Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writers (screenplay): Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz & Don Payne
Writers (story): J. Michael Straczynski & Mark Protosevich
Writers (comic book): Stan Lee, Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby
Running Time: 114 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12A
UK Release Date: 27th April 2011
Watched on Sky+ Friday 6th April 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Having seen this one at the cinema when it was released, I was interested to give it a second viewing when it aired on TV recently. Although it didn’t quite have the visual impact it did on the big screen, I still quite enjoyed it, the humour still comes through as does the drama of the piece. I will give you my thoughts after this brief summary.
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 or the Spoiler Police (Marvel Division) will be sending the Guardian after me.
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. The plot is very complicated and there was an awful lot of dialogue explaining everything which tends 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, although not quite as stunning on a TV screen.
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 over-long and the plot was a little wordy and hard to follow in places, I pretty much enjoyed this film. Given the theatrical background of the director I can see why it ended up like this. What did surprise me was the excellent way he handled the action scenes and the special effects, which were all excellent by the way. There were enough good things about this film for me to deem it still… Recommended.
My Score: 7.0/10
IMDb Score: 7.0/10 (based on 154,789 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 77/100 (based on 254 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 80/100 (based on 120,032 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Odin: You are a vain, greedy, cruel boy!
Thor: And you are an old man and a fool!
Odin: Yes... I was a fool, to think you were ready.
Odin: [to Loki] NAY!
Odin: Thor Odinson... you have betrayed the express command of your king. Through your arrogance and stupidity, you've opened these peaceful realms and innocent lives to the horror and desolation of war! You are unworthy of these realms, you're unworthy of your title, you are unworthy... of the love of those you have betrayed! I now take from you your power! In the name of my father and his father before me, I, Odin Allfather, cast you out!
Jane Foster: Describe exactly what happened to you last night.
Thor: Your ancestors called it magic...
[Thor skims through a book on Norse mythology]
Thor: ...but you call it science. I come from a land where they are one and the same.
Thor: You! What place is this? Elfheim, Nilfheim?
Darcy: [frightened, pulls out a taser] New Mexico?
Thor: You dare threaten the son of Odin with such a puny weapon...?
[Darcy tasers him]
Darcy: [to Jane] What? He was freaking me out!
Agent Cale: [staring at The Destroyer] Is that one of Stark's?
Agent Coulson: I don't know. Guy never tells me anything.
Clint Barton: Do you want me to take him down or would you rather send in more guys for him to beat up?
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://thor.marvel.com/