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Friday, November 9, 2018

HAMMERED SHIT


Save your cash on and skip the slow-moving, turgid and criminally inane Thor: The Dark World. It is an improvement over the first Thor film, but there is a lethargy in all the action scenes. Nothing seems crisp or crucial in the physical battles, although there is some good GGI of London smashed to pieces by the invasion of the Dark Elves. Chris Hemsworth as Thor talks like a bad High School drama student who is trying to force his voice into a lower register--he sounds like he's trying to suppress a burp while he speaks--and there is a frown on his face through the film that makes him look as though someone gave him a shot of castor oil. Tom Hiddleston as Loki is inexplicable anyway you look at-- he fluctuates between glee, sorrow, and rage raggedly, scene to scene. Plus he is incapable of not looking like Data from Star Trek: Next Generation. They've thrown a lot of things in the air for this juggling act, and too many things hit the stage they're playing on.our money on the visual laxative otherwise known as Thor: The Dark World. Anthony Hopkins appears rumpled and ready for a nap, while Natalie Portman, consistently the least charismatic actress I can think of, moves through this movie in a variety of self-loathing postures, as though in pain realizing everyone she knows will see her in this expensive, flailing wind-up toy of a film. I think a Thor movie could be entertaining if there was the right cast, director and script, a crew that had a feel of the source material, ie, the Marvel comic book, not the original Norse legend. This is an efficient, professional bit of filmmaking and does provide a moment or two of entertainment, but the cast is so indifferent--either phoning it in or gnawing the scenery--and the plot points so diffuse, distracted and pitifully predictable, in blockbuster terms, that what we have is an expensive, noisy apparatus utterly without charm. What's missing is the grace, energy and, yes, basic good humor and humanity of the original Kirby/Lee comic book tales. Jack Kirby had an extraordinary visual imagination and a capable rendering of his version of Asgaard could have been simply magnificent, magical even. The comic book version of these characters, with and without Kirby, had a verve that seemed to sock you in the face straight from the page. As fine as this movie's production values might be, there never seems a time that the enterprise seems to rise above a very competent reenactment ritual. What they settled for were computerized variations of Shangri La from Lost Horizon. Worse, the make-believe city resembled a cross between Hearst Castle and an M.C.Escher painting. That, combined with the sluggish momentum this movie is barely capable of, is quite enough to make you calculate how much you worked to make the money for the ticket you bought to see something that finally made you feel like a moron for seeing.

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