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Thor actually Marvel(lous) depite what the box office says

Well, I just barely had the ink dry on my summer prediction column when the first monster hit of the summer fizzled out
Thor, the latest in a series of Marvel comics turned into a movie has not performed at the level it was expected to and that’s really too bad because it’s a great film.
That’s right, I said it to quote Chris Rock.
It’s great.
Again my standards aren’t exactly the danish mongrel series that feature mud drying set against a backdrop of post war clown nirvana. I like my summer movies to be fun.
Thor is exactly that.
Oh and apparently the dude is dreamy in a ‘have-him-bathed-and-sent-to-my-tent’ sort of way. Back to that later.
I have to admit that there was a time in my life when I really liked comic books. If you’ve read this column before then you know I was a DC kind of guy. Superman, Batman, Justice League. Marvel was Spiderman Hulk and yes Thor.
Marvel never really ended their stories. There was always a continuation and a little sneak preview of what was to come. I wanted closure. DC gave me that.
Wow just reading that little dissertation makes me want to move back into my mom’s basement and wear t-shirts with secret messages about my favourite online gaming system. Sorry pasty nation but the truth is out there.
So once Marvel saw how big Spiderman was, they stopped licencing their superheros and started making movies themselves.
It’s a brilliant lateral move because they have a limitless catalogue, and it allows them to retain artistic control. Needless to say this makes the nerd herd very very happy.
Our story so far. Odin, the big kahuna of gods, has two sons, Thor and Loki. Thor is the god of thunder, and Loki is less than that.
Thor has your typical youth, fighting the ice giants, kicking it with the other demi-gods and starting other worldly wars. He walks loudly and carries a big hammer, I mean a huge hammer, but Dad is not amused and kicks his sorry butt to earth to learn a little humility.
Meanwhile, his brother schemes against him, secret agents keep him from his birthright and Natalie Portman seems to be falling for the holy thunderer.
It’s a comic book. It’s supposed to be funny.
There are all the elements of a greek tragedy and it adds to the story arc. The great thing about this film is not just the subject matter or the very smart script but I think this is a great example of direction setting a tone and carrying a film.
Kenneth Branaugh is a Shakespearean actor with a really impressive body of work, from Harry Potter to Hamlet. His directing chops are varied and eclectic and I thought his work in Thor was inspired.
It’s really entertaining storytelling and I’ve seen it three times and it gets better. It’s funny, believable and given the complexities of the characters and their unique elements, it never bogs down.
I really am looking forward to the next installation and I have had a date this century. Honestly.
I don’t own a single fully articulated action figure (male doll) and I want to see Thor 2.
It really hasn’t knocked the doors off at the box office and I think some of that is their marketing was a little flat. I saw the first trailers and went Huh?
I also think Anthony Hopkins as Odin was a mistake. He’s a little world weary and has lately been the Michael Caine of indiscriminate role choices. He makes Cuba Gooding Jr seem discrete.
Other than that Thor is a wall-to-wall blast and I strongly recommend it. It does have a story and plot and character development so if you have any level of grey matter you’ll like it. If you like your movies dumb and loud, enjoy Fast 5 – it’s got the kind of dialogue you’re looking for. Gems like Car go fast. ME take shirt off.
More on that later.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: Paul Peterson

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