Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thor 3D Movie Review

It's May and that means the summer movie season has begun. Opening today and leading the pack is Thor, a movie based on the Marvel comic book. In a bold move Marvel has made a big budget film on one of its least American tales. That's because Thor is based on Norse mythology.

Thor (Chirs Hemsworth) is the tale of the Norse god, heir to the throne of Asgard. While leading a risky and unauthorized raid on Frost Giants, Thor and his warriors must be rescued by his father, Odin, (Anthony Hopkins) king of Asgard. Upon their return, Thor questions the decisions of Odin. Odin realizing his son is arrogant and foolish, banishes him to earth, sending him there via a wormhole. He also strips Thor of his hammer Mjolnir, and sends that to earth. It gets stuck and only when Thor has earned it, can he wield its power. While on earth he meets scientists Jane Foster (Natlaie Portman), Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) and Darcy. (Kat Dennings) Meanwhile, Thor's brother Loki, (Tim Hiddleston) has plans to become king of Asgard.

This movie is being released in 3-D, IMAX and 2D. I saw it in 3D. First, be aware that this film is a conversion from 2D. An no matter what the producers say, about setting up shots and knowing the movie is going to be in 3D, conversions usually stink. Films in 3-D are dark because of the dual image. Add to that the use of the dark glasses, and you've lost quite a bit of light in the movie. And unlike shooting in 3-D, the director of photography can't adjust the lighting because she's shot the thing in 2D.

So is Thor in 3D worth your extra bucks? The answer is a resounding no. One wonders why director Kenneth Branagh (Henry V) has so many night and dark scenes. For example, the raid on the Frost Giants which is a thrilling sequence but is too dark to see what's going on. There's one swift camera pan going into Asgard that will give you motion sickness. There's little popping effects. The best I can say is that the end credits with the nebulas are the best 3D effects. So avoid the 3D version of this film.

That being said, the film itself is pretty good. Branagh is a fan of the comic book and he brings his Shakespearean sensibilities to the movie. The story does a good job of depicting a god becoming a man who learns humility. The action scenes are exciting and the Destroyer, a robot protector, is really scary. There are also nice moments of humor.

Chirs Hemsworth is fine as Thor. And his working out, has shaped his body into superhero proportions. There is no need for this guy to wear fake muscles. As the character Darcy mused, he's cut. Natalie Portman is given very little to do here other than to be spunky. The romance between the two is just okay. Anthony Hopkins is just masterful as Odin. This is perfect casting. He's powerful and regal.

Thor is an operatic comic book movie. It's fascinating when the drama is in Asgard. The action sequences are well done. As with Marvel films, stay through the end credits for an extra scene. The grade for Thor is B+.

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