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Posted on 5/02/11 12:00 PM
Thor works on so many levels. It meets its toughest challenge and that is to make its super powerful blond godlike lead character relatable and spark a connection to the audience. For all the action extravagance and adventure, a surprising and pleasant amount of time is devoted to character establishment and development. This certainly isn't some wild video game popcron flick. It also packs the perfect amount of comedy, with most of the jokes at Thor's expense. Cutting a god down to size, is important for two reasons. One, the story itself is about Thor learning humility and two, it makes the character more believeable and more relatable. It's what Marvel does best, give us heroes with flaws.
Some of this film takes place in the moern era on contemporary Earth and that was absolutely the right way to present the movie. That's not to say that there aren't fantastical element, Asgard is breathtaking and incredible. Still, they manage to be dramatic and serious most of the time but balance it with a sense of humor. Thor finds the right mix similar to the way Iron Man did back in 2008. And despite what some here say, that's a GOOD thing. The film never becomes too self-important or portentous but still is dramatic and fun. The most fun oustside of the increble action sequences is when the consequences of the culture clash is played up. That is something to savor and enjoy. The fish-out-of-water angle is played up perfectly. They take a "hero" or wannabe hero who is arrogant by temperament and used to having his own way and place him in a position where he has to grow. All the while using comic friction as a great tool to advance the plot and the development. Thor tries to continue to live his own reality because in his mind, he's still prince of Asgard. It's both fun and interesting to watch him come to grips with his situation. As he is humbled and out of place, audiences enjoy recognizing his human traits. Sure, viewers are thrilled by his powers, but we relate to his emotions and his flaws. Add some intense sibling rivalry, great action and romantic entanglements and Thor may just be the best movie of the summer.