Welcome, blockbuster season of 2011 – I have been waiting for you.
And thank you for getting us off to a great start with Thor, starring the A-List’s latest addition, the steaming H-O-T Chris Hemsworth.
Thor, of course, is the latest character from the Marvelverse to make the triumphant leap from the comic-book page to the big screen.
And as embodied by the Aussie, I just gotta say he is quite the marvel to behold. OMG, you guys – you know I’m not the biggest advocate of 3-D, but, hello three-dimentional pecs and abs!
Thor was directed by Kenneth Branagh, an unlikely and interesting choice for the job.
Branagh, who is more famous for his work on fare such as Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet, has delivered a perfectly balanced crowd-pleaser about an arrogant and reckless and dangerous Asgardian god – a badass man-child of sorts – who must eat a big ol’ serving of humble pie after he is banished to Earth by Odin (Anthony Hopkins), his wise father and king. (Rene Russo plays Frigga, his hotness of a mama.)
Thor, like I said, is a god, a mighty, mighty Norse warrior. But what he more than has in brawn he lacks in patience and virtue, you know what I mean.
He’s much too impulsive for his own good, not to mention that of Asgard.
So off to our planet he’s sent, via a wormhole, landing in the middle of the New Mexico desert, where he is found by Jane Foster, a beautiful astrophysicist played by Natalie Portman, and her team, which includes Stellan Skarsgård and the very funny Kat Dennings.
Here, he must learn his lesson and become once again worthy of wielding his powerful hammer, while up in Asgard, his allies must work to protect the realm from the dark forces rising in his absence (to say that his brother Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, is no help is saying too much).
The action and our attention is split between the two settings, but that by no means...uhh...means that you will struggle to keep up or be burdened by any interruption in momentum because, I promise, Thor has plenty of it.
The movie does a really nice job of introducing the hero du jour to us – Green Lantern is a-comin’, after all, and Thor’s fellow Marvel peer, Captain America, is not far behind – and downloading mythology and delighting us with a nifty cameo halfway along the way.
It sets up the action for the epic Avengers movie that Joss Whedon’s working on for next summer and, best of all is it entertains, rather relentlessly, and that, folks, is why Thor is my new fave. So, by the Hammer of Thor, here’s to more.
My Rating ****
Photo: Paramount Pictures.