Director: Kenneth Branagh
Running Time: 114 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12A
UK Release Date: 27th April 2011
Watched at the Cinema Saturday 7th May 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I had heard one or two good things about this one before seeing it and so I was looking forward to a nice afternoon’s entertainment on a wet Saturday in Yorkshire. It was good, but didn’t quite live up to my initial expectations. Instead, I got something with a lot more humour than expected and a lot more drama too, but I guess when you’re dealing with the Gods, drama is obligatory.
We begin with Thor arriving on Earth and immediately being run over by a vehicle owned by storm chaser, Jane Foster. We then get some explanation of how he ended up there… this is quite long and involved, but necessary. In Asgard Thor was war-like and hot headed and, prompted by his brother, Loki, he had defied his father, Odin, and his actions almost caused a war. So Odin took Thor’s powers and banished him to Earth. He also sent his hammer with the proviso that it could only be held by someone worthy. Back with Thor, Jane is interested in the ‘storm’ that brought him to Earth and offers to help him find his hammer if he will tell her about it. Unfortunately, by the time they get to where it’s landed, agents from S.H.I.E.L.D. are already there. Back in Asgard Odin falls into a deep sleep and Loki takes over as king, he has his reasons, but I’m not going to tell you what they are here. Believing Thor to be a greater threat to him, he sends the Guardian, a great warrior entity, to destroy him and all those who would oppose it. Can Thor find the humility his father desires to see in him and regain his powers? Will he get the girl at least? All these questions and more are answered in the film… I’m not telling you here.
As I said at the beginning, there is an awful lot of humour in this film, a lot more than I expected. Of course, Stan Lee gets his little cameo… it wouldn’t be the same without him. Unfortunately, I found the plot very complicated and there was an awful lot of dialogue explaining everything which tended to get in the way of the story. Having said that, the visuals are quite stunning, the scenes in Asgard and the other worlds are quite breathtaking.
Performance wise, everybody did a pretty good job, newcomer Chris Hemsworth was pretty good as Thor, his voice matched the character really well and he had the physical presence too. Natalie Portman, although not at all stretched, did a decent job as Jane Foster. Tom Hiddleston was well cast as Loki, as was Anthony Hopkins as Odin. Honourable mentions go to Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig and Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis.
Over all, although I found it a little long and the plot was a little wordy and hard to follow in places, I pretty much enjoyed this film. One teenager was heard to announce to the audience as he was leaving the cinema that he thought it was ‘shit’, but I’m not going to listen to this budding ‘critic’. There were enough good things about this film to make me want to watch it again sometime… maybe not for a while, but it certainly wasn’t ‘shit’… Recommended.
My Score: 7.4/10