Kenneth Branagh’s Thor is just as good as it needs to be and no more. And in the realm of super-hero movies, I’m perfectly fine with that. I have no need to have these things handled as Shakespearean drama, though presumably that was the idea behind hiring Branagh. And he’s certainly comfortable enough with all the Wagnerian drama inherent in this Norse nonsense, but he doesn’t let it push him into the area of self-important pomposity. The prestigious Mr. B has delivered a movie that makes me believe his claim that he used to read Thor comic books when he was a child, even if he does go heavy on the Dutch angles to prove he’s artsy. Though the fanboys want to say it isn’t, Thor is basically an origins story that tells us how Thor (Chris Hemsworth) came to earth when dad Odin (Anthony Hopkins) bounced him out of the mythical Asgard, so he could learn humility and earn back his godship. It’s generally fun stuff and occasionally a little more. The showdown between Thor and a giant robot is genuinely impressive. But the cast is what carries the day, especially Hemsworth, who manages to make Thor an appealing character. That’s pretty remarkable when you realize this is a ridiculously-garbed misplaced Norse god.
Official Site: www.paramount.com
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Ashley Miller
Cast: Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Hemsworth, Idris Elba, Ray Stevenson, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgård, Rene Russo and Jaimie Alexander
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