12A – 114mins – Action/Adventure/Drama – 27th April 2011

Another Marvel comic book creation is unleashed into the movie world which is growing desperately thin on new and original pieces of work. In recent years Marvel (Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Iron Man) has given us from average to good but never great with the best of them tending to arrive from the first movie of the series with the new superhero (Hulk is emphatically excluded from this sweeping generalisation). Thor, as the first of many summer superhero movies (including the next Marvel adaptation- Captain America: The First Avenger) could have headed either way.

Thor is about, if you haven’t already gathered from the title, Thor (Chris Hemsworth)- the god of thunder. After an ancient war against the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), king of the Aesir forges a truce between the two races which last until the day Thor is due to be crowned King. During the coronation ceremony, several Frost Giants break into Asgard. In retribution Thor goes against his father’s will and leads an assault on them bringing about a war in the process. Odin banishes Thor to Earth stripping him of his powers opening the door for his brother Leki to take control.

Arriving on Earth, Thor soon runs into astrophysicist Jane (Natalie Portman) and her colleagues who are unbeknownst to them studying the effects that Thor has caused in the sky. Without his super powers and trusty hammer Thor must learn to adapt to his new surroundings and try to discover a way to return home.

As in most of the Marvel movies, comedy is woven into the plot to keep the movie going and Thor achieves this well. Most of this is derived from Thor as he copes with his new surroundings a makes for some funny moments. Portman, the love interest, is smitten from the first time she sees Thor which she creates excellently right from the off.
In keeping with the swords and hammers over guns, I liked when the modern day sniper was called into the action and instead of picking up his trusty rifle opted of a compound bow. For those less aware of the Marvel world, that character is Hawkeye and a subtle nudge in the direction of The Avengers film due for release next spring. Along with a Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D reference the movie keeps in line with other Marvel productions by intertwining them together but in a subtle and refined way. Hopefully The Avengers can live up to the expectations they are building!

I found Thor to be better than I though it was going to be with good acting performances especially from newcomer Hemsworth and a good balance between action, comedy and drama to keep me entertained for the whole 2 hours. If you do go and see this at the cinema, which I would recommend, then make sure to stay until after the credits have finished rolling for some bonus footage.

Rating: 7.4/10 

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