- Released: Wednesday, 27 April 2011
- Runtime: 111 mins.
ReviewThis action-adventure film tells the story of the powerful warrior, Thor, who was cast out of the realm of Asgard, and exiled to live amongst the inhabitants of Midgard (Earth). Thor is the God of Thunder, based on a Norse mythological deity, and is the American superhero created from the comic book character of the same name. This is the next film to appear in the Marvel Comic book series, with more to come, and the film has been produced in both 2-D and 3-D formats.
The film spans the Marvel Universe from present day Earth to the cosmic world of Asgard. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is a reckless, arrogant warrior on Asgard, and he has been punished by his beloved father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), King of Asgard, for his behaviour which has ignited a war with the Frost Giants. Odin had forged a tenuous peace with the Frost Giants, but Thor has naively destroyed it. Forced to live in exile on Earth, Thor falls in love with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), an astrophysicist, and through her, he matures, and learns the qualities of true heroism.
While Thor is on Earth, the dark forces of Asgard are delivered by the Destroyer, who is unleashed by Thor's adopted brother, Loti (Tom Hiddleston). Loti has engaged in treachery with the Frost Giants to try and become King of Asgard. He has discovered the meaning of power and is ambitious to cast aside the shadow of his brother, and has sent the Destroyer to kill his rival. Loki sets the Frost Giants against Odin. Thor disobeyed his father to wage war with them, and this caused Odin's wrath, but now Thor is needed to save Asgard. Thor defeats the Destroyer on Earth, and returns to Asgard to expose and confront his brother. When Thor returns to Asgard, Loki unexpectedly decides his own fate, and Thor is re-united with his father to become the future king of Asgard. The movie ends with Thor mourning the death of his scheming brother, but he also can't help thinking about Jane, whom he left behind. Back on Earth, Jane is searching for Thor too, and she is trying to use science to help her. The final scenes are faintly suggestive of Thor II, sometime in the future.
The costuming and make-up of actors in this movie fit very well with the story. The Frost Giants look suitably icy, Asgard looks wonderfully angular, and Thor wields the hammer of the Gods with menacing advantage. His heavy hammer looks ordinary and ancient, but it has digitally enhanced powers. Pitting deity and humans against each other, means that the movie's story-line is ripe for special effects, and the film's technical experts apply themselves to the challenge. The film, as a whole, is a great light show, and demonstrates impressive digital photography. The team responsible for some of the special effects in "Avatar" worked on this movie too, and little expense seems to have been spared in creating some of the visual effects. Particularly, impressive are the sweeping rampage of the Frost Giants on the march to war, the digitally sophisticated fight of Thor and Loki at the edge of Rainbow Bridge on Asgard, and the scenes that show Thor defeating the Destroyer on Earth.
This is a movie that brings a popular comic book hero vividly to life. There are Nordic Gods everywhere, and its messages (such as "science fiction is a precursor to scientific fact") are a little vacuous, but it brings action and adventure energetically to the screen, and fans of the Marvel Comics series will especially enjoy the light show. The movie predictably has its violent moments, aided especially by Thor's mighty hammer, "a weapon to destroy, (and) a tool to build", but the effects consistently reflect the film's fantasy plot-line. Relatively weak on drama, it is strong on entertainment.
To appreciate the film as it was conceived originally, it is probably best to see it in 3-D format, but 2-D would do.