3 out of 5 stars (average)
Marvel Studios etched itself on to America’s radar with 2000’s hit “X-Men” and then again with 2002’s “Spider-Man”, both of which spawned sequels. Marvel has been translating its heroes from comics to films for years, almost all of which have gotten good reviews. Their newest and less known hero, Thor, God of Thunder, now has his film, and, despite a shaky start, it manages to entertain. This film surpasses “Iron Man 2” on almost every level, after the first 15 minutes at least.
Basically, Odin (Anthony Hopkins, “The Wolfman”,) God of Asgard, is giving the throne to one of his two sons, Thor (Chris Hemsworth,) an arrogant hothead or Loki (Tom Hiddleston,) God of Mischief. It looks as if Thor will be chosen, but just before Odin makes the decision, the Frost Giants, a species that resemble the Na’vi from “Avatar” as if they were on steroids, attacks Asgard. After they leave, Thor, with the assistance of Loki and his warriors goes after the Giants against Odin’s orders so he can teach them a lesson. Odin appears sometime in the lengthy battle and banishes Thor to Earth (Do we really know that there isn’t another planet that can support life?), along with stripping him of his powers and sending his hammer ( which basically gives him his power) as well.
It is here where we meet Jane (Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”,) Darcy (Kat Dennings,) and Erik (Stellan Skarsgard,) three wormhole-studying earth beings whose destinies are intertwined with Thor’s when he lands, and Jane accidentally runs him over with her car. They aren’t the only ones interested in Thor, there’s also SHIELD Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg, reprising his role from the “Iron Man” films), who sets up near the area in New Mexico where Thor’s mighty hammer landed. Meanwhile, with Thor gone and Odin bedridden, Loki decides to rule Asgard, and eliminate anything that gets in his way.
My dad told me that he thought Natalie Portman looked hot when I first asked him if he liked this movie or not, which I found very funny. My sister, Carol, fell asleep just before the film got going, so she obviously didn’t like it. My mother, who didn’t want to see it in the first place, enjoyed it (Yes, I made my family see “Thor” over mother’s day weekend,) I have the best mother in the world.
I liked “Thor” very much. During the flash-bang first 15 minutes, I was calculating the odds of having a seizure, but luckily, the entire film was like the first 15 minutes (Picture “Lord of the Rings” type action). Once Thor landed on out cool little planet, this magical thing called a script actually took shape to the movie, and I was thanking God for that.
The actors do very well, especially Portman, who was originally known as Mathilda in 1994’s “The Professional” and then Padme in the “Star Wars” prequels and finally has a career going in my mind. If she continues to do fine films like this and “Black Swan”, it is my belief this actress will go very far in her career. Chris Hemsworth also does a good job as Thor. I don’t know many actors who could work as a hothead and a likable character as well as him. The first 15 minutes of the film, though necessary, leads me to give this film a 3 star rating. It’s nothing monumental in the Marvel universe, like “Iron Man” was, but “Thor” is an enjoyable action flick with a few funny bits in between. Rated PG-13 for Sequences of Intense Sci-Fi Action and Violence