With the arrival of Thor this week it is safe to say summer blockbuster action films are open for business, and Thor has certainly set the standard.
Fanboys and fangirls around the world are all excitedly anticipating the ultimate superhero movie event next year – The Avengers. With Iron Man a done deal, Thor is the next heavily anticipated film to lead up to the ultimate Marvel team up.
The film opens with a team of scientists headed by Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) as they follow atmospheric disturbances is New Mexico. They witness a big storm and suddenly a man is thrown at them from the sky and into their van, this man being Norse god of Thunder, Thor (Chris Hemsworth). The film then thrusts us back in time to give us Thor’s back story. This jolt in time and space is actually a good way to set us up on how the film is going to run. It flicks back and forth between our modern day world and Thor’s home, Asgard throughout. We are introduced to Thor’s father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and learn that either Loki or Thor is in line to be Odin’s successor. Asgard is at war with Frost Giants who have broken a truce they have held with Odin for many years. Thor is outraged and eagerly persuaded by his brother to defy his father’s orders and get revenge on the Frost Giants. This betrayal leads to Thor’s banishment to Earth which is where Jane and her team of scientists meet him in the desert.
Initial reservations about how this Norse God could adapt to the big screen were put to rest within the first 20 minutes of the film. Director Kenneth Branagh has created two realms that although clash in their style, work fantastically well. Thor’s cosmic realm of Asgard is mesmerising, it’s like the front cover of an ‘80s science fiction novel come to life. Surreal yet beautiful, it is a great setting for some epic battle scenes. The contrast to this is the Earth setting of New Mexico in its harsh heat and brash reality, making Thor stick out like a sore thumb. 3D fans will certainly lap up these visuals in this format, though I’m still not a big fan of 3D a film like Thor does make it worthwhile.
Chris Hemsworth is the perfect choice for this role, he looks amazing and plays the part with aggression, but with a tenderness in his eyes and a sharp wit that make him a complex character we can sympathise with. There is a great supporting cast especially in Loki, Tom Hiddleston has the kind of creepiness that can make your skin crawl and Kat Dennings as Jane’s assistant Darcy provides many of the funnier lighter moments.
Beneath all this action and manliness there is also a love story, between Thor and Jane. It’s really pretty sweet and natural and another great set up for The Avengers.
This film will truly get comic fans buzzing with excitement for what will happen next, but not just comic fans, there is plenty of action and fun for everyone in this film.
So that’s Thor done, next up is Captain America. Bring it on.
Thor is out now. Check our cinema listings for times near you.