Hammerdown

Natalie Portman as ‘Jane Foster’ and Kat Dennings as ‘Darcy Lewis’ in “Thor”Although I knew it had picked up pretty good reviews, I wasn’t in any particular hurry to watch Thor (2011), but a friend had rented it for the week, so what the heck?

For those who don’t know, this big budget comic book adaptation stars Chris Hemsworth as the eponymous Norse God, who is banished from the magickal sparkly space-island of Asgard by his father ‘Odin’ (Anthony Hopkins), when he arrogantly disobeys a direct order and pulls a “Dubya” (i.e., using the flimsiest of pretences to start a pointless war with people he doesn’t like). Stripped of his powers, Thor is unceremoniously dumped on Earth, where he is forced to rely on the kindness of strangers… specifically a trio of science-y types, played by Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgård and Kat Dennings, who witnessed his arrival but are sceptical of his claims to divinity.

Essentially this movie is a “game of two halves”, as they say in football parlance: On the one hand you have all the fantasy space-opera stuff, with “Ice Giants” invading Asgard, while Thor’s brother ‘Loki’ (Tom Hiddleston) manipulates everyone around him in a bid to claim the throne for himself… then on the other hand you have the earthbound rom-com shenanigans, with an impotent Thor learning to live humble while tentatively wooing Portman’s character. Personally, I much preferred the latter strand to the former, but I appreciate that’s a matter of personal taste… I’ve never read the long-running comic book this movie was based on, but I’m guessing that the (slightly cheesy) Space-Viking stuff was more in-keeping with the source material?

Regardless, I thought Portman and Dennings were both very winning here… working on slightly different comedic frequencies, but making for a pretty good double-act all the same.

SPOILER!!! / WEIRDLY SPECIFIC CRITICISM: I thought the editor cut away too quickly after Portman hits Thor with her van for the second time and delivers her line. Didn’t give the gag enough room to land.

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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