Kenneth Branagh's THOR
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
I saw this in 2D not 3D. I’m glad I did. Not only did I get a discount “senior” ticket, but the 2D image was bright and clear throughout, even when action shifted to the gloomy but magisterial home planet of the Ice Giants.
I never paid much attention to Marvel comics when I was a kid; “Thor” always struck me as a third-string also-ran property forever in the shadows of the more popular Superman, Batman, or Fantastic Four. But no matter; this film is tricked out with production values and imagery that are first rate.
It’s a fun ride. It really helps that all the main characters are played and directed with great authority, skill, and — where appropriate — humor. Yes, special effects are extensively used (that’s an understatement) but they are used with great skill in service of the story.
I especially enjoyed the flipping back and forth between Earth and Asgard. The contrast between the alien gods (led by Anthony Hopkins) and down-on-their-luck scientists (led by Natalie Portman) was entertaining and amusing. Ultimately, though, it’s all about a brash young god being cast out of “heaven” by his father. The dramatic conflict this generates is respected and used skillfully by director Branagh to tie the movie together. I have never been able to resist a good Prodigal Son story, I guess, and boy, is this one loud!
Review text copyright (c) 2011 by Dennis D. McDonald