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Old April 28 2011, 12:13 AM   #48
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Location: Ireland
Re: THOR: Grading, Discussion, Review **SPOILERS***

I saw it today, really enjoyed it. Had some misgivings going in, despite enjoying the trailers. Would Branagh's commercial curse strike again? Could Hemsworth carry a movie? Would this movie, like Iron Man 2, suffer from being a set-up for The Avengers? And would it end up like the He-Man movie?

Fortunately, I had nothing to worry about. This was a fine, fun comic movie. The costumes and Asgard looked great - they didn't look plastic on the big screen. Asgard had a genuinely epic quality, enhanced by the 3D.

Branagh deftly handled the tonal shift between the comedy on Earth and the swords and battles n Asgard, as did Hemsworth. There wasn't a bum note from the cast. I'm pleased to say that Idris Elba was particularly powerful in his role (up yours, racists). And Hemsworth and Portman had good chemistry together.

The cameos from and references to other Marvel characters were just right - enough to keep fans happy, not enough to swamp the movie. The Hawkeye one was good - Renner is going to be fun in Avengers. The Thor/ Loki/ Odin dynamics all worked well. We even got some Donald Blake references.

Basically, Branagh and the scriptwriters got it right, right, right. I think Hemsworth ought to go on to be a big star and I hope to see more of Thor, not just in The Avengers, as promised, but in his own movie.

Oh, and the inevitable Jackson cameo serves a purpose this time. Who saw that twist coming?!

Over to you, Messrs Johnston and Vaugh, but the pressure's now on.

Finally, I'm pleased to say that on a sunny afternoon in the middle of Easter week, my cinema had a respectable turnout. Could just be that it's Branagh's hometown but in reality most of his movies wouldn't even fill the local arthouse cinema. So I think it more likely that Thor has gotten a high-enough profile to get the crowds out, despite its apparent hard sell.
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