While the USA is literally one of the last areas of the world to see the long awaited movie version of Thor after months of hype, some lucky souls have already seen the movie thanks to many sneak previews.
There was one last weekend in Sacramento, and I was lucky to get a seat to it. It meant losing a bit of sleep, but it was worth it.
It's a variation of the origin story where a man picks up a hammer and becomes Thor by striking it. Instead, Thor gets exiled from Asgard to Earth, and becomes mortal and must prove to be worthy of his status as God of Thunder. Natalie Portman is there as the plucky love interest, but Kat Dennings was pretty funny, too. Any Norse gods out there who'd like to share a beer with her?
Chris Hemsworth, though, is great as Thor. He seems to be one of the best actors no one has seen yet due to MGM's money problems (he's in two movies made by them, including Cabin in the Woods). When he first meet Thor, he acts like the cock-sure big man on campus, sort of like Brett Farve times 20. He's let his own glory go to his head.
It's when he's tossed to Earth that he gets a crash course of how he must be a real man to be worthy of his title. One scene that really got my attention is when he finally finds his hammer in a crater outside of town. Once he realizes he can't lift it, the fact that he's lost his divinity really hits him hard. Of course, he will prove himself, or The Avengers will be missing one hero.
Against Thor is Loki, played to diabolical perfection by Tom Hiddleston. However, the movie is slightly sympathetic of Thor's brother, even revealing his real origins that Odin only knows. However, when his jealous leads to destruction, then he becomes Thor's dark rival.
The movie has some connections to the Marvelverse which will all come together in next year's Avengers movie. There's a scene that's familiar to those who saw Iron Man 2, while Dr. Selvig (Skellan Skargard) talks about a man who experimented in gamma rays. There's a scene where many locals try to lift Thor's hammer, including an old man who wrecks his truck by trying to tow it out. Let's just say the guy will look familiar to many.
Granted, the Rainbow Bridge did look like a disco floor to me, and seeing Thor fly did remind me of Green Lantern (also about an arrogant guy who learns true heroism), but the 3-D was pretty good, especially the aerial shots of Asgard.
I'd say Thor was between the two Iron Man movies in quality, and is a good start to the Summer movie season. I am still very interested in the Captain America movie, and how that will play out. In any case, with two Iron Man movies, Thor and Captain America about to be in the books, it looks like Joss Whedon's vision for The Avengers is taking shape. Can you imagine Thor dealing with Tony Stark and HIS arrogance? Or Captain America wondering about how things have changed? This year's Marvel movies are just the preliminaries to the main event next year, while the DC movies featuring Batman and Green Lantern just have to prove themselves. There's less pressure since a Justice League movie is far in the horizon.
In any case, Thor has already taken theaters around the world by storm by earning 93 million before the big premiere Friday. With good buzz so far, he just may turn a profit by Mothers' Day.