Thor Directed by: Kenneth Branagh Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman Rating: TBD Release Date: May 06, 2011
TRAILER SCORE: 7/10
MY THOUGHTS: When I first heard about this film there was no accompanying metaphorical rumble of thunder. As a matter of fact, I instead grumbled at Marvel's blunder -- a film about Thor? He's got to be one of the least popular Marvel Comics heroes out there. He's not even a super hero, he's the god of thunder, and his books are some of the most boring that Marvel has ever published. What was Marvel thinking? I just couldn't get my mind around it. But in hindsight, after seeing this trailer, I now see they were thinking something like, "We'll get Kenneth Branagh to direct, cast an attractive up-and-comer as the lead, throw Natalie Portman in as the love interest (she's up for anything these days), and add old Anthony Hopkins to the mix, as Thor's father Odin, just for good measure."
Boy, was I mistaken. Not only was Marvel thinking, but they were thinking rather well (at least that's what this trailer has lead me to conclude). This trailer is without a doubt my favorite Marvel Studios trailer I've seen, which might not be saying much, as typically I've considered most of Marvel's trailers to be pretty weak. This one was a pleasant surprise, on all levels.
It starts off with a good action/mystery hook, reveals Chris Hemsworth's Thor-worthy mug perfectly, and then, about 45 seconds into the trailer, we see Thor's home world of Asgard, and it's beautifully rendered and totally awesome. The music in this trailer is consistently excellent, the special effects look fascinating (I love the CGI wormhole), and the dialog seems very good for this type of film -- I like Hopkins' delivery of the line, "you are a vain, greedy, cruel boy." It's simple writing, but good.
My favorite part of the trailer is when Natalie Portman's character first finds Thor, who has just been cast out of his heavenly home, banished to Earth via some amazing CGI wormhole action. Damaged in transit, burnt out to heck, Thor is lying in a dusty field, hungover as all get out. Portman approaches him and pleads, "open your eyes." Thor then mutters the awesome line, "oh no, this is Earth isn't it?" Talk about a heroic guy: he's lying flat on his back, with the beautiful Portman crouching over him pleading to assist, and all he can do is grouse. He laments his fate like that of a spoilt rock-star. I love the disinterest he exhibits -- a true hero -- above even the wiles of women (well, he is a god, after all).
Marvel Studios has a spotty track record. Sure, you've got your success stories (Spider-man, Iron Man), but you've also got your flat out embarrassments (Ghost Rider, Elektra) and a long list of films that failed to truly satisfy a relevant fan-base (X-Men, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, etc.). It'll be interesting to see how this one fares. I imagine it'll come down somewhere in between the mega-successes and the flops.
The god of thunder is certainly not one of Marvel's top heroes, but based on this trailer, it looks like they might have a winner in Thor.