Lighting and hammer, as political symbols, are high on the minds of even youths in Singapore, as the country’s most contested General Elections featuring the incumbent People’s Action Party (lightning) and the Workers’ Party (hammer) lead up to Polling Day on May 7.
Since 2010, the Norse mythical legend wielding the power of lightning in his hammer has been creating no less a ruckus in our movie theatres. The latest Marvel Comics hero to hit the big screen since being revealed in a secret scene at the end of Iron Man 2. The story of Thor, played by Australian actor Chris Hemsworth (Star Trek, Home and Away), tells us Marvel’s version of the Norse myth who is one of the less well known members of the original members of The Avengers.
In this movie, the titular character is an arrogant and rash warrior prince. As son of Odin [Sir Anthony Hopkins], hes the heir to the Asgard throne. However on the day of his coronation, Frost Giants, the ancient enemy of Asgard, sneaks into the weapons vault in an attempt to take back the Casket of Ancient Winters. Regarding this as an act of war, Thor attacks the Frost Giants in Jotenheim against his father’s wishes. Given this act of defiance, Odin banishes him to Earth along with his magical hammer, Mjolnir, until Thor proves himself worthy to wield it.
Thor is given a slightly more human touch as a character than as he was in the comicsIn the comics Thor has usually been portrayed as the young and haughty god even through his trials as Donald Blake, usually with him going against his father’s wishes, in the movie they merge the characters together as one and allow Thor the humility he needs to repossess his powers. With the original story changing slightly, the movie makes him more vulnerable showing him as a young prince growing into the man he becomes at the end of the movie. This being a movie and not a 30 year old comic series.
Tom Hiddleston’s [Archipelago] portrayal as Loki, the God of Mischief, was rather deadpan and awkward throughout the movie. Despite viewers knowing that Loki was the villain in the story, Hiddleston was unable to hide the fact that he was the villain unlike Jeff Bridges from the movie Iron Man, where he played mentor and later villain Jeremiah Stane. From the very start of the movie his facial reactions were rather unnatural and very unlike the character of Loki who is not only the God of Mischief but also a master of trickery and deceit.
Sif and her Warriors Three, Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg served as comic relief throughout the movie. The use of these 4 characters as supporting roles helped ensure that Thor was truly the hero of the story by letting Fandral get stabbed in Jotunheim and almost killing all of the characters in the attack on Earth by the Destroyer.
Natalie Portman’s [Black Swan] role as the love interest Jane Foster, has been changed in this movie. Formerly a nurse in the comics, she is now a scientist. Portman’s portrayal of Jane is close to the character in the comic where she is strong-willed and dedicated to her cause. Being a major part of Thor’s quest to return to Asgard the two characters bond closely throughout the movie.
Most impressive in the movie was Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of the Norse God. As Thor he brought about a very real aspect of the character not usually mentioned in the comics. His portrayal of Thor makes him a lot more human in the Thor aspect. Due to the duality of his role in the comic both being Donald Blake and Thor at the same time. The short span of the movie is not enough to allow both characters to develop separately however enough to allow both aspects , God and Man, to develop in a single character of Thor.
Overall the movie is impressive with its stunning visual effects with the Destroyer and the various other mystical aspects of the movie like the Bifrost and the land of Asgard. Being portrayed as a land of not just Gods but extra-dimensional beings, Asgard is much better shown as a world in comparison to other Godly homes like Olympus in Percy Jackson and Clash of The Titans.
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Released: April 28th 2011