Thor (film)

A 2011 action/fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh.

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Pretty mighty indeed

  • May 7, 2011
Written by Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz and Don Payne
Directed by Kenneth Brannagh
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins
Erik Selvig: It’s not a bad thing finding out you don’t have all the answers. You start asking the right questions.
So I Thor-oughly enjoyed THOR. I’ll be honest; I was not expecting to. I certainly enjoy the occasional comic book film, be it about a boy with serious spider issues or a technology genius with a giant ego and a sharp tongue. That said, I’m hardly an enthusiast. Of late, I’ve felt like Marvel has been making anything they’ve ever drawn into a movie and when I first saw the trailer for THOR, I thought, enough already. The two mediums are not meant to be mutually exclusive and not every character deserves to be reinvented for the big screen. Fortunately though, director Kenneth Brannagh has proven me very wrong. Perhaps this might have something to do with Thor not being your typical superhero; Thor is a god and he is a mighty one indeed.
To be fair, Thor isn’t reallya god. He was merely seen as one by Viking culture way back around 965 A.D. He is immortal though and I can see how that might be misinterpreted as god-like but no, Thor is just a man – from another galaxy, with super crazy strength, who can never die … and who has an insane body. Still, mistaking him for a god makes his fall from grace oh so much further. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is heir to the throne of Asgard and is on the cusp of inheriting the crown from his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) when he allows pride and selfishness to guide him down a path that leads his people into war. Odin banishes Thor to Earth and strips him of his power, including his infamous hammer, which some of you geekier readers may know as Mjöllnir. God or no God, everyone has their lessons to learn.
Once Thor is on Earth, the action cuts back and forth seamlessly between the mystical heaven-like beauty of Asgard, where magic and science are one and the same and this teeny tiny town in New Mexico, population next to nothing. While the setup that precedes this act is certainly densely weighted in mythology and mysticism, it gets decidedly lighter once Thor crashes to Earth from the heavens. This is in great part due to Thor’s interaction with the team of scientists he runs into, led by Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and the quick witted repartee they partake in. Thor is now a strange demi-god in a strange land and Hemsworth plays his predicament with great resolve. He cannot help but be humbled by the damage he has done, his inability to rely on the strength he always has and the genuine caring he gets from Jane. The real chemistry between Hemsworth and a hilarious Portman plays a key role in grounding this otherworldly tale.
What truly cements this fantastical story as still undeniably human is the father-son struggle between Thor and Odin. Brannagh, with his extensive background in Shakespeare, both on screen and on stage, knows that the action in Thor is the easy part. That hammer gives him the strength to defeat armies practically on his own and so whatever action he gets himself into, it will take care of itself. But the heart of the film has to be relatable. Thor is but a boy learning how to become a man, learning to put the good of the universe before himself. Odin is just a father, waiting for his boy to find the inner virtue he knew all along to be there. We’ve all been there, more or less. And so, Brannagh becomes his own incarnation of Odin, providing the tools that make it possible for a comic book to grow into the movie it was always meant to be.

Thanks for reading.
LUNCH rating is out of 10.

