This Friday is November 8th, and almost exactly six-months after the release of Iron Man 3, Marvel brings us the second installment (episode?) of the God of Thunder and brother or Loki, Thor. And that scurrying you hear? That’s the sound of every other studio running at top speed from this weekend, leaving Marvel’s film the sole wide release of the weekend.
Back in 2010 when filming began on the first film, this was the one character in Marvel’s arsenal leading up to The Avenger’s, that certain among us were the most worried about. It had the most chance of being goofy and could, in one fell swoop, render the idea of a Superhero team-up seem completely silly.
Thankfully, under the direction of Kenneth Branagh, that didn’t happen. In fact, the original film was actually a lot of fun. Far more fun than it had any right to be anyway. As I stated in my review of the original film (you can find that review in the archives of this site) the story walked a thin line between awesome and goofy, but that is where a lot of my favorite films have all tread.
One of Marvel’s greatest strengths has been their casting. They follow the mantra that they don’t cast stars, they make stars and with Chris Hemsworth, that was proven to be dead on the money. Like RDJ as Tony Stark, this fellow isn’t just playing the God of Thunder, by god, he IS the God of Thunder. He inhabits the role completely and it is in that inhabitation, that we buy into the story and the film comes alive. It helps that the whole cast is superb, from Jamie Alexander as The Lady Sif to Anthony Hopkins as Odin.
Natalie Portman classes up anything she is in, and she does a great job with the sometimes thankless role of brainy girlfriend/damsel in distress and does hold her own against the charisma machine that is Chris Hemsworth. Let’s all be honest though, besides Hemsworth, the first film made another true star and that was Tom Hiddleston as Loki.
All of these cast members are back for the second solo adventure of Thor and early word is that this film moves as a much faster clip than the first. With the origin story done with, we can just settle in for a fast paced adventure with non-stop thrills and laughs, if the blurbs are to be believed. I usually take those with a grain of salt, but I have read several reviews from guys I trust who found the same problems with the first film as I did, and they have been over the moon for this film as well.
With this kind of film, reviews are pointless and the first weekend will be massive regardless, but it is nice to know that Marvel isn’t just tossing together these films as an after thought. This Summer’s Iron Man 3 was the best in the series, the first trailer for next Springs Captain America: The Winter Soldier look stunning and all signs point to Thor being great, so this is indeed the Golden age for Superhero films and Superhero film lovers.
Replacing Branagh in the directors chair is Alan Taylor who has directed several episodes of Game of Thrones, so he knows his way around a fantasy realm and this film should look a little more lived in than the first.
As a side note, up until a week ago, this film was not slated for an IMAX release. That always struck me as odd, since the original as well as Iron Man 3 and The Avenger’s were. That has changed and now the film will indeed be released in IMAX 3D as well as RealD 3D and standard 2D formats.
A bonus for RealD 3D viewers: your version of the film will include a special 5 minute trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so you will be getting a little added value for your money.
SPECIAL SHOWINGS BEGIN TONIGHT AT 8PM AT THEATERS EVERYWHERE.
Well, that just about does it for this week, but join me next week when we talk about the fact that there is no wide release of a film that I am aware of. Maybe we’ll take reader email or answer the phone lines to see what’s on your mind….
Until next time, Keep the Projector Threaded.