As Marvel builds up towards the upcoming The Avengers, they release yet another hero film which brings Thor to the table, preparing him to fight alongside Iron Man, the Hulk and Captain America. Thor is a film for which I had very low expectations, but afterwards I was pleasantly surprised. Thor is still a summer-blockbuster movie, it utilizes a lot of cliché dialogue, but it contains a charm which other hero movies just don’t quite have.
Basically, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is a lightning god about to be crowned King of Asgard. However, his coronation is interrupted by a group of Frost Giants from Jotenheim (Asgard’s enemy) break into Asgard’s most secure vault. Thor reacts by gathering his friends and attacking Jotenheim. His father, King Oden (Anthony Hopkins), has strived for peace in the nine realms after defeating Jotenheim in battle many years before. Seeing Thor’s aggression and lack of thought, Oden banishes Thor to Earth and revokes all of his powers.
On Earth, Thor runs into astrophysicist Jane (Natalie Portman) and her associate Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard). Thor’s hammer, his main source of power, has landed several miles away in the New Mexico desert. Agent Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. find the hammer and establish a perimeter. Back on Asgard, Thor’s brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) begins to gain power. To save the people of Earth and of Asgard, Thor has to become worthy enough to regain his powers so that he can fight a lot of people.
Director Kenneth Branagh brings a lot to the scenes on Earth, these scenes being the highlight of the film. The scenes on distant planets display great graphics and allow us to experience the 3D fully, but some of these sequences seem far too into the graphics, and what we actually watch is relatively flat content wise. As Thor is from another world with other customs, he isn’t used to Earth’s ways. This leads to some funny moments in the way Thor reacts to American life. For example, at one point he wakes up in a hospital and he jumps out of the bed, yelling “You dare threaten me- Thor, son of Oden!?”
Thor is a very commercialized film, this is interesting considering it’s derived from Norse mythology. Yet it’s still good in its own way, the interactions being different from most stereotypical superhero movies. The tie-ins with Hulk and Iron Man are great, in one scene ‘the destroyer’ comes down from Asgard and S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents ask Agent Coulson if it is one of Tony Stark’s suits. The acting is good, Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman are always safe choices, and Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are welcome newcomers to the spotlight. Despite all the clichés and any other issues, Thor is still a good movie with plenty of action and a fair amount of comedy- though Iron Man is still a much better movie.