starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, and Natalie Portman
directed by Kenneth Branagh
screenplay by Ashley Miller, Zach Stentz, and Don Payne, based on a story J. Michael Straczynski, and Mark Protosevich, based on the comic by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby
This is (surprisingly!) one of my first comic book movie reviews, so let me place forth a disclaimer right now: I am a HUGE reader and collector, with over 2,000 comics sitting in my closet. That said, I’ve been looking forward to this movie for a very, very, very long time. Thor is one of my all-time favorite heroes, and this film did justice as to why. In an interesting turn, Shakespearean actor Kenneth Branagh took the directorial reins of this story, telling the story of Asgardian ‘god’ Thor’s fall from deity to man, and his subsequent struggle to find the humility that will make him a hero. Hemsworth helms the cast at the titular character, and fills the shoes of the the thunder god well. Patriarch Odin is portrayed fantastically as well by legendary actor Anthony Hopkins, but the powerhouse performance in this cast is by Tom Hiddleston as Thor’s mischievous brother Loki. Hiddlseton upstages his cast-mates frequently with his meticulously composed performance, one so intricate, it seems almost out of place in this superhero blockbuster. His emotional depth and character development is fantastic, and highly commendable. Hiddleston’s Loki is a deeply constructed antagonist, whose villainy is as detestable as it is relatable. Don’t be mistaken though, this does not break too far beyond the mold. Special effects brings fantastical Asgard to life, and create visual masterpieces. Thor does what Superman movies need to, and created big action using a ridiculously powered hero. Watching Thor bash in frost giant’s heads was what fans have been expecting from someone like Superman for a while, waiting for him to beat on a Doomsday or Metallo instead of ol’ Lex Luthor. Regardless, the action is fun, and visually explosive, and captivating in the way a powerhouse character like Thor ought to be. Minced with humor and wit, the script flows, explaining coherently the origins of such a strange hero, and creating an interesting story that incorporates many of the cool characters from the Thor universe without forcing them in. As far as superhero movies go, this summer blockbuster blowout should be a model as Marvel continues pushing on with its recent successes towards the release of the indubitably epic 2012 Joss Whedon film adaption of The Avengers. Humor, action, clever dialogue, and fantastic character development propel this film as a definitive comic book adapation well worth seeing whether you’re a long time fan, or someone completely new to the character. Think Iron Man with more action, cooler costumes, and mind-blowing effects. Don’t miss Thor this summer, a movie everyone will enjoy.
Final Score: 3.9 out of 5
Next up: Not sure, but I’m definitely watching a movie cause I’m a bum.