This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Marvel Avengers

Released: 2011
Director: Kenneth Branagh

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddlestone

Bonkers, but great fun

In just one month (26th April) The Avengers Assemble will be released. I have massively high hopes for this film – the trailers look great, I loved Captain America and Joss Whedon is directing. Only an Aaron Sorkin script could excite me more. I’ll be preparing by catching up with viewings of a whole raft of superhero films. I’ll even give Iron Man another go, even though I didn’t really enjoy it first time round. The first movie in my Marvel marathon was Thor.

Played by my new crush Chris Hemsworth, Thor is heir to the throne of the mythical world Asgard. After an arrogant and foolhardy raid on Jotunheim, land of the Frost Giants, Thor is exiled to Earth along with his magical hammer Mjolnir. In New Mexico he meets astrophysicist Jane Foster, played by Oscar-winner Natalie Portman, who has discovered a wormhole between Asgard and Earth. Thor battles to become worthy of wielding Mjolnir again and protect his home and friends from the threat of his brother Loki who is scheming to take control of Asgard.

Frost giants? Magical hammer? Scheming brother? Sound barking to you? You’re absolutely right – Thor is one of the most bonkers films I’ve seen in a long time and I loved every minute of it. Shakespearean actor Kenneth Branagh may have seemed like an odd choice to direct a CGI-filled superhero adventure but he played an absolute blinder here. The heavenly realm of Asgard is stunning and if you do have a Blu-Ray player I would thoroughly recommend watching it that way to appreciate the splendor. It’s not often I get very excited by cinematography but I did here, Thor is a great looking film.

Chris Hemsworth is great as the bombastic Thor, smashing coffee cups in appreciation of breakfast and posing for Facebook photos. He reminds me a little of Heath Ledger but that may just be the Australian accent and charismatic smile. Branagh definitely brought some Shakespearean influences to his direction of Thor and the family dynamic is well-drawn out. Natalie Portman was good as Jane Foster, she’s one of the few actresses who could convince as an astrophysicist. The real star was Tom Hiddlestone as bad-guy Loki. He was appropriately sleazy and scheming but not too caricatured. It’s no surprise that Hiddlestone won Best Male Newcomer at the Empire Awards and he promises to be a fabulous villain in Avengers Assemble.

There were a couple of hints at the upcoming superhero supermashup including the appearance of SHIELD at Mjolnir, an uncredited cameo from Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and a post-credits scene teasing Loki’s next move.

The film was a little overlong and the actual story wasn’t particularly strong. A lot of time was spent on very little narrative but it was well done and enjoyable throughout. As with both Iron Man and Captain America, a considerable amount of the film established the characters. Sequels and spin-offs are clearly in the minds of the producers.

I thoroughly enjoyed Thor, but perhaps more importantly to Marvel, it has more than ever whetted my appetite for April 26th and Avengers Assemble.

Previous and next posts in this series:<< Captain America: The First AvengerIron Man 2 >>
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