Wednesday, May 11, 2011


We took Shan to see Thor on the weekend – for Mother’s Day. I had a few concerns before seeing it but was very pleased with the way they had managed them. While I had occasionally read the Thor comics I didn’t follow it closely so, while it seemed fine to me, more faithful readers may have issues. I am fairly conversant with Norse mythology, unlike some of the other people we saw it with – but both sides were able to follow along.

Thor is portrayed as a belligerent bully only interested in glory and gets humbled by his time on earth. His costume, another Kirby one, made the translation to the big screen without too much modification. The look of Mjolnir, and its use was very consistant to the comics - the spinning, throwing, steadfastness, and return were all well represented. Odin, Heimdall, and Lady Sif are all handled well. The Warriors Three appear in more than just a cameo, Jane Foster comes across a bit goofy but plausible.
I did have a bit of an issue with the movie making it look like Odin lost his eye in battle with the frost giants instead of giving it up for knowledge but most people won’t know anything amiss about it. The Rainbow Bridge was a bit cheesy but still worked. I really liked how Thor explained the World Tree to Jane - it helped to bridge the myth vs science part very well.

Who really stands out is Loki. Not only does he actually wear the crazy Kirby-horned helmet, but they actually made it look not goofy. He is portrayed as scheming more to bring about a good end rather than scheming for evil’s sake – Luthor and Doom could definitely take note here. It’s a lot easier to see him as a misguided hero than a two-dimensional villain. I think he was very well done.

Little nods to long-time fans include the references to Donald Blake, the appearance of Stan ‘the Man’ Lee, the billboard listing “Land of Enchantment, Journey Into Mystery” (Thor first appeared and starred in the comic Journey Into Mystery before eventually getting his own self-titled book), and Hawkeye. While barely seen on camera, the sarcastic wit in his brief scene really makes me look forward to Hawkeye’s next appearance. Shan may be a big Green Arrow fan, but I’ve always been a bigger fan of Hawkeye.

All and all, we were very pleased with the film. I feel it felt true to both of the source materials (comics and myths). The costumes and look were true enough to the comics style and the sense of a bigger world that the Marvel comics do so well was handled well. I think it is a good addition to the Marvel set of movies and will help bring nonreaders up to speed in preparation for the Avengers film.

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