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May 07, 2011
Very good review; I'm glad you mentioned the father/son angle. I do need to see this soon.
May 20, 2011
Thanks. I think the father son angle was what solidified Brannagh's choice to come on as director. He loves that family drama stuff.
May 20, 2011
Since I wrote that comment I did get to see the film. I thought it was great; the attention to detail of the sets and costumes were well done as well. I did not know that about the director.
May 20, 2011
The director has done mostly Shakespearian work before this, both in front of and behind the camera.
May 07, 2011
There you are, Joseph!! I was wondering where you were. Being a Thor nutcase, I liked this one though I thought some parts in the Earth scenes were a little boring. Nice review!! Oh, how was the film festival of documentaries? I need to take a look at your site once again...
May 07, 2011
I'm here! I've been busy with interviews as of late. I really liked the parts on Earth for the most part. Portman and Dennings were quite funny. I am glad I ended up seeing this because originally, I was going to pass on it.
May 07, 2011
always nice to have a few surprises in the movies. Glad you didn't pass on it, we need quality reviews for it (diverse, different viewpoints and a good selection) in our community. My friends told me that I was a bit compromised since I have read the comic since I was a kid. Really happy that they made a major film on the character. I will look forward to your review of THE BEAVER.
May 20, 2011
I'm actually open to seeing Captain America now as a result of enjoying this film as much as I did.
More Thor (2011 movie) reviews
review by . May 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Most people would recognize Kenneth Branagh as one of top Shakespearean actors or more recently for his role as Professor Lockhart.  His is a brilliant actor in just about everything he does (even though sometimes over acted), and although this is not his first stab at directing it is his first take at a film of such "epic" proportions. I will however be completely honest with you, if you attempt to go see Thor in 3D you are wasting your money.  There is NOTHING 3D about this …
review by . May 10, 2011
   And so begins the summer; not with a whimper, but with a bang. Yes, Kenneth Branagh’s super-hero epic has arrived, and it’s… really quite good, actually, provided you just put your brain into neutral and let the sheer energy of it all roll over you. The story tells the tale of Thor (Chris Hemsworth, who is certainly not the worst-looking man ever filmed), a young Asgardian about to be made heir to the throne by his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins). In the background …
review by . May 23, 2011
posted in Forbidden Planet
The title to this post is in no way true... but it got your attention.      This  past weekend I happened to catch "Thor," the latest super hero movie destined to culminate in the fanboy joygazm that will soon be know as "The Avengers."  Now before I saw this movie I heard a great many mixed reviews from a great many people: "It's the greatest super hero movie ever," "It was totally gay," "The only thing redeeming was …
review by . May 18, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Three years ago on a rainy Friday night I sat in a semi-crowded theater and saw Jon Favreau’s larger-than-life adaptation of Iron Man. It wasn’t just the first film I was able to drive myself to go see, but it was also one of the single coolest theater-going experiences of my life. Something clicked that night. Maybe it was the overwhelming sense of freedom that came in the form of seeing a mega-blockbuster with my new driver’s license, maybe it was Robert Downey Jr.’s charisma …
review by . May 10, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
12A - 114mins - Action/Adventure/Drama - 27th April 2011 The Marvel comic book creation is unleashed into the movie world which is growing desperately thin on new and original pieces of work. In recent years Marvel (Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Iron Man) has given us from average to good but never great with the best of them tending to arrive from the first movie of the series with the new superhero (Hulk is emphatically excluded from this sweeping generalisation). Thor, as the first …
review by . May 10, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Kenneth Branagh seems like an odd choice to direct a summer blockbuster superhero film.  Branagh was almost singlehandedly responsible (with a nod to Baz Luhrman) for the Shakespeare revival we saw in the ’90s; he brought 5 excellent, commercially successful adapations of the Bard to the screen in a space of ten years, before seeing the audience’s appetite for couplets and corsets wane in the 2000s.  Even when he’s not directing Shakespeare, his tastes run more classical; …
review by . May 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Kenneth Branagh’s Thor is essentially two movies fighting for the same space, and only one of them emerges victorious. That would be the one that takes place in the title character’s realm of Asgard. What it boils down to is a reliable but exciting feud between brothers over who is more worthy to ascend the throne. In the one corner, we have Thor (Chris Hemsworth), who in Norse mythology would be the god of thunder; a mighty warrior, …
review by . May 06, 2011
The latest Marvel comic based film has arrived and continues a trend of top-notch cinematic adaptations of Marvel characters. THOR stars Chris Hemsworth as the brash and bold Asgard warrior who is next in line for the kingdoms thrown. His father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), has ruled the kingdom for many years and as such has been responsible for maintaining the peace for Asgard and all the other known realms. After being surprised by an incursion by an ancient enemy previously defeated by Odin, the …
review by . June 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the God of Thunder, is the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), the ruler of the nine realms of the Universe. Thor possesses a hammer that gives him an unmatched power. Odin sees in him a worthy successor to the throne. Wow... what a sharp and weird beginning for this review... Should I?... Nope. Let's continue...      His brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) grows up and develops great envy towards him and finds himself in an ongoing search for a …
review by . May 10, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
And so begins the summer; not with a whimper, but with a bang. Yes, Kenneth Branagh's super-hero epic has arrived, and it's... really quite good, actually, provided you just put your brain into neutral and let the sheer energy of it all roll over you.    The story tells the tale of Thor (Chris Hemsworth, who is certainly not the worst-looking man ever filmed), a young Asgardian about to be made heir to the throne by his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins). In the background his younger …
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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Poster art for "Thor 3D."
Marvel Studios expands its film universe with a new type of superhero: THOR. This epic adventure spans the Marvel Universe; from present day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth. Kenneth Branagh directs this fantasy epic which stars Australian actor Chris Hemsworth as the ancient Norse god, Tom Hiddleston as his evil brother Loki, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, a young woman who befriends Thor on Earth, and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Thor's father and king of Asgard. Expect to see agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., previously seen in ''Iron Man,'' to make an appearance, further forshadowing the coming of The Avengers!

Directed by Kenneth Branagh. With Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth, Idris Elba.  Visit IMDb for Photos, Showtimes, Cast, Crew, Reviews, Plot Summary, Comments, Discussions, Taglines, Trailers, Posters, Fan Sites
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Director: Kenneth Branagh
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 115 minutes
Studio: Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures
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