Thor

2011, Marvel Studios

I'll confess here and now that I thoroughly enjoy Thor, which can be attributed largely to Chris Hemsworth, who's possessed of an irresistible, earnest, indomitable charm. But much credit must also go to many of the other characters inhabiting the strangely delightful mythological universe conjured by Stan Lee, most notably Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and the legendary Anthony Hopkins as King Odin. Director Kenneth Branagh imbues all of the silly proceedings with such noble gravitas that it comes off as (unintentional?) high camp; I'm also perpetually amazed at how the actors—Hemsworth in particular—can spout utter nonsense with such conviction that it all totally works. Plus, the enormous, lavish sets create the perfect stage for such a broad spectacle. Bravo!

       

ę

CRAP

MEH

WOW

Thor: The Dark World

2013, Marvel Studios

Alan Taylor rendered a rather different take on Thor than Kenneth Branagh, although it still totally works; the lighter touch makes the characters more human and approachable—in particular, Chris Hemsworth's charm is allowed to blossom. But, as so often happens in such franchises, the plot becomes more complex, the effects more dominant. All the same, it's still a great way to spend two hours.

       

ę

CRAP

MEH

WOW

Thor: Ragnarok

2017, Marvel Studios

As perhaps evidenced by the poster art, the third installment in the Thor standalone franchise is a loopy funhouse ride that's well worth the price of a ticket (or DVD). The action is unrelenting, the sets are retina-seeringly colorful, and Jeff Goldblum has a blast playing himself. Director Taika Waititi is like a kid in a candy shop, spinning endless self-aware riffs on the Lord God of Thunder, although he does lose a few points for getting just a bit too silly around the edges; it's hard to build up any dramatic tension when everyone's cutting jokes—at times the film comes off as an enormous gag reel (not that this is necessarily a bad thing).

       

ę

CRAP

MEH

WOW

Index | Home
Copyright © 2017-2018 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.