The latest Marvel comic based film has arrived and continues a trend of top-notch cinematic adaptations of Marvel characters. THOR stars Chris Hemsworth as the brash and bold Asgard warrior who is next in line for the kingdoms throne. His father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), has ruled the kingdom for many years and as such has been responsible for maintaining the peace for Asgard and all the other known realms. After being surprised by an incursion by an ancient enemy previously defeated by Odin, the God of Thunder leads a group of warriors on a mission of retribution against his father’s orders which soon has the Asgard people facing the spectre of war.
Instead of his planned coronation, Thor finds himself cast out of Asgard and forced to live as a mortal on Earth. Truly a fish out of water, the brash and arrogant Thor is befriended by scientist Jane Watson (Natalie Portman), the first person Thor encounters upon his arrival. Unsure of his true identity, Jane and her colleagues are drawn to the mysterious stranger despite his tales which, to the humans, are the stuff of ancient Norse legends.
While initially dismissed as a drifter, Thor soon gains the respect of Jane and her colleagues when he stands up to a mysterious government organization that has seized her work. Thor soon finds himself battling enemies on multiple fronts on both his present and former home where he must battle to regain his lost honor and status and prove himself the rightful leader of his people. What follows is a highly entertaining mix of action, comedy, and a touch of romance that sets the film apart from many of its peers.
Director Kenneth Branagh fleshes out the characters from their two-dimensional origins and paces the film well never allowing the elaborate effects or action sequences of the film to overshadow the characters or the story. J. Michael Straczynski used many of the lessons he learned as the creator of the Babylon 5 and in his recent work with Marvel comics to provide a character-driven story that is true to the source material while providing interweaving storylines and ever-changing characters.
The supporting cast was strong, especially Tom Hiddleston as Thor’s younger sibling Loki. The visuals of the film match the action perfectly as Asgard and some of the other realms are truly breathtaking. The only issue I had with the film was that, sadly, Paramount felt the need to use a post filming 3-D conversion on the film which in my opinion offered very little to the finished product. Had the film been shot with 3-D cameras it truly would’ve taken it to the next level but as it was actually done, the 3D conversion offers little to the visual experience.
Hemsworth commands the screen in every scene in which he appears. He is a charismatic presence that deftly walks the line between brash warrior and leader seeking redemption, who never lets his performance become cartoony or forced. I absolutely loved every part the film from beginning to end and in my opinion Thor has set the bar very high for the next series of comic book themed movies to aspire to and is not to be missed.
4.5 stars out of five