When engaging the comic book movies, I tend to stick to what I know; X-Men and Spider-man, from my familiarity of the mid-90s cartoons that aired on FOX, Batman – when it was being handled by Tim Burton, Superman – early recollections of Lois & Clark. Iron Man and Hellboy grabbed me immediately, Incredible Hulk – I skipped the first and latched on to Ed Norton. Thor was out of my sphere of influence, and I was apprehensive. Until I found out it was being helmed by Kenneth Branagh. Having been an avid Shakespeare fan at an early age, I’ve watched his work in front of an behind the camera with unmitigated glee.
I was scarcely familiar the the background mythology behind the comic series. I tend to gravitate towards Greek Mythology(yes-I’m a fan of Hercules and Xena). That being said, it piqued my curiosity and made me go surfing for books on mythology. For now they reside on my Amazon wishlist. I consider this movie a brief introduction to a new world.
Unexpected treats for me was finding Rene Russo as Thor’s mother Freya(fully aware they spell it different, it’s the same name, I know that much), and Idris Elba in gold armor. The helmet threw me off. Casting Sir Anthony Hopkins as Odin was a masterful stroke of genius, NO ONE ELSE could have done it better. The imagery of Asgard was breathtaking, to the point where I wanted to walk through the screen and step into the hallowed halls. Costumes, imagery, SFX, fantastic. I was a little thrown off with the sideways camera angles, however.
In short, had I still been in Korea, I would have borrowed a pirated DVD, then annihilated it from overuse.
This is going on my list of movies I demand for X-mas.
Keep up the good work, Kenneth, and Thor, I search the skies for your return with Joss Whedon.