Tadanobu Asano in Thor

Are there many people out there like me whose first exposure to Thor was because one of the young characters of  Adventures in Babysitting insisted on wearing a horned helmet and carry the hammer?

The idea of Thor being made into a movie seemed laughable to me but little did I know that Marvel had created a comic series and characters to augment the Norse mythology. Thus in what seems like the hell-bent need to make every Marvel and DC Comic into a movie, it was reasonable that Thor also becomes a movie.

During my workouts, I listen to CBC’s Eli Glasner’s movie reviews podcast and listened to his review of Thor (blog review here). It enticed me to push to watch the movie: that it would be different from the now run-of-the-mill “superhero” movies by being about gods, a former Shakespearean actor as the director, incredible scenes of architecture, and the presence of goofy comedy.

I really liked the movie. The actors were all a delight to watch. Australian newcomer Chris Helmsworth was impressively hunky Thor and will be The Huntsman in Snow White and The Huntsman. NPY noted that several people reminded him of people he had seen in the 2009 Star Trek movie and it turns out Chris Helmsworth played the father of James T. Kirk. Briton Tom Hiddleton played Thor’s brother, Loki, whom you knew to be evil masterminding, but didn’t quite know in which direction the evil ran. I thought he looked better in costume than as an ineffective-looking federal agent in a suit and overcoat. Clark Gregg played post-modern Agent Phil Coulson, a Marvel character who shows up in  Iron Man and later in Avengers and Nick Fury.  He could really have fun in his small role and I like the cross-story aspect of his character. Kat Dennings played  the snarky, lab assistant Darcy and I do agree with Eli Glasner that she stole every scene she was in. Natalie Portman played storm-chasing scientist Jane Foster. I really loved any and all of the jargon and attempt to explain mythology with a logical explanation.

We saw Tadanobu Asano (浅野 忠信) in the movie trailor and wondered why an Asian guy was in a Norse mythology movie and he was in costume and not an earthling. Well, he played Hogun the Grim, a member of the Marvel-created Warriors Three. The other warriors included Volstagg (unrecognizable Irishman Ray Stevenson) and Fandral; Jaimie Alexander as Sif, Thor’s wife in mythology, is also constantly with the male warriors and the sordid gang is cheekily named, “Xena, Jackie Chan, Robin Hood,” heh.

So we did laugh at first when Hogun spoke with a slight Japanese accent mixed with all the other accents from all over the world attempting to emulate an old Scandanavian accent. Then it dawned on me, “So what?” From the graphic below, Hogun was envisioned as a more swarthy member and looks a little Genghis Khan-esque to me so that opened up the casting to an Asian actor and that is refreshing and fun.

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