Yes, I know. This movie came out months ago but as the circumstances has it, we, Indonesians could only see it in theater by yesterday. And thus this review. So let’s get this over with. I liked Norse mythology. I think it has no short supply of badass Gods, interesting concept of Yggdrasil, and then there’s this wild-card Loki. Many, maybe even all high-fantasy novels that I’ve read has some elements borrowed from it. Having said that, I can’t say that I’m a fan to Marvel’s “Thor” (never read it) and from a day one, I’ve been wondering how does Branagh going to mix the mythology into the Avenger’s present world time frame. Well, at the very least, he does a lot of better job to mix these two different universes into a single feature film than what DC has done with “Green Lantern.” And I’m a DC fan.
“Thor”‘s first thirty minutes or so was dedicated to introduces the principal characters that occupies Asgard, the realm of God where Thor, son of Odin originally resides. His arrogance (actually, it’s more like his self-esteem and pride), and his brass attitude finally got the better of him and prompted his banishment to Earth (why Earth? Beats the hell out of me) by Odin. Odin strips his son’s godly power and also sent Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer to Earth which was enchanted so as only the worthy would be able to lift and wield it. This hammer was the one we’ve seen at “Iron Man 2″‘s post-credit scene. Of course, as Thor seeks to retrieve his hammer during his banishment, and return to Asgard, he met with Earthlings, represented by astrophysicist Jane Foster who’d obviously became his love interest. Meanwhile, in Asgard, a plot brewing, which eventually clashed with Thor’s quest in what I must say as a rather low key battle scene for a dude with a Godly power.
First off, kudos to Marvel for making this movie actually enjoyable. There’s always a challenge when it comes to incorporate an alien world into ours but “Thor” manages to do so without it sounding too implausible. Case in point, “Green Lantern” suffers terribly because everyone in Oa speaks everyday English. Asgard in this movie, on the other hand, knows how to differentiate with our universe and also manages to deliver interesting stuffs to keep the audience engaged and thus preventing an unnecessary questionings that would inevitably led to boredom. With few quirks, including the very underused Natalie Portman and a surprisingly low key battle scene, I think “Thor” is a better chapter to precede “The Avengers” than “Captain America.” At least, “Thor” felt complete even if there’s an obvious cliffhanger at the end.
As the titular character, Chris Hemsworth is a good cast. He has the looks, he has the arrogance, but he also has some acting chops required to express his character’s humility when he was stripped of his power and humbled with that realization. If anything, it’s easy to root for him. Meanwhile, Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman are big names that doesn’t do much with their roles. I’m not buying Thor and Jane relationship here, for example. I can’t feel any chemistry between the two. It’s probably because time is the issue and their screenplay doesn’t leave much room for their relationships to grow naturally.
However, my favorite part of the movie is obviously Tom Hiddleston as Loki. A complex character, I’d say, and also (unsurprisingly) my favorite character from what I knew from Norse mythology. He’s not a straight out villain with pure evil intentions, for he has his reason, and he was actually troubled/conflicted with it. He’s a wounded character and Tom Hiddleston delivers him in such passion that it is hard to not giving him a little bit of sympathy. Glad that he’s going to return for “The Avengers.”
All in all, “Thor” is an enjoyable superhero movie even with its rather ambitious scope in including at least two realms beside Earth within its two hours running time. But, even more important, it has a solid story backed up with some strong and memorable performances that eventually made this movie unique and good enough not just to stand on its own but also as part of ongoing prologue for “The Avengers.” Tom Hiddleston is awesome.