Self confessed comic enthusiast, Chris Sullivan, gets in the cinema queue early to make sure of a seat for Thor, but finds himself less than enthused by The Green Hornet.
As a child I was obsessed with comics and especially super heroes. First Superman, then Batman and then I moved from DC Comics onto Marvel and the work of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, were simultaneously wacky and true to life. I was particularly taken by Thor.
Penciled by Kirby, he appealed to my fascination with all things Norse – particularly if they wore helmets with horns or wings on the top and carried a hammer.
So when I heard that Thor was the latest Marvel hero to be turned into a film, I went out of my way to see it. In fact I was there in a queue at 9.30am .’Sad bastard!’ I hear you mutter. Of course, I had my doubts. The combination of director, leading luvvie Ken Branagh (who I’ve always considered hugely overrated) and star, muscle-bound Chris Hemsworth from the Aussie soap Home & Away, didn’t fill me with enthusiasm but I will admit I was surprised as both excel beyond my every expectation.
'I was surprised as both Branagh and Hemsworth excel beyond my every expectation'
The story begins as warrior; Norse God of Thunder and future King of Asgard (one of the nine home world’s of Norse mythology that house Valhalla), Thor breaks a delicate peace by aggravating an age-old enemy, the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, and throws a tantrum.
To punish his arrogance, Thor is exiled by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) on Earth where he suffers the indignity of living among mortals. Thor’s appearance attracts the attention of the agents of Shield, while a group of astrologers led by Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) befriend him after he lands on her windscreen and she runs him over.
Meanwhile back in Asgard, Thor’s sneaky, slimy half brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) plans to take the throne and cause havoc. A big, noisy, spectacle full of fire and ferocity featuring cracking effects and due deference to the original comic book, it’s a rag tag bag of overlong nonsense that, although not a ‘good’ film in the accepted sense, is certainly not dull.
I wish the same could be said of Michel Gondry’s The Green Hornet. Based on the TV show that ran for just a year (1966-67) and starred Van Williams as Britt Reid/The Green Hornet, and the great Bruce Lee as his kung fu kicking sidekick Kato, this film has none of the charm of the original – just an appalling script and lacklustre special effects.
This time the desperately unfunny Seth Rogan plays Reid, a spoiled newspaper magnate by day and masked vigilante by night. It's as dreary a film as I have seen in a very long time. It was so bad I actually felt sorry for Gondry who must’ve realised that this was irretrievable rubbish, that star/producer Rogan is about as funny as a bomb scare and that such a film could kill his career.
Thor is in cinemas now. The Green Hornet is available on DVD now.
- The Green Hornet official site here
- Thor official site here
- Popcorn Diaries at the London Film Festival
- Watch movie trailers at the Paramount trailer park
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