May 6, 2011
But lets take a step back here. This is a comic book movie of course, so lets talk about Thor the comic book hero first. There are a ton of changes from the page to the screen, although given the direction of the film it is easy to see why these changes were made.
The biggest change Thor comic fans will find is that of Jane Foster, played in the film by Natalie Portman. In the comic books, Foster is not an astrophysicist, but a simple nurse to Dr. Donald Blake, who doesn't even appear in the film per say. Dr. Donald Blake in the comics is actually the name Thor takes when he is in his human guise, as a crippled doctor with a lame leg. When he strikes his cane on the ground though, the cane transforms into Mjolnir and Blake turns into his true form, Thor.
Now obviously this has all been changed in the feature film, and possibly for the better. First off, you don't have to deal with the whole idea of a protected identity, but instead you get to see Thor as an absolute. This idea works very well in the context of the film, and I can't wait to see how the Avenger's handles the idea of a realm hopping God like Thor.
The characters are what really sell the film though, most notably the brotherly banter of Loki and Thor. You can tell through out the film that both Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston researched each of their characters very thoroughly and it comes across on screen that the two actually grew up in Asgard. The idea to cast Anthony Hopkins as Odin was an amazing choice too. Despite the actor's age, he still has 'it'.
The set design in the film is also fantastic. I stumbled across a few behind the scenes clips on YouTube and I am glad that production decided to go the piratical route for most of the prominent locations in Asgard, it really helps both of the aforementioned actors step into their role completely.
I did see it in 3D, and while it didn't really add too much to the overall experience, it was really well done, specifically in the scenes involving snow and rain. It really helped add depth and make the environments feel real and lived in, as apposed to a CG wonder that the actors look out of place in. In a couple weeks I will probably do another spoiler filled post to discuss things like character arc's and the all important 'after credits scene' and how it will all fit together for the Avenger's film. All in all, it is a great start to what looks to be a fantastic summer for film.