Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston
I’ll go ahead and admit at the outset here that I’ve never read a Thor comic book, or even a full comic book of any hero variety. A blasphemy of sorts, perhaps, but I’m ok with that. But I still appreciate a good comic book hero movie, and the latest installment in the Marvel movie franchise did not disappoint.
The movie Thor features a godly character of Viking descent – based on a mixture of Norse mythology and Marvel comic book lore. In the movie, the Mighty Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, is the son of the “all-father” Odin, played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, and older brother to Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston. Just as Thor is about to be crowned King of the mythical realm of Asgard, the Frost Giants break in to Asgard and attempt to steal a powerful relic. Ever the warrior, Thor counsels his father to make swift and violent retribution against the Frost Giants, which would no doubt lead to all-out war. Recognizing his son’s arrogance and pride, Odin calls him a “vain, greedy, cruel boy”, and banishes Thor to Earth without his god-like powers, most significantly without the ability to wield his iconic war hammer Mjollnir. Once on Earth, Thor must learn the humility and wisdom required to be a great ruler, in order to earn back his godly powers and access to Asgard. Along the way he apparently also “learns” the ability to fall in love – with astro-scientist Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman.
This movie was complete eye-candy – I almost wished the Asgard scenes had run in slo-mo so I could take in all the details. The special effects were flawless – from the epic battle scenes in Jötunheim (the frost giant world), to traveling via the Bifrost Bridge portal, to Loki’s cloning powers, to the Earthly battle scene with the Destroyer – all just awesome. This is a film that is definitely worth seeing in the theater to get the full effect of the big screen – even worth splurging the extra few bucks to see it in IMAX 3D (which we did – Happy Mother’s Day to me!)