Matthew's Review of Thor
So, was this movie successfully able to fit the god of thunder into context of The Avengers universe? Um, yeah ... for the most part. Instead of trying to explain how these two worlds can exist together, they kind just put two worlds together and you have no choice but to accept it. One minute you're watching a few scenes on earth, and then you're watching a few scenes on Asgard. "Deal with it" seems to be their take on it.
So yeah, Thor is a pretty solid picture and a nice way to start the summer off. It's been a while since the first movie to start the summer didn't suck.
In the beginning you have super cocky Thor about to be crowned king winking at the ladies and twirling his hammer up in the air. The ceremony ends up being interrupted by The Frost Giants (yes, my reaction was also 'eh' the first time they were mentioned) who attempted to steal from them and Thor takes it really personally and goes to their world to break some ice against his father's wishes. The father gets pissed and sends him to earth stripping him of his power and then the story goes on from there.
Chris Hemsworth is great as Thor. And the movie also benefits from a great supporting cast. I loved all of Darcy's (Kat Dennings ) wisecracks. I was wondering what the giant stink about Idris Elba being cast as Heimdall, considering for the first half of the movie he simply let's people go through a gate (his presence was felt, but I just wanted to know where they were going with this), but in the second half the role actually got interesting, and needless to say he was awesome. Most impressive was Tom Hiddleston's take on Loki. And of course we still love Clark Cregg as Agent Coulson. Everyone was great, but those were the standouts. Though I have to admit Thor's friends felt like cardboard cutouts from a MMORPG, it worked for great comic relief in the second half once they arrived on earth (they're hilariously described as Xena, Jackie Chan, and Robin Hood), but before then, I couldn't take them seriously.
The action was pretty solid, but my gripe is that there aren't really any "oh my god" moments during the fights. Even if they are between gods, they still feel a bit standard. My favorite moment was simple slow motion drop kick that came from a powerless Thor, and that was in the trailer. And maybe I'm just nitpicking, but that spinny hammer thing he did felt so cartoony.
Another issue is that while they did a great job fitting Thor into the Marvel universe they're establishing for The Avengers, I can't really picture him fighting side-by-side Iron Man, Hulk, and Captain America.
I'll also point out that SHEILD has a strong presence in the middle of the movie, but it is a sideplot that is actually relevant to the main plot. So it definitely holds that over Iron Man 2 and works well for the movie.
I'll admit that I had some trouble keeping up with the names of things in the movie. The Bifrost, whatever the hammer was called, and where it was that Frost Giants lived. At one point the Bifrost was mentioned and I thought to myself "so that's where the Frost Giants live?". I'll be sure to keep a notepad handy next time I watch this movie. The reason I'm pointing this out as a flaw is because it made it hard for me to keep track of the villain's intentions since he was the type to say one thing and do another.
Despite a few mild hiccups, Thor is one of the better Marvel picture and definitely one of the funniest (I guess there's still some life in the fish out of water comedy genre). A note for the screenwriter though, avoid using phrases like "This is madness" and "Unlimited power", it just comes off as silly considering they're pretty famous in those other two movies. It's definitely worth checking out though. Be on the lookout for Stan Lee's 'blink or you'll miss it' cameo, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye (he'll be the one holding a cross bow), and you should already know to stay after the credits.
On another note, I didn't bother seeing it in 3D so I can't say if it worked well or not.