Tag Archives: Thor

The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers is as packed with stars as it is super-heroes, yet surprisingly they all deliver their characters moors and idiosyncrasies with audacity and comfort; Iron man returns as Robert Downey Jr., Hulk changing actors again with a calm-faced Mark Ruffalo, a sassy pellet-lipped Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Chris Evans Captain America, Chris Hemingsworth as the god Thor, and the barely introduced Nick Fury played by Samuel L. Jackson, who has allegedly signed his star-name onto nine comic-book related movies. Oh, and don’t forget newcomer Hawk-eye played by Jeremy Renner, a crossbow wielding assassin. The characters are mostly known by the comic-movie niche, the hulk smashing through two semi-mediocre movies, Iron Man with two well executed vehicles along with an introduction of Black Widow in the sequel, and of course the recent Thor and Captain America releases.

The story centers around the upheaveling plans of Thor’s adopted brother, Loki. The movie starts out in a panicked, under-seize state of affairs, a tense Nick Fury walking the hollow infrastructure of S.H.I.E.L.D. Loki soon-after ports into the scene, arriving in desire of the Tesseract, an unknown energy source that Nick Fury previously had under his foot. Loki succeeds and escapes along-side his blue-eyed minions, Hawk-eye and the Scientist, hypnotized by the Tesserect. Now it’s a back and forth heist for the energy source, which eventually unravels in Loki being purposefully caught and then leveraging his higher-deities onto earth, the ultimate confrontation for the assembled super-heroes.

Robert Downey Jr. leads the race with sharp wit that the less dedicated hero-fans needed. The moment-after one word responses, by the puny S.H.I.E.L.D agent and by the culturally unfounded Captain America are relaxing touches. They even joked as New york city was being overwhelmed with green scale-typico aliens. Scarlett Johansson shows well-toned, Russian-suppressed emotion alongside her sassy appeal. Mark Ruffalo was the actor I least liked, partly because his dialogue was slightly redundant, constantly saying to not let him run wild; that Is not necessarily his fault, but he was of such an ex-addict disposition to the point of being overcooked.

The exposition scenes have moments of doggedness and expected situations. But Whedon has a gift or maybe just an obsessive-like consciousness of transition, and each stock-character is a beacon to the characters’ assembly, like a little afghan girl hand-hugging the hulk towards her disease-stricken father, to have Banner and the audience discover she was a courier; and to put it simply, even if they were quietly playing chess it would be exciting; in reality, the fans prescribe the greatness to the heroes; to us, the beginning is like gangsters clambering out of limbos with sagging cigars, long-time greetings. And at least the characters are resilient, not the proto-type overacted bringin’ back the crew moment. But the film structure is far too in accord with itself for my liking. It’s like a pendulum, you are thinking too much about how far down it has swung, rather than the story; the purpose of film-devices is to advance the story, and for the same reason Hitchcock stopped his cameos because he felt it distracted his views, this pendulum camera-work does the same for me, awkward prediction of who’s coming into the panning-view next; however, this is slight compared to what a juggle the film is with so many characters, and it is truly amazing how the final-cut ends up being so well-toned and followable. The music was far from pop or techno that one might grudgingly suspect, but instead takes the preference of Iron Man and twists it a little, with bands like Soundgarden.

The Avengers is secret-agent entertainment, a dialogue of personalities, and a semi-size load of fun. It transcends the genre, and comes out swinging with a record-breaking weekend gross. But whether or not that will rise much, we’ll see. It’s usually a first come first-splurge movie, and next week it will dissipate into its own convention. Regardless, I would sit through it again, and recommend it to any sci-fi or superhero connoisseur.

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Thor

Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston.
Runtime: 115m

You would think that the man behind the camera of such excellent period-pieces as Hamlet and Macbeth would have done better with the Norse-material; sadly, Kenneth Branagh turns it into a simplistic Cain and Abel combat of spoiled and expectant demi-god brothers. The only character who deserved anything was Odin, a well-cast Anthony Hopkins, but he already is the king, nigh for his heir to replace him.

The voices of the Gods and of Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, are near as bad as Batman’s voice-overs in 2010’s The Dark Knight. The surface-pounding omnipotence of it all is appealing at first, but by the time the battle finally rings onto the screen, the whole ‘this hammer breaks all’ ordeal becomes tiring, and Thor just plain isn’t cool or catchy enough to cheer on, besides his daunting look, bright-red cape flowing in the wind and muscles like that of Hulk on estrogen-pills.

The Asgaardian portal and special effects are nonetheless dazzling and should be looked at separately from the rather weak storytelling. The Human-acquaintances, played by Natalie Portman and Stellan Skarsgard, are a bit forcefully touching, but still remain well-fitting in the overall breakdown of Thor and his personality; he Is sympathetic, or rather needs to be while involving himself with his brother, and shows that Earth Is not at all alien to him. I suppose the psyche of the superhero is a bit reversed in ‘Thor’; we are used to the under-appreciated, poor or disaster-stricken hero like Spider-Man and the parent-less Superman, not a God ready for the throne to defend and judge the righteousness of his rebellious younger brother, Loki.