Exiled to Earth after his arrogance fans the flames of an ancient conflict, The Mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) of Asgard discovers the meaning of humility when a powerful old foe dispatches a destructive force to crush humanity. Only when the banished prince has defeated an opponent capable of crushing him in battle will he learn what it takes to be a true leader. Anthony Hopkins}, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, and Tadanobu Asano co-star in a comic-book adventure from acclaimed director Kenneth Branagh. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård
Release Date: May 06, 2011
Rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi action/violence
Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Thor is one of those properties that sounded like a looming disaster from the outset. A comic book property that included a Norse god that some how had to be meshed into an Earth setting. Hiring Kenneth Branagh, Shakespeare cinematic stalwart, to direct seemed like an April fool’s joke. This turned out to be a master stroke with Branagh in the director’s chair the story hits the screen in a believable but not overtly serious manner that’s first and foremost fun. Branagh give this property enough standard Shakespearean light turns to make the Asgard set pieces entertaining and intriguing. The earth set pieces are funny but occasionally feel flat when compared to the grandeur of Asgard. Chris Hemsworth in the title role is spot on perfect. Initially cocky rash and arrogant, Hemsworth doesn’t overplay the role and allows it to feel natural and organic. In doing so the character’s growth over the course of the story rings true, all a testament to Hemsworth’s work. The rest of the cast is fine but very few standout, mostly due to unwritten parts. Tom Hiddleston is given a fairly generic role to play as a double dealing underappreciated sibling. To Hiddleston’s credit he gives the character a bit more depth in the 3rd act. Natalie Portman is equally handcuffed by a paper thin role that’s a romantic interest simply because there must be one. Portman and Hemsworth have very little chemistry together and the entire romance feels shoehorned and forced. Thor’s Asgard cohorts, The Warriors Three and the Lady Sif, are terribly under development and underused. The film itself is strongest in the 1st and 3rd acts with a noticeable lag in middle which, unsurprisingly, Earth centered while the others are mostly set in Asgard. Still as fun mindless summer fun Thor delivers the goods more than it doesn’t.