Thor is epic. It’s not true to the lore but it’s a good film. There are no spoilers in this review (from my POV).
Rene Russo was less than epic as Frigga. She wasn’t bad, but she didn’t strike me as regal and commanding enough for the role. Looking the part simply isn’t enough.
I felt there was too much effort spent trying to bridge (pardon the pun) science and magic. You don’t have to rubber ducky* everything. Sometimes mystery is good.
Sif’s hair still bugs me. I know. I need to let this go.
Loki’s story doesn’t match the lore, yet some essence of him is intact. His relationship with Odin, although characterized differently in the film still carries that odd ineffable sense of connection and tension.
The Jotun’s ain’t pretty. I can’t imagine any God, or human, ever wanting to mate with one. Ever.
If you honor, reverence or worship the Jotun or Loki, you may not like this film. Not a disappointment for me, but an FYI.
Will The Portman please stop playing the main squeeze for sci-fi characters? Seriously? She should have “Romantic Sidekick” tattooed on her forehead at this point.
I dislike 3D. Really it wasn’t bad in Thor, but yeah, 3D is a ridiculous gimmick.
The costumes are a bit weird, but you get used to them. At least, I got used to them.
What I Loved!
Jotunheim was incredible, as were the Jotuns. I couldn’t imagine what a Frost Giant looked like unless it was Hagrid covered in snow. They were rather epic, if not beauteous.
Even though they are aliens technically, there are parts of the movie that are awe-inspiring. They speak, walk, talk, think and act as Gods. They speak of the lore in ways that resonate with me as a Pagan.
Chris Helmsworth does an excellent job of illustrating the coming of age of a God, and of a man. He exudes the energy, attitude and bearing I would expect from Thor every moment of the film. Not to mention he is very, very easy on the eyes. He also through the story showed how Thor gained wisdom, and wasn’t afraid to laugh at himself.
Asgard was as I imagine it in my mind’s eye: a shining realm filled with treasures, fires, roast boar, and feasting halls. Well done.
Anthony Hopkins does an excellent job as Odin. There’s some weirdness that I attribute to the comic book, but overall he exemplified how I see the All-Father: wise, courageous, decisive and just a wee bit shifty.
Loki fits how I picture him from the Eddas, but maybe a bit sadder. His story is rubber duckied*, but his reactions and plotting fit how I see him. I’m not a fan of Loki. Someone who is might be able to provide more insight.
Heimdall, so gossiped over since Idris Elba was cast, may be my favorite thing in the whole film, next to Bifrost itself. He is Heimdall without equivocation or reservation. In every action and line he is the Guardian of Bifrost, loyal warrior, ever watching and ever vigilant. Every scene with him made my heart soar. Idris Elba could be an albino and not have played him any better. I am completely in love with Heimdall in this movie. He is the one character most true to the lore in deed, word and presence. His last scene in the film completely sums up all you need to know about Heimdall for me.
On the geeky side: the Stan Lee cameo is priceless, and so is the Tony Stark reference.
So What Does This Mean To Pagans?
Thor is essentially about honor, wisdom, courage, honesty, responsibility and family. It’s Heathen values in action. In that respect I think it represents Heathenry well.
Thor, Odin and Heimdall have a dignity and gravity that commands respect. I think I would follow these representations of the Gods into battle, even to Ragnarok itself.
I was inspired by what I could see of Heathen values, lore and Gods shine through this film. I could see people, especially those looking for a warrior ethic, really being inspired by this film. I think this film could be a flashpoint for people already looking for Heathenry, including those who aren’t aware they are looking for it yet.
So there it is. I liked it. If you’ve read the blog you know I’m apt to like things. Did you love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments!
*To rubber ducky is to over-explain something according to Sidney Lumet: i.e They took his rubber ducky away and that’s why he’s a serial killer.