Kicking off the summer blockbuster season is Thor, another brick in the wall of Marvel’s comic book film empire, and more importantly another setup for 2012’s mega blockbuster The Avengers which includes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and a bunch of others. Chris Hemsworth stars as Thor, a God from another planet who has been banished to earth by his father Odin(Anthony Hopkins) after nearly starting a war with another realm, inhabited by the Frost Giants.
Natalie Portman co-stars as a weather scientist who along with her assistants discover Thor as he lies in the desert. As Thor awakens on planet earth, he is still an incredible warrior and completely able to kick anyone’s ass, but no longer has the power of his mighty hammer, which has also been cast to earth and is stuck in stone while many curious folks unsuccessfully attempt to pry it loose.
The U.S. Government catches on to these intergalactic occurrences and sets up base around the hammer, as well as detaining all of the research and photographs of Thor’s arrival to further complicate matters.
Meanwhile on Thor’s home planet, it turns out his brother Loki (a Frost Giant in disguse) has been fooling Thor all along and actually tricked him into his behavior that got him banned from his home planet. As Thor pieces the puzzle together, he must figure out how to regain his treasured hammer and return home and exact revenge on his brother, along with saving face with his father.
While Thor is far from perfect, it is not burdened by setting up outside plots and future Marvel films like Iron Man 2 was last year. Thor comes packaged with a very busy back story, but it is summed up nice and neat for those unfamiliar with Thor’s story.
With Kenneth Branagh directing, it has a distinguished feel from the rest of the Marvel films so far with a royal and majestic atmosphere on Thor’s home planet. Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman’s odd and unconvincing romance is a sideshow to the rest of the action, however Hemsworth should fit in well with The Avengers and destined Thor sequels.
While Thor differs from most comic book characters being that he’s a “God” and was never a regular schmoe living life in the real world, this film doesn’t capture much of an emotional punch like The Dark Knight or Spiderman 2, but it also doesn’t fall into total mediocrity like many other prior comic book adaptations. Luckily for all of us starved for a fun big budget summer movie, Thor delivers.
The survey says…3.5 stars (being a little generous here, I had fun with it)