Tag Archives: Chris Hemsworth

Film Review – Thor: The Dark World

With the Frost Giants defeated and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in prison, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is helping to return peace to the nine realms. However, after Jane (Natalie Portman) discovers an ancient force known as the Aether, Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), leader of the Dark Elves, hatches a plan to harness the Aether to return the nine realms to darkness.

The unique thing and the Thor franchise compared to the other Marvel films is that its hero comes from somewhere other than Earth. This presents its own set of pros and cons, but what it does ensure is that it has the opportunity to stand proud from its peers such as Iron Man and Captain America.

Thor: The Dark World takes advantage of other worldly locales more than the first film and it’s better for it as a result. We get to see some of the other realms, albeit briefly, and Asgard feels more fleshed out, starting to feel like a living, breathing world. This is no doubt down to director Alan Taylor who has also directed TV fantasy epic Game of ThronesWe still get a good chunk of the film set on Earth, however; this time in London. This split between the recognisable Earth and fantasy of Asgard is well balanced and adds excellent variety to the film’s locations.

One area where the film really excels is in its humour. Marvel films always have a rich vein of humour running through them but Thor:TDW turns it up a notch. It’s genuinely funny in places, with much of the humour coming from Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. His biting remarks towards Thor are frequent (maybe even a little too frequent) and more often then not will raise a giggle. Thor himself also some amusing moments, ensuring he’s not totally outplayed by his on-screen brother.

And it’s in the chemistry between the two brothers where the film really shines. Chris Hemsworth is a little held back by the nature of Thor’s character but still manages to inject a bit of personality into the role, particularly when he’s so obviously out of place during his time on Earth. Tom Hiddleston was undoubtedly the best thing about the first Thor film, and arguably also in Avengers Assembleand he’s similarly brilliant here. He manages to perfectly balance Loki’s smarmy yet scared persona masterfully; we see him goading Thor and hatching devious plots throughout, yet we also see a sadness and vulnerability that shows a deeper side to the character.

Unfortunately, this characterisation does not translate to the film’s villain. Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith is a frankly banal enemy devoid of personality or threat. This isn’t Eccleston’s fault, merely that of the character, and is a trend all too common with the recent batch of superhero movies.

Superhero films a ten a penny these days and it’s easy to become jaded by their familiarity and somewhat formulaic nature. Likewise, if you’re not a fan of the genre, there’s little here to suddenly change your mind (well, Chris Hemsworth maybe). However, thanks to some excellent set pieces and laugh out loud humour, Thor:TDW establishes itself as one of the best films in the Marvel series so far.

4 pigeons

4/5 pigeons

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Film Review: Rush

RUSH

British Formula 1 driver and playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) is aiming to clinch the F1 title, but he must overcome Austrian driver Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) to do so. However, their increasingly intense rivalry has devastating consequences both on and off the track.

Sports films are always difficult to pull off, especially when the sport in question isn’t that popular in one of your main target markets. That’s the challenge Ron Howard was faced with when he signed up for Rush. Here in the UK, Formula One has a pretty large following, but in the US Nascar is the king of track and, therefore, Howard needed to make the film accessible on a human level, as well as making the racing exciting and authentic. It could easily have been a car crash (pun most definitely intended), but instead it’s got a good shout at being the quintessential racing film.

Howard has admitted that prior ti getting involved in Rush he knew nothing of F1, which makes his achievement all the more spectacular. Capturing the feel and thrill of F1 isn’t easy but everything from the speed of the cars to the pit lane urgency to the cinema-shaking roar of the engines is present and correct. There’s a Hans Zimmer score in there somewhere apparently, but the only sound you’ll likely remember is the V6 engines of McLarens, Ferraris, etc, melting your ears off. Mention should also go to Daniel P. Hanley and Mike Hill for their quite brilliant editing.

Off the track, both lead characters are wonderfully portrayed. Hunt and Lauda are polar opposites, with the former being larger than life and wreckless, with a penchant for living all aspects of his life at 100mph, not just on the track. Lauda, on the other hand is calculated and measured. He works on percentages rather than passion, knowing exactly how his car works and prefers an early night rather than a life of vice. These personalities aren’t subtly played out; everything is spelled out pretty plainly, which might be a little simple for some, but still works superbly. Chris Hemsworth is perfectly smug and arrogant as Hunt, his annoyingly good looks making him the ideal choice for the role, whilst Daniel Brühl’s performance as Niki Lauda could be an outside chance for an Oscar nomination.

Creating a human element to the film does require some creative license, meaning there are some inevitable historical inaccuracies, although the majority of audiences won’t likely pick up on these. There are also certain scenes that feel as if they’re invented solely for dramatic purposes, which although still work reasonably well for the most part, do make you question their authenticity in a film based on real events.

Whilst the film might still be a more difficult sell to non-F1 fans, there’s a huge amount to enjoy even if you don’t know your Silverstones from your Nürburgrings. Howard has done exactly what he needed to do, perfectly marrying the on and off-track to create a drama that’s tense, touching and breathless from the starting grid to the checkered flag.

4 and a half pigeons

4.5/5 pigeons

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New Snow White and the Huntsman trailer

In a bizarre twist of fate/coincidence/poor scheduling and planning, there are two Snow White films out this year. The first is Mirror Mirror, which looks like it’s going to take a lighter look at the fairytale, whilst the second is Snow White and the Huntsman, a darker and more dramatic imagining, and the one we’ve got the latest trailer for.

We get to see how the infamous magic mirror will do its business and, most importantly, we see dwarves! Eight of the little fellas to be exact, played by big names such as Nick Frost, Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane and Ray Winstone. We also see Kristin Stewart being a bit of a badass, pursued by Thor himself Chris Hemsworth as Eric, The Huntsman, all under the watch of Charlize Theron as evil Queen Ravenna.

Snow White and the Huntsman will be in cinemas from June 1st.

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