Yet another US superhero film, this time giving a contemporary science-fictional twist to the myths of the Norse gods and acquiring an upmarket gloss by being directed by Kenneth Branagh, the Shakespearean actor/director.
The plot is set on three of the nine Norse "realms" (effectively, planets): Asgard, the abode of the gods; Jotunheim, the home of their traditional enemies the Frost Giants; and Midgard, our very own Earth. Thor (played by Brad Pitt look-alike, the muscular Chris Hemsworth) is the heir to the throne of Asgard, currently occupied by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins). However, his scheming brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) plots to get Thor into trouble by goading him to attack Jotunheim, for which act of disobedience Odin strips Thor of his magical powers and of his mighty hammer Mjolnir, casting both separately to Midgard.
On present-day Earth, the newly arrived Thor is promptly run over by the vehicle of a scientific research team led by astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), leading to some amusing scenes as he tries to work out what is going on and they try to understand who he is. Hearing that Mjolnir has landed not far away and is being researched by a secretive government organisation, Thor sets off to reclaim his hammer, only to find that it isn't quite as simple as that. Further adventures and battles follow (along with a predictable romantic entanglement) before Thor is able to return to Asgard to challenge his brother, who has been getting up to further mischief in his absence.
Thor is an entertaining film, briskly-paced, well-acted and with a good mix of adventure, supernatural battles, humour and romance. Unlike some reviewers, I much preferred the literally down-to-Earth part, when Thor was an ordinary human, over the stylised and over-dramatised scenes on Asgard and Jotunheim which always looked like, well, fantasy film sets. Despite that reservation I wouldn't have minded watching it all again soon afterwards, which is high praise as I rarely feel that way about a film. A couple of sequels are already planned and I can only hope (albeit without much optimism) that they maintain the standard of the first.
Finally caught this on Netflix. Apparently I did not pay much attention to it originally because I did not know before that Natalie Portman was even it!
As an origins story, I liked it. Had a good mixture of action & story to keep me interested and, of course, it had references to some of the other Marvel characters to serve as a backdrop to The Avengers movie.
The only bad thing about watching it on Netflix is that the scene at the end of credits is not included (which directly sets up the premise of The Avengers).
It's a solid action film. Unfortunately, it's also part of a recent Hollywood Magic?-Science?-Can't-it-be-both? trend. Clash of the Titans (the new one), Sorcerer's Apprentice (with Nicholas Cage), Thor, Wrath of the Titans, et al. They try to harmonize what was mythos, magic, & fantasy with what is scientific, empirical, & technological.
Where (in Thor for example) does science quit being a factor & the magic takes over? It's altogether annoying, especially if they,re not going to define what the "magic" component is. Otherwise, it's a cracking summer flick!
For me, THOR has come a long way since his debut in comics back in the 1960's, and I waited a long time since his first appearance on the small screen to see him finally up on the big screen. My childhood dream of the mighty THOR in a theatrical film thwarting LOKI and battling the nearly unstoppable DESTROYER has come true.
It was fun to see him with the AVENGERS! And I now look eagerly forward to see THOR again in his new film in 2014.