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Thor (film)

A 2011 action/fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh.

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Call Down Thunder!

  • Jun 1, 2011
  • by
I've waited a very long time to see a film adaptation of Thor hit the big screen.  I've always been a fan of Marvel's version of the God of Thunder, and I'm even a bigger fan of the Thor of Norse mythology.  When I heard that Kenneth Branagh would be at the helm of this project, I knew immediately that Marvel was doing something really special with the story, and I was right.

Thor opens with a description of the great battle between the Asgardians and the Frost Giants in which the Frost Giants fail in their attempt to take control of the Nine Realms (one of which includes Earth).   Bitter and stripped of their power, the Frost Giants retreat to their home of Jotunheim hungry for revenge but maintain an unsteady peace treaty with the Asgardians until they make an attempt to steal the source of their power, the Casket of Ancient Winters during our own time.

While the Frost Giants are trying to steal the Casket, a ceremony is taking place in which Thor would be crowned king of Asgard.  When Thor's father, Odin, is alarmed to the attempt on the Casket, the ceremony is interrupted and angers the arrogant Thor.

Wanting both revenge against the Frost Giants for interrupting his ascendency to the throne and hoping to nail the coffin shut on the Giants forever, Thor goes to Jotunheim.  Tagging along with the God of Thunder is his brother, Loki, the Warriors Three (Valstagg, Hogun, and Fandral), and the Lady Sif.  Their actions lead to an end of the truce between the two realms, and plans go into motion that will help the Frost Giants overtake Asgard and once again attempt to capture the Nine Realms.

As punishment for his actions, Odin takes away Thor's powers and banishes him to Earth, never to return to Asgard.  Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, is also sent to Earth as well, but can only be removed from its sandy home in the desert by a person who is worthy to wield its power.

On Earth, Thor falls into the hands of scientist Jane Foster, Professor Selvig, and their student assistant, Darcy.  As the three attempt to find out who Thor really is, S.H.I.E.L.D. intervenes, taking into custody both Thor and all of Foster's research on anomalies in the deserts of New Mexico.

Back in Asgard, Odin falls ill after a dark secret is revealed about Loki.  With Thor banished and Odin near death, Loki seizes power and a new age begins in Asgard. 

The Warriors Three and Sif decide to sneak down to Earth to retrieve Thor and hopefully restore honor to the throne of Asgard, but can they do it?  You'll have to see Thor if you want to find out.

Overall, Thor came out much better than I expected.  Like many other reviewers, I noticed that this film is really two films in one.  While on Asgard, the film takes on a much more dramatic tone and plays out quite well.  When the action moves down to Earth, humor takes precedence. 

Chris Hemsworth perfectly captures the arrogance of the God of Thunder, particularly early on in the film.  Thor's swagger and egotistical manner make him a joy to see on the screen.  I especially enjoyed his interaction with the humans in the film.  His feelings of entitlement made for humorous sequences in the desert when he first meets Foster (Natalie Portman), Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard), and Darcy (Kat Dennings).

Anthony Hopkins was quite regal as Odin.  He truly was the ruler of Asgard while he was on the screen. 

Idris Elba portrayed Heimdall, the keeper of the bridge between the realm of Asgard and the other realms.  While his role is limited somewhat (he does have to stay with that bridge, ya know), Elba does a very good job.

Portman and Skarsgard do fine jobs with their respective roles, but I think that the writing and not their acting skills hindered their overall performance.  Kat Dennings stole everyone's thunder (no pun intended) with Darcy, a character I grew to enjoy more as the film rolled along.  She had a number of funny sequences in the film that made her some of the best comic relief in a comic book film to come along in a long time.

Sif, portrayed by Jaime Alexander, and the Warriors Three (Hogun-Tadanobu Asano, Valstagg-Ray Stevenson, and Fandral-Joshua Dallas) were all given solid supporting roles.  Stevenson supplied the comedic relief on the Asgardian side of things with his words and his constant eating.  When the four arrive on Earth, their fight sequences play out like old 1980's action shows like The A-Team and Knight Rider

Colm Feore plays Laufey, king of the Frost Giants, but his role his rather small and limited, used only as a catalyst for Loki, the true villain of the film.

