Thor is one of those movies that you expect to be terrible, winds up being pretty good, then you never think about again for the rest of your life. At least until The Avengers comes out, maybe.
I thought that Thor looked pretty stupid. I mean, it’s hard to get excited about a movie that openly admits it is just a required precursor to a hopefully much cooler movie due out in a few years. The situation wasn’t helped by some very dumb previews, and a main star who’s biggest credit is being “the dad of Captain Kirk in the Star Trek reboot”.
All that being said, Thor turned out to be pleasantly surprising. The action was cool, the ice monster things were scary, and Chris Hemsworth’s likability is not to be underestimated. Really, the best thing about this movie was that it wasn’t afraid to be fun. I love The Dark Knight, but not every superhero movie needs to mimic its gritty, realistic tone. Especially superhero movies that feature a “rainbow bridge” and a 25-foot tall magical fire-breathing robot. This movie would have been laughable had it all been treated seriously, and fortunately Kenneth Branagh and team realized this and decided to have fun with it.
And, like most fun popcorn summer blockbusters, this one was not perfect. I found Loki as the villain to be very boring. It was an interesting attempt to have a comic book villain be multi-faceted and relatable, but the screenwriter and Tom Hiddleston make Loki so watered down, I don’t care what happens to him one way or the other. Another puzzling casting move was having Natalie Portman play the scientist love interest. If you’re going to hire one of the best actresses alive today, why not make her character more interesting than a brick wall? And despite the riotous laughter coming from my theater, I thought Kat Dennings was ingratiating as the comic relief. But that one might just be me.
Still, I expected Thor to be completely stupid, and it was only a little stupid. It had fun, and the fun was catching. That being said, I have no desire to ever see it again. Although I am completely psyched for The Avengers. Is it 2012 yet?