The film is based upon the Marvel comic character of the same name and is the fourth film released that is leading up towards The Avengers which is to follow in 2012. This film was directed by Kenneth Branagh, and starred Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins and Stellan Skarsgård. Stan Lee also makes his traditional cameo, this time as the driver of a pick-up truck.
It turns out that the Norse Gods actually existed and act as something of protectors to the rest of the Nine realms, and the most powerful of these is Odin the king and ruler of Asgard. In time though the Norse Gods have been lost in favour of a more scientific focus so now all humanity believes is that the Gods of old were simple legends or stories that had little to no basis in fact.
But back in 965 AD Odin (Hopkins) defends Earth and the Ninth Realms from the onslaught of the Frost Giants and their leader Laufey (Colm Feore). After their defeat Odin takes the source of their power, the Casket of Ancient Winters, back to Asgard and secures it in a vault that it is impossible to gain access to.
In the present day Odin’s arrogant son Thor (Hemsworth) is preparing for his ascension to the throne of Asgard when the Frost Giants attack, trying to reclaim the casket. The invaders are fought off but against his father’s orders Thor travels to the Frost Giants’ home to confront Laufey, he is joined by his brother Loki (Hiddleston), and a group of his friends. During the resulting battle Odin arrives and attempts to smooth things over with Laufey but is told that the truce between the two worlds had come to an end. As punishment for his arrogance Thor is stripped of his power, and exiled to Earth, his hammer is sent with him but is locked by Odin so only someone worthy can wield it’s power.
After landing in New Mexico, Thor literally runs into Jane Foster (Portman), a scientist trying to prove a theory that portals exist that connect Earth to other worlds with her mentor Dr. Erik Selvig (Skarsgård).
Operatives from S.H.I.E.L.D arrive and find Thor’s hammer but no one, not even Thor, is capable of wielding it because he is unworthy of its power. Realising that he is doomed to remain on Earth he tries to adjust to his new life, but in Asgard Loki becomes king after Odin falls ill and sends a huge, seemingly indestructible robot called the Destroyer to Earth to kill Thor.
Fans of the Marvel comic films know that they can be a little hit and miss, and what starts off as a promising film series can quickly run out of steam I’m thinking of the Toby Maguire Spiderman films. However, when done well Marvel films can be visual treats coupled with exciting stories and excellent characters. In the case of Thor it is definitely in the latter group, and is a very good opening chapter to what will hopefully be a thrilling film series.
The cast are all on good form and Clark Gregg reprises his role as S.H.I.E.L.D agent Phil Coulson from the two Iron Man films. Hemingway is a very good muscle bound arrogant Thor who slowly comes to realise that his exile is his own fault and it is for the good of everyone he left behind that he remains on Earth.
The film is suitably tongue-in-cheek and like the Iron Man films it works well. The plot is not exactly difficult to follow and it becomes quite obvious how Thor will ultimately win back the alliance of his hammer. Antony Hopkins also gives the film a seasoned Oscar winning actor who is always on fine form, and here he is perfectly cast as Odin, the King of Asgard.
Once again I am giving a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe a Thumbs Up.
7/10 - All in all Thor is easily one of the better adaptations and whilst other sequels are planned Thor’s return will happen in the Avengers film.