Volume 107, Issue 8 Entertainment
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Thor hammers way for Avengers

By James Locke
posted May 26, 2011

Marvel has been releasing continual summer blockbusters based around their characters since the release of Spiderman in 2002. Does the latest release, Thor, match up to the previous hits made by Marvel? Yes. Yes it does. It is a spectacle, even among other Marvel films.

Thor, for those who don’t know, is about Thor (Chris Hemsworth, Star Trek), a god to an ancient civilization of Viking warriors. On the day he is supposed to be named King of Asgard, a disturbance is caused by his culture’s ancient enemy, the Ice Giants from Jotunheim. After Thor and his gang go to Jotunheim and tear up the place, his father (Anthony Hopkins, Silence of the Lambs) banishes him and places him in New Mexico. His hammer is placed not far away but a seal is put on on it, saying, “Whoever wields this, and is ready, will possess the powers of Thor.” In New Mexico, Thor meets a team of scientists studying dimensional portals. One of them, Jane (Natalie Portman, Black Swan) ,becomes attached to the fallen hero.

The story is somewhat predictable since it’s based off of a comic book, but it certainly does have its suspenseful and touching moments. What makes the story is the acting. Every actor brings his/her character to life, and it shows that they can do comic books justice. They don’t overact to seem quirky or obnoxious, and they don’t under act to seem unemotional. Audiences will certainly be pleased because the performances are convincing and handle the story well.

Another strength of Thor is the special effects, which are nothing short of perfect. The CGI is phenomenal, and one can really tell that the developers worked on it for many long hours. The battle sequences are also fun to watch, not just because they offer cool action, but also because the special effects pay off rather nicely. They really take a scene, already dripping in awesome sauce, and sprinkle more awesome all over it. Truthfully, this movie wouldn’t work without special effects. This isn’t like Batman, with which someone can make a live action TV show for it in the sixties; Thor needs the special effects it gets.

This was a tough job for director Kenneth Branagh (Hamlet), who took a distinct step away from his renowned work with Shakespeare adaptations, but he managed to pull off some very successful directorial moves. For example, the fight scenes mentioned earlier are truly action packed without going overboard. The directing during the dialogue scenes is done just as well, if not better. Branagh seems to have taken all the time he needed in order to make them right in every way imaginable, almost as if he had OCD. His style of directing is a welcomed change for superhero movies, and it makes the film worth seeing.

Thor is truly an amazing movie. Marvel has proved once again that they can rule the summer blockbuster season, as other film producers will have a tough time surpassing this cinematic masterpiece. Additionally, Thor provides great hope for The Avengers (2012), the future culmination of modern Marvel films such as the Iron Man series, The Incredible Hulk, and the upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger.

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