Thor isn't really a superhero movie, at least any more than Disney's Hercules is. The movie is about a god having to prove himself worthy of his powers, rather than a regular person receiving superpowers by chance and having to decide how to use them. Even the film's use of the Three Act Structure is uncommon for its type, since the second act is the slowest and most character-oriented, while the others are the loudest and most bombastic. The movie is a good introduction of the comic-Thor to new audiences. I don't know if it's actually loyal to he comics, but whether it is or isn't, it's a great stand-alone production for those who have no preconception about the story and characters. The only thing from the comics which is never explained is the concept of "Odin-sleep", which comes out of nowhere and seems like a cheap plot device. The beginning is really weirdly paced, and over all, badly handled. After a cold open on Earth, there's a twenty-minute flashback to Thor's life on Asgard. The fact that there is a flashback at all, especially one so needless, was really distracting to me. The opening infodump isn't helped any by the fact that Sir Anthony Hopkins (as Odin) refuses to act, and sounds utterly uninterested in what he's narrating about. Hint for moviemakers: Get someone who cares to introduce the audience to your setting. The movie picks up in the second act, when Thor arrives on Earth. There's some genuinely funny comic relief and interesting character moments. The human sidecast is mostly likeable, and the love interest manages to come off as a real person, even if she does fall for Thor all too quickly. The sideplot in Asgard is a bit wonky, but but luckily it doesn't drag on for too long. The third act is surprisingly minimalistic, with focus on personal drama and special effects rather than minion-smashing. Loki's character annoyed me. Everyone who knows anything about the comics knows he'll be a bad guy, and all the newbies recognise his archetype the moment they see him. The movie manages to play with the audience for just a bit about whether Loki is actually a bad guy, but in the end they forsake all ambiguity. Would have been great to make him more tragic, rather than just whiny. Overall, it's a good movie. Worth seeing for the second act. 3D was badly applied. See it without.
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