Monday, May 9, 2011

One Divine Hammer!

By Miss Tummy Cole, Top Critic
San Francisco, California

I normally don't do superhero movies unless Underdog is heavily featured,
but I'll make an exception for Thor. I had my doubts about the casting of Chris Hemsworth, who initially seemed like too much of a pretty boy for me, but he actually nailed it. He has the height, abs, and stubble to pull off the role of Viking prince, first born son of Odin. I bet in modern times he'd roll like a lumberjack with a big pack of Siberian Huskies. He started out spoiled rotten, but emerged funny, charming, and totally worthy of the awesome power of the hammer. I spent a fair amount of the movie fantasizing about asking Thor to take me to the park, since I'm convinced the man can throw a tennis ball a friggin' mile. I can really see why Natalie Portman wanted to hump him so badly.

Granted, the plot has a few minor issues, and I grow weary of Anthony Hopkins trotting out his "stodgy old king in a fur coat" routine. But after a shaky start, there were laughs aplenty and enough heart to keep me interested. I particularly enjoyed the scene where Thor enters a pet store demanding a horse, is denied, and then requests a dog large enough to ride. Hilarious!

The cast of supporting characters added a surpising amount of depth to the narrative, with Kat Dennings a real standout as the surly best friend. The script took full advantage of the potential for culture shock-related silliness when someone from a Viking realm is dropped into modern times. The story stayed essentially true to the Marvel comic, and the directing was competent, no small feat when weaving CG effects into a full-length feature. (Don't bother with a 3-D version, though, since the movie was clearly not filmed in 3-D and it was added as an afterthought.) I prepared myself for the stuffy Kenneth Branagh of the Hamlet days, but instead got a director with the perfect blend of melodrama, humor, and knowledge of the proper way to drape a loincloth.

Summary: This dog died and went to Valhalla.

Wags: 4/5

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