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Reviewing the Superhero Summer of 2011 – Thor Vs X-Men Vs Green Lantern

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Its officially Summer and the extraordinary season of superhero flicks has begun with the results in for about half of them that have been released. Its hard to recall the last time so many superhero franchises were launched within a few months of one another and so the results are almost a way to gauge the power of these gifted beings.

Thor, X-Men and Green Lantern have shown us what they are capable of while Transformers, Captain America and RaOne prepare for their fate. If you still haven’t had a chance to watch these summer blockbusters then perhaps this special triple review will help you make the right decision.

Thor

IMDB Rating: 7.4/10

Gross Revenue/Budget: $435 million/ $150 million

Our Take: Directed by Kenneth Branagh starring Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Natalie Portman as his love interest, Thor who is considered as the God of Thunder in Norse mythology belongs to the Marvel comics universe. The movie which starts off as a flashback tells the story of the banishment of the mighty and arrogant Thor from his divine realm to Earth.

With the presence of two formidable stars in Anthony Hopkins (who plays Thor’s father) and Natalie Portman, Thor has good entertainment value and a decent script which very clearly sets it up for a sequel (a plot of the sequel is actually shown after the credits). Considering the fact that Thor isn’t a very popular comic book character the film is an entertaining watch at just under two hours.

X-Men: First Class

IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Gross Revenue/Budget: $ 282 million/ $150 million

Our Take: If you haven’t seen an X-Men movie ever and are totally new to this Marvel comics franchise then consider yourself lucky. X-Men: First Class is the prequel to the popular franchise most well known for the character of Wolverine portrayed by Hugh Jackman. It tells the story of Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr who start out as friends fighting for the same cause but later go on to become arch enemies given the differences in their ideologies and beliefs.

The film has an excellent story line, the right amount of action and pyrotechnics and fine performances by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as the leading characters. The film is a treat to watch for X-Men followers as their is always a high amount of curiosity when it comes to the origins of superheros. The captivating story-line also makes it entertaining for newbies who might just add the earlier releases of the X-Men franchise to their must watch list.

Green Lantern

IMDB Rating: 6.4/10

Gross Revenue/Budget: $75 million (opening week) /$150 million

Our Take: With Green Lantern (that released worldwide on June 17) DC Comics comes to the party bringing to life the franchise of the green ring powered hero who is a key member of the Justice League. The film opened to negative reviews and was panned by critics but it seems to have picked up interest in the past few days and recently topped the UK Box Office (Source: BBC News).

Green Lantern is about a test pilot named Hal Jordan (played by Ryan Reynolds) who is granted a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers, as well as membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe. For followers of the franchise the movie is a disappointment and doesn’t live up to its animated versions (First Flight and Emerald Knights).

Newbies, on the other hand might enjoy the pyrotechnics and the subtle human messages comparing the power of will (the ring allows its bearers to create what they see in their minds) to the power of fear (harnessing fear to increase your power)

Overall, the battle seems to have been won by the X-Men followed by Thor and Green Lantern as suggested by the IMDB ratings. Revenues might suggest a different story in the weeks to come which just goes to show that superhero flicks appeal differently to different audiences. Surprisingly, all of these movies have been shot in budgets close to $150 million with Thor and Green Lantern also shot in 3D.