Thor

Thor (2011)

Gearing up for “The Avengers” by checking out all of the Marvel films that lead up to it, I must admit that I went into “Thor” with pretty low expectations.  It looked like just another flashy piece of crap with a series of bright lights, beautiful people and explosions covering up the fact that there’s no plot.  I was pleasantly surprised.

“Thor” is a pretty straightforward tale.  Young, impetuous Thor challenges the giants and brings his people to the brink of war because of his own hubris.  His father, Odin, banishes him to Earth to learn humility.  Behind it all, his brother, Loki, schemes.  That’s it.  There are robots and Norse gods and plenty of fighting, but there’s no deep story here.  Somehow, though, that’s just fine.

For a borderline schlocky action flick, the acting is top notch.  Stellan Skarsgard and Anthony Hopkins command the stage in understated roles and Chris Hemsworth takes the titular character and gives him more heart than I remember the old comic book God of Thunder having.  The other Norse gods are little more than window dressing, but somehow even they manage to come alive.  The effects are good and the story is what it is.  It’s linear, but not contrived.  Simple without being dull.  If you’ve never heard of Thor, you can follow it.  It also does its real job in setting up Thor for his Avenger duties – and let’s be honest: that’s what all of these movies are for.

Thor is an unadulterated adrenaline ride with just enough humor and humanity to interest even non-Marvel fanboys.

 

Stars: 4/5

 

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