I know I promised that I’d write my next post about going into business for myself, but Vickie and I saw MovieBob’s review of Thor on Saturday and decided to go and see it for ourselves that evening. And before you raise your eyebrows, I had enough CineBuzz reward points to get a free ticket, so it wasn’t a hole in the already-stretched finances. Besides, sometimes you need to have some fun, right?
And fun is definitely what Thor delivers. It’s a straight-up special effects action film of good versus evil and never pretends to be otherwise. If you weren’t sure what sort of film it is from the obligatory introductions, you know when you see Chris Hemsworth in full armour and silver-winged helm with a big grin on his face, encouraging throngs of Asgardians to greater exaltations as he approaches his father Odin’s throne. Hemsworth’s Thor is a cocky, yet endearingly cheeky young (although technically, I suppose he’s hundreds of years old by now) warrior god all set to be taken down a peg or ten.
Of course, when the evil Frost Giants try to steal the ancient source of their power from Odin’s weapons room, Thor gets the opportunity for a fight he’s been itching for. In defiance of his father’s orders, he takes the Rainbow Bridge to Jotunheim, the realm of the Frost Giants, seeking retribution. Instead, he ends the fragile truce between the Giants and his own people, the Gods of Asgard, and Odin – did I mention that Odin, King of Asgard, is played by no less than Anthony Hopkins? No? Well, he is, and he brings the awesome – strips Thor of his powers and weapons and casts him out of Asgard – to Earth.
Okay, have I lost any of you with all this business of Frost Giants and Rainbow Bridges? Seriously, do not let that put you off. I’m not going to touch on the Norse mythology which all this comes from, simply because I’m not schooled in it – but Thor basically takes all of the stuff that you wouldn’t think a bunch of burly pirates like the Vikings could believe in (The Rainbow Bridge, lads? Isn’t that a bit pink ribbons, pigtails and ponies? Um, can you put the axes down? Please?) with a straight face and makes it awesome.
Damn it, I’m using the word “awesome” a lot. But that’s the mood Thor puts you in; it’s a big kid’s action movie without any swearing or graphic violence to upset parents. It’s well-produced, well-directed and acted by a bunch of folks who take it seriously enough to give their performances polish but not so seriously that you can’t tell they’re having fun.
Two people I have to mention. Tom Hiddlestone as Loki. He’s pretty much set up to be the villain of the film, yet the script never let me figure out just what his angle was until the very end. That kind of ambiguity needs an actor with talent, and danmed if Hiddleston doesn’t hold it right the way through. Awesome (sorry) work, sir.
Oh, and of course, there’s the whole casting-a-black-guy-as-a-white-Norse-god business with Idris Elba as Heimdall, the guardian of the Rainbow Bridge. Well, I have a big issue with Idris Elba in Thor, and it’s this: Why the hell is he only in five minutes of it? He nails brooding badass perfectly. Marvel, if you want to do a spin-off movie of one of your franchises, can I cast my vote for a Heimdall one, please? And if you wanted to be really bonkers, maybe make it a Heimdall / War Machine buddy flick? Just, y’know, ’cause?
One final point of note. We didn’t see a 3D screening, but frankly, we didn’t feel as though we’d missed anything. Except the bit at the end of the credits. Vickie wanted to get going, so I missed the Big Reveal. And NO, I don’t want to know; I’ll wait until it comes out on DVD, thank you!
Anyway, go and see Thor on the big screen. It’s light entertainment, sure, but top-notch light entertainment. Take the kids. Well, the boys. Okay, maybe the girls, too. Just tell them, shirtless Chris Hemsworth. Shirtless, buff Chris Hemsworth. That’ll do it.
But Enough About Me, Gentle Readers: What About You?
Have you seen Thor? What’s your opinion?
What’s your go-to action movie when you just want to have a good time?