Drew McWeeny, over at Hitfix, becomes the first person, that I know of, to review Marvel’s Thor. Overall he says it’s a pretty good piece of summer superhero celluloid.
Chris Hemsworth, best known to audiences as Kirk’s father in that powerful opening scene to “Star Trek,” is just as good a fit for the character of Thor as Robert Downey Jr. is for Tony Stark, and that one thing goes a long way to making the film a pleasure to watch. Finding the right way to introduce the character and his mythology is the big task this movie has, and there were some very interesting choices made in deciding how to bring Thor to life. First, they dumped the notion of him changing into a human being, something that was part of the earliest version of the character that Marvel published. Originally, Dr. Donald Blake had no idea he was Thor until a chance encounter with a cane he found in a cave revealed his true nature to himself. In that version of the story, he had been sent to Earth by Odin to learn humility, and living his life as a human being in an infirm body was an important way of guaranteeing that he could not rely on his considerable physical power or his godly powers.
With “Captain America” coming out this summer and focusing on the startling transformation from skinny Steve Rogers to muscle-bound Captain America, Marvel made the wise decision to not deal with a shape-shifting Thor, while still finding a way to do something thematically similar. Instead of an origin story, they’ve decided to tell the story of the moment when Thor goes from an indifferent impulsive god to a being who has a connection to our world that makes it important to him and who is able to think beyond himself finally. It is his transition from a super-powered being to a full-blown superhero, and in doing so, they’ve managed to make a movie that doesn’t really feel like any of the other Marvel movies, that has its own voice, and that pulls off its various goals with real charm.
McWeeny is the fanboy/geek equivalent of Roger Ebert, so this bodes well.