Marvel’s latest film Thor won’t hit theaters in the US until May 6th, but it is gearing up to be released in the UK and other international territories on April 27th. So you can expect to see a flood of international reviews this coming week. But you won’t have to wait a couple weeks to learn what I thought of the movie, as I was part of a handful of domestic critics that screened the movie this week. We had the opportunity to screen a final print of the film, in full 3D. After the jump you will find a video blog reaction I recorded immediately following the screening with Frosty from Collider, as well as a couple notes.
I want to keep this reaction as spoiler free as possible, as we are still a few weeks away from US release.
Thor is the first big screen Marvel comic adaptation to introduce magic and the concept of Godly beings from other universes.To be completely up front, I have never read any of the Thor comic books. I was never really interested in the character, or for that matter, the magical side of the Marvel universe. I like my superheroes more rooted in reality, with only one or a couple conceits. And since the first reveal at Comic-Con, I thought the costumes looked stupid and was very disinterested in the visuals. But at CinemaCon, we got a chance to screen 20 minutes from the middle of the film, which completely changed my mind about what the film could be. This is a long way of saying that I’ve been on both sides of the fence when it comes to interest in this project, but more parts skeptical than excited.
Thor is everything you might hope and expect it to be, equal parts good and bad. It is the type of movie I would have loved if I saw it at age 10 — and I’m sure this movie will play awesome to younger audiences. The visual effects are well done, and Asgard is a beauty. And one thing is for sure, Chris Hemsworth does a great job as Thor — it is a tough role to play, and a tough line to balance between arrogance, honor and comedy. I can’t wait to see Hemsworth go toe-to-toe with Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark in The Avengers.
I still very much enjoyed it… but did not fall in love with it. It falls a couple steps shy of achievements of recent Marvel films like Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and even Iron Man 2.
It is very strange to screen a film like this in a 400 seat theater with only six other people. I’m a huge believer that horror and comedies are always better experienced with packed audiences. This film has equal parts action and comedy, and I’m not entirely sure how well these comic moments play. I have no idea how mainstream audiences are going to respond to this movie but I’m very interested to find out.
My guess is that comic book fans will love the stuff at the beginning and ending of the film, the sequences that take place on Asgard. The second act of the film takes place almost entirely on Earth, and I have a feeling that mainstream audiences will probably connect more with this stuff.
I can tell you that I gravitated more towards the Earth-set storyline, despite the fact that the characters of that world have little in the way of character arcs. Natalie Portman is used as Thor’s connection to humanity, and works less as a believable love interest. Kat Dennings is always entertaining, but never serves to function more than as the comic relief.
It might help that the Earth-set story continues the S.H.I.E.L.D./Avengers storyline which we’re already become invested in. There is enough easter egg goodies spread throughout the story to have comic book fanboys excited. And Marvel has included another after-credits scene which hints at what we might expect to see in The Avengers. So remember to stay in your seats until the very end of the credits, as you won’t want to miss it.
As for the post converted 3D, it is the best I have seen to date. That said, it still does not look like a movie shot in 3D, and I’m sure audiences can easily tell the difference between this and something shot natively like Avatar.