Ah, yes, Loki.  Tom Hiddleston made one of my favorite Marvel villains look wonderful on the big screen.  Loki, the God of Mischief, twists words, sways attitudes, pampers egos, and rips great divides between characters in the film.  His performance was the best of the film in my opinion.  I haven't seen so much manipulation of characters by a villain in quite some time.

Rene Russo has a small role as Frigga, Odin's wife and queen, and Clark Gregg reprises and expands his recurring role of Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D., who has also appeared in Iron Man and Iron Man 2.

Stan Lee gets a small but funny cameo as Stan the Man and is joined by J. Michael Straczynski as the pair attempt to remove Mjolnir from the sand in a fun moment during the film.

As expected, hints about the upcoming Avengers film are given at the end of the credits, as well as a nod to another Avenger member during the film.  I'm not ruining anything by saying that Samuel L. Jackson is involved in the post-credits sequence, but I'm not going to name the Avenger who makes a brief appearance during the film.  True Avengers fans will catch on to who he or she is with just one weapon choice.

I must say that I was very satisfied with Thor.  It was deadly serious when drama ensued and laugh-out-loud funny when humor took the lead.  While I thought that Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Superman, and third installment of Spider-Man were all good movies (in the case of the Batflicks, great movies), they focused so much on the dramatic aspects of the characters that they seemingly forgot that they were based on comic books.  With Thor, you get the drama nicely coupled with great humor and plenty of gee-whiz fantasy fun to make for an excellent film.

Highly recommended to anyone who wants to watch a truly fun comic book film adaptation.
Call Down Thunder! Call Down Thunder! Call Down Thunder! Call Down Thunder!

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More Thor (2011 movie) reviews
review by . May 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Whosoever Holds This Hammer If He Be Worthy, Shall Possess The Power of Thor!!
Those who follow my blurbs and/or write ups know that I have recently posted a sort of ‘guide’ to Thor since I think it is safe to assume that not that many folks have knowledge of the character and who he is. The character isn’t as widely popular as “Superman” or as familiar as Spider-Man. Well, after almost 50 years, the Marvel character known as “Thor” is finally being unleashed as a massive mainstream movie. When I heard that the first intended director …
review by . May 05, 2011
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It is pretty much to be expected that I will be reviewing the film “Thor” for Movie Hype since I am a Marvel comics nut and that I pretty much almost own (or owned, since I lost a small number in a flood) every issue of the comic series since Thor first appeared in “Journey Into Mystery”. I even used "Thor" as my profile avatar in this site for awhile (people asked me: "Is that He-Man?" LOL!). To hype up the film adaptation of Marvel’s own “God …
review by . May 06, 2012
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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 . December 06, 2011
'Thor' at first glance doesn't do anything new, but it's so well done, it absorbs for two hours and leaves one feeling entirely transported. The plot is hardly convoluted: Thor is groomed to be the next successor for his elderly father, but Thors headstrong, warlord character flaws get him kicked out of the galaxy (sort of a part Scandinavia in space) and sent to earth, almost powerless. The culture clash is like an alien pro wrestler caught in a web of our present, complicated society. Kenneth …
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 . October 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**1/2 out of ****     Explosions, special effects, a sense of humor, and enthusiastic, dedicated leads. I'm getting tired of superhero movies; as 2011 seems to be a pretty big year for them, albeit a very mediocre one. You've got your good superhero movies and then you've got the ones that lack depth of importance. Chances are, I will forget most of the superhero movies I've seen including the ones that I simply liked. The ones that I loved shall get a much more appropriate treatment. …
review by . May 20, 2011
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review by . September 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I wasn't expecting much when I saw this film. I was thinking that it would be worse than Daredevil. It was actually better. Asgard had been at war with the Storm Giants but a truce now prevails. Thor and his brother Loki are shown being tutored by their father, Odin who is also King of Asgard.    Odin decides that he will name Thor as his air and on the day he will make it public, some Storm Giants are able to sneak in to try to steal a casket that will give their realm great …
review by . May 23, 2011
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 …
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Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #16
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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About this movie


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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