming trailers ever) but from what I’ve been hearing, the co-op is aces. Can’t wait to try it out.
Saw THOR yesterday during a beautiful digital 3D presentation at the Museum of the Moving Image and genuinely enjoyed it. It’s pretty much all I hoped for and I’d say it’s on par with Iron Man, a light, fun summer blockbuster. Like Iron Man the fun may fade a bit when I see it on dvd but it’s a perfect theatrical experience.
Quick story synopsis- Thor’s a warrior prince from Asgard, a planet of (mostly) white Norse Gods. He’s next in line to become King after his father Hannibal Lecter and he’s got a mischievous younger brother named Loki, who weirdly has the same hairstyle I do now. Years ago Asgard had been at war with another planet full of Frost Giants, which are pretty much exactly what they sound like, except uglier. On the day Thor is supposed to be crowned king frost giants break into Asgard and nearly steal back a relic of theirs. Thor, being the immature prince that he is, gathers his friends and sets off to teach them a lesson with the aid of his mighty hammer meow meow, almost causing a war in the process. His dad is so mad that he strips him of his powers and shoots him off to Earth, where he gets run over by a black swan and learns what it’s like to be mortal. Adventure ensues!
Perhaps one of the reasons I liked the film so much is that while it’s an origin story, seemingly created solely to introduce the character before The Avengers kicks off, it’s not your traditional origin story. It’s more of a Spider-man 2 than a Spider-man, if that makes sense. We aren’t saddled with countless scenes of Peter Parker/Logan/Tony Stark/The Fantastic Four/Matt Murdock/Bruce Wayne learning how to control his/their powers/suit/weapons, Thor already knows what to do with that hammer and is an unstoppable force. While we’re shown one scene with Thor and Loki as kids, he’s not learning the meaning of responsibility, he’s learning how to become a leader.
On a whole the film’s quite funny, has some nice heartfelt moments and a good amount of action. It’s all done in the usual childish, silly way, of course, but it’s a comic book movie after all.
Chris Hemsworth plays the charming douche role perfectly, an spoiled brat of a prince who doesn’t know how to act kingly. He also beefed up considerably for the role, a fact that the women in the audience certainty seemed to appreciate during one of his shirtless scenes.
Kat Dennings manages to pull off the actually funny comic relief!
Stan the Man’s best cameo yet.
Asgard is beautiful, visually. Really impressive CGI work there. The Frost Giants’ home too, although the geography makes no sense.
I love that the Asgardians don’t fly through space, they shoot you across it in a giant gun. Why not?
Oh, how that hammer flies. There aren’t enough action scenes but Thor has quite a few showstopping moments in them.
Natalie Portman’s character falls in love with Thor (obviously), but it only takes a day? That’s one helluva quick arc.
Can the product placement get any worse in these Marvel films? Jesus, they even throw cereal in your face this time.
There’s a Hawkeye cameo but he contributes nothing to the film.
The main baddie Thor has to face doesn’t exactly have much personality, or even any explanation of where it came from.
There’s not really the big ending you hope there would be, in fact- we don’t even see what comes thanks to the last events of the film. While Asgard is shown as a massive world with thousands of people you don’t see them for the last half of the movie, and it’s really just the royal family bickering among themselves.
The significance of the ending scene (and yes stay after the credits, there is one) was lost on me till I googled. But it does indicate cool things to come…
Thor goes to a bar and is given a budweiser. Where’s the mead?
Worthy of your cash even if it does feel like an extended trailer for The Avengers at parts. See it in theaters if you see it at all, so that you can feel the subwoofer pound your chest to submission with every blow of Thor’s mighty hammer. 3D is optional, although it’s done fairly well.