Movie Review: Thor

Fans are protesting Idris Elba's role, but is the film worth your money?

Posted: 05/06/2011 12:00 AM EDT
Filed Under Idris Elba

(Photo: Marvel Studios)

Summary: Thor, the god of thunder, commits an act of treason and is banished to another realm, 2011 Earth, where he meets the romantically frustrated Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman. On Earth, Thor has none of his powers, and even his trusty Mjolnir hammer fails him. Evil attempts to prevail as Thor tries to save his realm, Asgard, and rescue his family from his evil brother—all this and he still manages to fall in love. Think Bridget Jones Diary meets Clash of the Titans.

Review: Marvel Studios has delivered some solid box office and critically acclaimed hits such as Blade, the X-Men franchise and Hulk. Thor, directed by Kenneth Branagh, is the fourth film under Marvel Cinematic Universe, a division of Marvel Studios. That said, next to Iron Man 2, Thor is the worst Marvel film to date. 

Splattered with 3D special effects that are obtrusive and as epic a failure as 2010's Clash of the Titans', Thor messily goes from frame to frame. In superhero flicks the CGI is often the selling point, but I've seen better graphics on an original PlayStation video game. What happened to the days of building a set? Nearly every scene is a green screen, leaving little authenticity, especially in 3D, an overused fad that Hollywood needs to retire. 

Outside of the CGI, the other thunderous fail was the script, which had three different writers. Sure, comic book movies shouldn't have the same standard as films in the running for an Acacemy Award.  ButThor poorly vacillates between Earth and Asgard with an exhaustive character build-up that leads to nothing engaging. The movie almost feels like a romantic comedy at times, with Thor gazing into the eyes of Natalie Portman's man-hungry character, but moments later he is angrily whipping his hammer back and forth all over Asgard. 

There are some moments of light with the always superb Anthony Hopkins as Thor's father. The lead, Chris Hemsworth, has a promising career and Natalie Portman, as annoying as her character is, still shows the acting chops that underline why she's an Oscar winner.

Then, there is Idris Elba. Currently, there are protests from "pure-fan” comic-bookers that Elba's character, Heimdall, shouldn't have been played by a Black man. This rant is disturbing, considering Idris Elba's role is no more than a cameo. He has few lines and he is the only brown person, despite a few extras, in the entire 114 minutes. Other than Elba, Thor is as colorless as the Country Music Awards. 


The gods are telling me that despite a strong opening weekend,Thor will be the first box office dud of the upcoming superhero flicks to be released this year.

 

Thor is in theaters today.

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