I started reading comic books at the age of seven. Twenty five years later I sold the last of my comic book collection. Among my collection was a large run of “The Mighty Thor” comics. I even had a few of the early appearances in Journey into Mystery. Thor was never one of my favorite superheroes, mostly due to all the â€śtheeâ€™sâ€ť and â€śthouâ€™sâ€ť in his speech.Â In the 1980â€™s writer/artist Walt Simonson took over the Thor title at Marvel and pretty much remade the character. He lost his hammer (Mjolnir) for awhile and he lost his alter ego.Â This is the character that most represents the Thor we see in the movie.
So if you are hoping to see the original origin story from the 1960â€™s you can forget it. But there is an homage to that origin, which I will not spoil for you. Anyway, on to the movieâ€¦
I liked “Thor”. I will not say I liked it as much as “Iron Man”, but it was better than “Iron Man 2″. Chris Hemsworth did a very decent job as the Norse god of thunder, with the right amount of humor and arrogance readers of the comic book can appreciate.Â Anthony Hopkins, as Odin, was also very good in his limited role. The weakest link in the movie is the Jane Foster character played by Natalie Portman. I guess ever since “Spider-Man” grossed over 400 million dollars domestically, Marvel has decided that all their superhero movies need a love story. I think as far as “Spider-Man” goes, it was crucial to the story, as it is in the comic book. But for “Thor”, this was mostly a waste of screen time.
Natalie Portman is a great actress and I have loved her in most of the roles I have seen her in going back to “Leon: The Professional”. But she is completely miscast in this role. I guess it didnâ€™t help that Kat Dennings, who plays her assistant Darcy in the movie, stole every scene they were in together. I would rather have seen Kat Dennings as Jane Foster. But that is not a huge mark against the movie.Â This was also one of my favorite Stan Lee cameos since they started making Marvel Comic book movies.
Most of the movie takes place in Asgard, which is the home to the Norse gods, for all you uninitiated.Â The realm of the gods did look spectacular, and I especially liked the Rainbow Bridge and Heimdall. The movie should appeal to anyone that loves Norse mythology even if they never read a Thor comic book in their lives, as so much of the movie takes place in that world. Tom Hiddleston did a good job as Thorâ€™s nemesis Loki, although I did not like how they messed with his origin. Loki is the god of mischief in Norse mythology, and in the comic book he is always butting heads with Thor.
So what is missing from this movie? Why is it not as good as “Iron Man”? I think what made “Iron Man” a great movie was the personality that Robert Downey Jr. brought to Tony Stark. Chris Hemsworth played the role well, and he did have some funny lines, but I guess the problem I have with “Thor” is the same problem I have with Superman: just too damn powerful. There was not really a moment in the movie where I felt the character was in any real peril. And of course when your father is Odin, you have a pretty good backup there, donâ€™t you?
But the movie overall was enjoyable and is just another prelude to “The Avengers” movie due out in 2012. Speaking of the Avengers, one of my favorite parts of the movie was the cameo of another Avenger. Look for it; it was pretty cool.
PS: Make sure you stay past the credits for another Avengers teaser.