Thor marks the beginning of the summer blockbuster season and the god of thunder provides a great introduction. Thor is the first superhero movie of a summer packed with them it definitely holds its own.
British director Kenneth Branagh brings to life a film set in two different lands -- earth and mythical realm of Asgard -- and both offer some great special effects. At first, the land of Asgard seemed much too contrived and full of unnecessary special effects, but as filmmakers present more of this magical land, it's features some superb imagery.
Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, the god of thunder from the land of Asgard. He is set to take over the throne from his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), but on the night of his induction, the land is threatened by the enemy Frost Giants. Thor goes after the Frost Giants and start a war against his father's wishes. When his father has to save Thor and his small group of warriors, Odin banishes Thor from the kingdom and sends him to earth.
Thor, exiled to earth, is hit by a van containing Jane (Natalie Portman), Erik (Stellan Skarsgard) and Darcy (Kat Dennings) in the middle of New Mexico. Disoriented from the fall and his unfamiliar surroundings, the trio bring Thor to the hospital where he escapes. They later introduce him to other mortals in their small New Mexican town. Thor is totally out of his element and acts like a spoiled prince, but in the middle of New Mexico, it provides some very funny moments.
Chris Hemsworth is relatively new on the American movie scene and he doesn't disappoint. He provides a great contrast to the mortals in the film and he presents an undeniably superiority as a noble from another realm. His physique and energetic personality bring a lot to the role and he proves that he can really hold his own alongside establish film stars Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman.
Kat Dennings is starting to establish herself as a real comedic force and she doesn't disappoint in this one either. She ends up bringing most of the laughs and delivering some great punchlines. She is definitely the comic relief in this otherwise serious comic book adapatation.
The visual effects are fun to watch and they provide a great action-adventure feel. They don't seem too forced and the battle scenes are very exciting. A lot of the time, action movies draw out the battle scenes much too long and it bring a bit of tediousness to the film. The battle scenes are brief and to-the-point, yet still extremely entertaining. The visual effects in Asgard are mesmerizing and the 3D effects simply enhance those scenes, delivering a great movie-going experience.
We're supposed to believe that on earth, Thor falls in love with the mortal who rescued him, Jane. Thor and Jane head off to find her research, which has been taken by the feds after Thor's landing on earth. They partake in some small adventures together, but there isn't any chemistry between the two. The entire love story is grazed over and the audience doesn't have time to see any kind of connection build between the two.
Although there are some amusing points in the film and overall it's an entertaining film, some of the dialogue seems a little forced and slow. There are some points in Asgard when Thor and Odin are fighting that are unnecessarily dramatic and doesn't come off as natural, whether it's the script or delivery .
Overall, Thor is a great start to a summer promising great action films and sequels. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up to some of the blockbusters action flicks set to hit the big screen this summer.