Review of 'Thor'

thor.jpg Thor (Chris Hemsworth), son of the god Odin (Anthony Hopkins), is incensed at a raid by the Ice Giants so goes against his father's wishes and launches an attack with several of his close friends on their home planet of Jötunheim. The raid ends badly with Odin banishing Thor to earth, minus the mighty Mjolnir, his hammer. In New Mexico Thor encounters three scientists, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård), and Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) studying an aurora-borealis-type phenomenon. Stripped of his powers Thor is forced to adapt to this odd planet and (obvs) becomes attracted to Jane. Back on Asgard Thor's brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is taking advantage of the situation, with Odin now incapacitated and Thor banished, by seeking an alliance with the Ice Giants and proclaiming himself the king of Asgard. Will Thor be able to reclaim his powers and put a stop to Loki's mad thirst for power?

An amazing looking film set almost entirely in the extraordinary world of Asgard. Special effects drip from the screen but it is the larger than life characters that dominate. Asgard is fully realised and looks amazing as do all of the fantastic characters there particularly the “Destroyer” robot, guardian of the Jotens' power casket (reminiscent of Gort from “The Day the Earth Stood Still”).

Hemsworth puts on a confident and considered performance as Thor while Hiddleston is a bit more of a hit-or-miss affair being somewhat unconvincing in his immediate transition from meek son to power-hungry maniac. Portman's role is thankfully more than eye-candy with her strong scientist character who is simply trying to put the pieces together. Idris Elba puts on a suitably serious face as the guardian of the Bifrost Bridge portal, Heimdall though regretfully is underused, playing only a minor role in events.

As is the problem with many of these superhero movies there is the slightly less believable fact that everyone seems to only briefly be surprised when supernatural events start to happen everywhere…But, hey-ho, this is par for the course. “Thor” is obviously setting up the additional films of the Avengers franchise, specifically The Avengers which, of course, means it is not an entirely complete narrative with a number of threads left open for later.

Enjoyable, if slightly predictable…

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2016-12-31

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Year: 2011

Length: 115 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Kenneth Branagh: