Thor - DVD Review

'in Asgard: people shout, on Earth: not so much'

A comic book film directed by Thespian-extraordinaire Kenneth Brannagh, it's not surprising to find that Thor has its fair share of overwrought shouting. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) shouts at Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Thor shouts at the ice giants, the ice giants shout at Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Loki breaks the chain by sneering at everyone before Erik (Stellan SkarsgÄrd) manly picks up the baton again and starts haranguing everyone in site.

The way that the film kind of gets away with this is by following the simple rule that in Asgard: people shout, on Earth: not so much. What that setup leads to is an uneasy truce whereby the Earth-bound sections of Thor are allowed to laugh at the Asgard-based segments. We're encouraged - via some very effective slapstick - to laugh at Asgard, with all its gold-plating and horses that canter down rainbow roads.

The problem with this approach, hilarious as it may be on occasion, is that it just makes Asgard too much of a running joke, rather than a world you can believe in. It's far too easy to look at anything based there as a campy Masters Of The Universe spin-off, especially when anyone starts flying in segments which are particularly laughable.

For something that intends to be galactic in its implications there's also a noticeable problem in terms of the scope it applies to. When Earthbound, we only see one tiny town and the scientific area established by S.H.I.E.L.D. It's not enough to feel as though Thor and Loki's brothers tiff will have rippling consequences and the film boils down to whether you care about individuals, some of whom (Natalie Portman) are worth caring about, some of whom (everyone else) are not.

Its certainly not all bad though. Portman battles manfully despite having an undeveloped part of the script. Hemsworth is the perfect Thor and Hiddleston is an extremely effective villain and a good choice to carry over into The Avengers. The ice giants, with their gravelly voices and well-realised (if underlit) home, prove to be more fun than expected and The Destroyer just about manges to avoid being as ridiculous as he looked in the early publicity shots.


  1. Yeah this was just above ordinary. Portman as you say battles manfully considering the script constraints of her character.
    It certainly does just enough and I think it far better than The Greeen Lantern and The Green Hornet as this years super hero outings as comparisons. Something about being green???!

  2. It's not easy being Green!

    Absolutely agree. Scraped a three. Just worth watching.

  3. hmmm, I liked it, I guess more than Brent and yourself. Although I have no complaints about what you say (all of it is true) but I found the dynamic between Loki and Thor to be an engaging one. The issue with small town USA is one people have brought up (and asgard being populated by about 8 people), however it is based on a rather effective story by J Michael Strancynski.

  4. I'd be interested in reading the source story but yes, I do think the scope is a problem. This is Marvel's first trip 'off Earth' and I think they needed a more expansive film to do it; both there and on Asgard.