115 Min | Action – Adventure – Fantasy | April 2011
IMDB Rating: 7.0
Directors: Kenneth Branagh, Joss Whedon
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman
Thor Review: The idea of a “classic” director like Kenneth Branagh making a superhero film might initially sound strange, but in the case of Thor that ended up being very appropriate, because the comic always used Shakespearean drama and archaic language to tell the story of the God of Thunder, the political/family conflicts in the Asgard kingdom and its interaction with the universe of Marvel Comics. And Branagh’s competent direction, the excellent performances and the solid screenplay make Thor to be a very entertaining movie. The character of Thor in small doses or as part of an ensemble, like he was on the beginnings of the comic The Avengers and in its modern reinterpretation The Ultimates. However, Chris Hemsworth brings a brilliant performance in that role, because he could perfectly combine the pompous and operatic “classic” Thor with the dynamic and unstable modern Thor. Thor does not only work as an origin of that superhero, but also as an efficient preamble of the highly anticipated film The Avengers, which will be an unification point of Marvel’s film universe.
For example, we also have the character of Agent Coulson conducting scientific investigations from S.H.I.E.L.D. with his accustomed astuteness and efficiency; we also have a cameo of one of my favorite Avengers (even though without his traditional uniform); and a post-credits scene where a few concepts we are surely going to see in that future movie are established. But well…it would not be fair to only consider Thor as an extra-large trailer of The Avengers. It is a very entertaining movie with various positive elements, like Branagh’s efficient direction, which drives the movie at a perfect rhythm. As for the cast, besides of the previously mentioned Hemsworth, that the rest of the actors is also worthy of applause, starting by Natalie Portman, who can perfectly express her character’s emotions. And Kat Dennings is quite funny and credible as the comic relief.
Thor isn’t without its weak points, however. The romance between Thor and Jane Foster is practically and afterthought, rushed into the narrative at light speed and then not given any room to breathe or develop, it plays more as a requirement of adapting the comic story than something that works organically in the film. Portman is fine in the role, but the screenplay doesn’t give enough to this relationship for it to be more than a bump in the road of the film’s story. Once again, Marvel has managed to take one of their lesser known heroes and make them the subject of an entertaining film version, with energy and depth that is a bit unexpected. May they keep on making comic book films of this caliber.
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