Monday, May 09, 2011


You don't have to be versed in the comic book or Norse mythology of Thor to enjoy a reasonably exciting adaptation of the Marvel comic character, "The Mighty Thor". You do, however, need to enjoy mindless action adventure filled with cartoonish violence.

Director Kenneth Branagh infuses just enough Shakespearean gravitas to add human drama to the story but "Thor" is no "Dark Knight" and for most of the film, keeps things light and moving quickly. After all, this "origin" film is just a set up for next year's "The Avengers", which will star most of the recent influx of Marvel screen characters.

The film stars Chris Hemsworth, who is well cast as the fallen God banished to Earth in order to prove his worth. He is banished by Odin, the allfather, played with much pomp and circumstance by Anthony Hopkins. Natalie Portman plays the love interest, Jane Foster (a nurse in the comics who has morphed into an astro-physicist for the film). A nice surprise is Tom Hiddleston, who plays Thor's half-brother, Loki. He is very well cast as the God of Mischief who's schemes drive the plot.

Most of the story is adapted intact from the comic source with some minor changes that may disturb purists but simplify the plot to keep it moving. The special effects are disappointing and 3-D is once again wasted, adding nothing special to the visuals. If anything the film is actually darker and harder to see with the glasses on. See it in regular 2-D if you can. You'll save at least $3.50 and never miss the effect.

If you do go, stay past the credits as you will be rewarded with a clip that adds another piece to the "Avengers" storyline. And also keep you eye out for Jeremy Renner in a cameo that sets up another Marvel hero.

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