The New 'Thor' Trailer


Marvel's next superhero film, Thor, is still about 6 months out (May 6, 2011) but that doesn't mean we'll go wanting until then. While Thor may not be the most popular hero in the Marvel universe (but neither was Iron Man at one point), he also inhabits a world that has typically had a more stilted Shakespearian dialogue compared to his more contemporary peers. When they brought in Kenneth Branagh, who's got more than his fair share of Shakespeare productions under his belt, the move incited more than a few curious head tilts from comic book fans. Here was a director whose past films were far and away what the average audience would expect from a superhero flick, and yet at the same time...it almost made sense. And when notable Thor lookalike Chris Hemsworth fell into place along with current geek goddess Natalie Portman, the film edged just a little bit closer to credibility with the highly skeptical fanbase. Personally, I think this trailer only helps.

This isn't the first footage that's come available (it premiered at Comic-Con), but it's by far the best looking trailer and the most explanatory of what this film's going to be about, something average Joe Moviegoer will be oblivious to (unlike Spider-man or Batman who've had so much primer to grease the wheels of their origin films).

Compared to the last trailer they released, this tells quite a bit about the story. Thor is a God, he pisses off his father Odin, gets cast down to Earth as punishment, and ends up earning back the respect he lost.

The thing that's easy to lose site of is that this is another origin story film, but at the same time it's different. Unlike Iron Man or Batman who endured a tragedy or hardship and then crafted their battle suits and symbolism, or Spider-man or the X-Men who are genetically altered (naturally or otherwise) - Thor, as a superpowered being exists outside of these realms of easily acceptable plausibility. Not to say that believing in a god or gods is beyond the human condition, but it's not a character based in reason, and there's a huge mythology and world tied into the character before the film has even begun.

Visually the trailer has quite a bit going for it with elaborate set pieces that have somehow avoided the pitfall of looking like large plastic sets (like in old Egyptian royalty epics) - but the biggest challenge for audience acceptance will be the verbose dialogue between Odin and Thor, which we get a small taste of here, but I can't believe Branagh of all people would excise that aspect of the Thor concept altogether. Take some comfort in the visual aesthetic of the film, but the real obstacle will lie in the dialogue which we'll be hearing more of in future trailers.

Even if the film flops, judging from the trailer I'd accept Hemsworth as part of the cast of the upcoming Avengers flick headed by Joss Whedon and also featuring Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans as Captain America. Hemsworth seems like a respectable addition to that cast.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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