With the charismatic film presence of Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, Thor succeeds on many levels. The movie is smart, funny, dramatic, and loads of fun.
With Hemsworth at the helm (he plays the son of god Odin, Thor), he unites a stellar cast that includes Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Colm Feore, Rene Russo, and Tom Hiddleston.
The premise of the plot is that Odin (Hopkins) rules in Asgard with a soft iron fist. Some in Asgard might consider him a weakening ruler; put Odin is old and wise in that he no longer wants to fight. He would rather keep the peace between the Frost Giants and Asgard.
The Frost Giant King (aka King Laufey) is played by Colm Feore, who does an excellent job of being forceful and cold with the attitude of one who has been defeated and is waiting for revenge.
Enter Odin’s son, Thor, who is young and hot-headed and ready to fight and to prove himself. He goes into the realm of the Frost Giants’ and basically picks a fight. He is spurred on by his brother, Loki (Hiddleston), who is playing both sides.
If one knows their mythology or anything of the Marvel Comics characters, they know Loki is the trickster in the old stories and it should not come as a surprise that he rather tends toward the backstabbing vein of doing things. But enough said…no spoilers here!
Because of his hot headedness, Thor is cast out by his father. He lands on Earth, which is rather humorous, because he is used to being a god in Asgard. Not only is he used to being a god, he is used to being treated as one.
Meanwhile, on Earth, or Midgard in the comics, Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman) is heading up a research team. She and her team, Eric (Skarsgård) and Darcy (played by Kat Dennings) and their research mobile (a character unto itself) manage to catch the sighting of Thor falling to Earth. Of course, they think they have just witnessed an alien ship crashing, and they aren’t far from wrong.
Thor makes a huge crater in the earth. His mighty hammer falls after him, but he doesn’t get to retrieve it.
Odin cursed him so that when he finds worthiness, he can wield it again. Well, it takes Thor almost the whole rest of the movie to achieve that! He has to assimilate with us mere morals and that takes some time (and humor---I loved the café scene where he tastes coffee for the first time).
Directed by the great Shakespearian actor and filmmaker Kenneth Branagh, the movie combines clandestine doses of Shakespeare innuendos and mythology. But, even if you don’t get those, the movie is still very enjoyable and quite entertaining.
The other aspect of Thor might make some other types geek out, as it is based on the comic book Thor and his part in the Avengers. Branagh does an excellent job merging both worlds into one and also giving much for the normal, average person to enjoy.
I must confess I am not a comic book geek and had to have a lot of the Avengers coolness explained to me by my comic geek husband. For example, when Hawkeye shows up and tries to pin our hero Thor to the wall, I didn’t get it. But my husband, who did get it, flipped out at his appearance.
Also, when The Destroyer shows up, one of the agents comments, “is that one of Stark’s?”. I got that one because I have seen the Iron Man movies, not because I read these comic books. Then there is the whole Nick Fury entrance, and we all love Sammie L.
Although I may not have gotten many of the inside jokes that will make geeks everywhere Hulk out, I did really enjoy this movie. I think I can sum up why in one word: Hemsworth. Or can I call him by his first name? Chris. He does an amazing job. He did an amazing job being a god. I think I am still in love with him.
Along with looking incredible, the Blu-ray comes loaded with special features including deleted scenes, commentary, a look at the Avengers, and more.
If I had to come up with another reason to absolutely love this movie, I would say the directing that Branagh provides – which is why I am concerned that he won’t be involved in the sequel. Excellence shines through his work and I don’t know why I was surprised that he was in the directing chair for this movie, but I was.
It was a nice revelation to find someone whose work I have frequently followed had directed this, um, comic book movie. For me, this film escaped the stigma of “comic book movie” and proved to be intelligent and witty, entertaining and appealing to all audience and ages.
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