Thor: Kenneth Branagh’s film is the wrong kind of weird

He was once nominated for an Oscar for best director, but while Branagh brings seriousness to Thor, the latest Marvel superhero project, first impressions suggest the new material over-reliance on CGI

“I thought it sounded like a strange idea, because Kenneth Branagh to direct, so I was like:” Kenneth Branagh doing Thor is super rare, I have to do it. ” ”

That’s Natalie Portman take on Thor, the next installment in Marvel’s current offering for its vast catalog to the big screen (or at least the characters that were not auctioned off to other studies before the company estimated it could do a better job in itself). You’re right, right? Branagh’s involvement is more or less of the film has going for it: may have been 21 years since he was nominated for an Oscar for best director for Henry V, while still in his 20 years, but its share still gives the project a certain seriousness.

Inevitably, Branagh has the English-speaking inhabitants of Asgard to the Queen, while the earthlings that after the Norse deity meetings be cast out of heaven are decidedly American. Sir Anthony Hopkins is Odin, Thor himself is Chris Hemsworth, while the evil Loki’s old mucker Tom Hiddleston Branagh, a student of the stage version of Ivanov, for which Ken won the best actor critics’ circle in 2008 . Surprisingly, Idris Elba The Wire plays Heimdall, the all-seeing, all hearing Asgardians Sentinel, a casting choice that has caused much debate. Portman stars as Jane Foster, a scientist and the human love interest Thor.

Six minutes of footage screened at the Comic-Con last week in San Diego, which has now appeared online via ComicBookMovie.com. Check it out at the clip above.

The first thing that strikes me is that Marvel has followed the CGI path to Asgard. I guess this was inevitable, given that other films of this study have gone the same way, with mixed results. Both films Jon Favreau Iron Man has shown how you can integrate computer generated images with live action shots, but Louis Leterrier, The Incredible Hulk proved that an angry green giant is much less scary when viewed as an extra World of Warcraft .

Asgard Branagh, for me, has all the pomp and grandeur of an introduction of cheap computer games. I am fully aware that the cost of re-creating a heaven on real life of the Norse, with all air sweep shots and all the shiny gold and steel, could have been astronomical. But surely the models, or a mixture of models and epic landscape shots, and actual buildings would have been preferable? Even scenes inside the palace of Odin, appear to have been shot against a green screen background, which must have been very difficult for actors to perform at its best. However, if Branagh is “weird” to have, is the aspect of the wrong kind of weird.

With little more than the diatribe, the rest of the movie looks pretty decent at this early stage. Once again, Agent Coulson of SHIELD (for the first time in Iron Man) seems to be smart fabric in the plot of the movie, so that Thor’s a nice feeling of kinship with the previous film and helping to set things up for The Avengers (which unite the two characters to Captain America). Hemsworth certainly looks the part as Thor, and Hopkins seems to be as bombastic as Odin.

The main problem with the film, aside from all that ropey CGI, will convince the audience that this character can exist not only in a version of our world, but in the same world as Iron Man, Captain America and Hulk. When Stan Lee was the master stroke came to his superhero with the living, breathing, immortal God, back in 1962, did not have to worry too much about the scientific authenticity: no child is going to take a comic book and start to pick holes in the fantasy that he or she has performed. But in choosing to shoot their catalog of new live-action Marvel has been forced into a position where we have to believe in the universe as a tangible, practical, albeit one in which people can fly and gamma rays to transform humans into huge, snarling green versions of Wayne Rooney after England game particularly bad.

What are your thoughts about Thor? Could this be the first movie Iron Man Marvel not to meet the gold standard? And Branagh bring enough “weirdness” to it to be interesting, or is that because it seems an almighty mess?

Awards

Win

* Special Osella d’Oro – 1995 International Film Festival in Venice
* Best Young European Film – 1990 from the European Film Academy
* Best Actor – 1990 Academy of European Cinema
* Best Director – 1989 British Academy of Film and Television Arts
* Best Director – 1989 National Board of Review
* Best New Director – 1989 New York Film Critics Circle

Nominating

* Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Made for Television – 2005 Association of the Hollywood Foreign Press
* Best Actor in a Miniseries or Movie – 2005 Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
* Best Actor – 2002 British Academy of Film and Television Arts
* Best Actor in a Miniseries or Movie – 2002 Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
* Best Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries – 2001 American Film Institute
*Best Performance by an Actor ina image Miniseries or TV Movie – 2001 Foreign Press Association Hollywood
* Best Adapted Screenplay – 1996 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
* Best Supporting Actor – 1995 Screen Actors Guild
* In the competition – 1992 International Film Festival Berlin
* Best Live Action Short Film – 1992 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
* Best Adapted Screenplay – 1989 British Academy of Film and Television Arts
* Best Director – 1989 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
* Best Actor – 1989 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Personal Quotes

I feel more Irish than English. I feel freer than British, more visceral, with a love of language. Crossed by the fire in any way. That’s why refuse to be allocated in the current repository of Shakespeare on the planet. That means I am part of the English cultural elite, and I’m being totally unfounded.

I think the best actors are the most generous, kindest, the elderly and at their worst they are vain, greedy and insecure.

I’m just a foul-mouthed British.

My definition of success is control.

Friendship is one of the most tangible things in a world with fewer supports.