The summer movie season seems to start earlier and earlier every year, with studios pushing tent pole releases into the beginning of May, instead of waiting until Memorial Day Weekend. We started last week with the huge box office hit Fast Five and now this week we get the first big comic book movie of the summer in Thor.
We all know that Marvel Studios is trying to release its big name character movies in order to prepare for the upcoming The Avengers movies. So from now until 2012 we’ll be getting origin stories of some of our favorite Marvel superheroes. Here we find out where Thor comes from, why he’s so full of angst, and how he winds up on earth.
We may remember the stories of Thor and Odin, gods who were worshiped by the Vikings, from childhood. Here we find out that Thor is actually an alien, much in the same way that Superman is an alien. He comes from a different planet altogether. At some point in time Thor and his father visited earth to help defeat a race known as the Frost Giants, and that’s where the stories come from. People began worshiping these alien beings as gods.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is arrogant, unpredictable, and is the rightful heir to the throne of Asgard. Thor’s father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is just about ready to relinquish his throne to his son, but realizes that Thor still has some learning to do. See, Thor is pretty impulsive. So impulsive that on a whim he travels to the planet of the Frost Giants and single-handedly starts a war with them. This doesn’t bode well for Asgard, and so Thor is banished by his father, to earth.
It’s a good thing that all Asgardians speak English though. Actually, everyone including the Frost Giants speak English. The spread of the English Empire apparently wasn’t just global, it was universal. Just to make sure we know Thor is from a different place though, he speaks in old English. Like he’s from the middle ages.
Asgard is a peculiar place. This is a place that uses powerful light beams to transport beings light years away through the galaxy, but they still ride around on horses and wield swords and shields. In all seriousness much of it doesn’t make any sense, but neither did “Fast Five” and that movie was bucket loads of fun.
On earth Thor meets Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) who is a scientist who’s been studying atmospheric pressure disturbances in the New Mexico desert. It’s easy to see that this is going to be the movie’s love story. Thor meets Jane. Thor falls for Jane. Thor saves Jane.
Thor doesn’t really distance itself from the various other superhero films out there, but it is exciting. However, may I recommend not seeing it in 3D. I’ve never been a fan of the technology, but here it’s utterly distracting. Much of the film is dark by nature, but with the darkened glasses wrapped around your face you won’t be able to see much of anything when Thor and his buddies visit the Frost Giant’s home. It’s frustrating.
All this movie does is serve as an origin story for Thor, prepping him for The Avengers. Still, for summer movie fare, it’s a fun enough ride.