The Mighty Thor


Partner and I recently saw “Thor.” Frankly, after having seen the preview, you could not have kept me away from this movie with a pack of dogs and a taser. I mean, have you seen this Chris Hemsworth?



Actually, he’s not that handsome. He’s blandly handsome. He has one of those little-boy faces that looks out of place on top of a big muscular body. (Taylor Lautner has the same, um, problem.)



But, surprise surprise, Chris Hemsworth can act. He is expressive, and funny. And – well, you must know that the movie was directed by Kenneth Branagh, who knows from Shakespeare. The movie is staged in a split-level way: the gods up in Asgard with their riotous banquets and dramatic feuds, and the poor human beings down here in Midgard (Earth to you). Shakespeare often alternates scenes of the royals with scenes of common soldiers / mechanicals / townspeople drinking and arguing. And once in a while they come together, with great dramatic/comic effect. Just as they do here.



Hemsworth plays Thor as a natural nobleman. Thor is funny and kind and honest, because he doesn’t know any other way to be. He’s in a diner, eating a gigantic breakfast, and Kat Dennings (Natalie Portman’s comic-relief friend) asks him to smile for a photo, and without pausing he looks into the camera and gives her the biggest cheesiest smile you’ve ever seen.



He is the ultimate Happy Warrior. He’s not mean or bullyish; he goes into a fight with a cheerful heart, because he always knows he’s fighting for the right thing. Even when he goes out to die for his friends’ sake, he’s smiling. (Yes, he dies for his friends. And then he comes back to life. Hmm. This story reminds me of something, but I can’t think what.)



There is a brief scene in which Thor helps Natalie Portman serve breakfast to her friends. Sacrilege! all the fanboys screamed. The Mighty Thor would never serve anybody pancakes! But you know what? Of course he would. He is that perfect kind of nobleman who never reminds you that he’s superior to you.



And this is my very favorite scene:



Thor’s finally returned to his full Asgardian stature as God of Thunder. He towers over Natalie Portman gigantically, gripping his hammer. And she murmurs: “So this is how you normally look?” And he pauses slightly, and grins, and says, “More or less.”



And she pauses too, and grins, and says, “I like it.”



I like it too.



About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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