Based on the Marvel comic Thor, this movie gets the God of Thunder story established as part of the big build up to next year’s Avengers movie. And a big build up indeed with this movie leading a summer of comic book movies.

We find Thor in Asgard fighting for his kingdom and for his rightful rule as king. Unfortunately Thor’s arrogance and ego get him in trouble with his father Odin who banishes him to Earth after he endangers the peace between Asgard and the frost giant realm. Loki steps in during Thor’s absence to usurp him and win their father’s respect.

Part of the fun of this is when Thor falls to earth and is discovered by scientists studying weather patterns led by Natalie Portman’s character. This is really the only part of the movie I have a problem with. Once Thor meets up with people on earth he falls into a very easy and seemingly familiar relationship with the humans he’s amongst. This could have been more fun and interesting, but they just kind of blew past a more logical build-up with the characters and went straight to everyone understanding each other and Thor not questioning anything.

Besides some plot holes and it feeling a little rushed, it’s a fun film to watch. The 3-D is decent (not Avatar amazing but not crap like Last Airbender), the overall story is decent, the acting is pretty good, and it’s well directed.

The cast is made up of Chris Hemsworth as Thor who’s a little stiff at times but ultimately makes a good Thor. Natalie Portman is a character we’ve seen before, pretty standard for her as the lead scientist / romantic interest. No offense to Natalie Portman, she’s a fine actor, but I’m just a bit sick of seeing her now, can we please take a Portman break? There are other actors out there that could’ve handled this role. Tom Hiddleston plays a mean Loki and Anthony Hopkins is always a welcome sight and is great as Odin. Rene Russo, Kat Dennings and Ray Stevenson are among the actors who round out this talented cast.

Kenneth Branagh directs and turned out to be a great choice bringing his Shakespearean chops to the table. His style compliments the mythology aspect of the story very favorably.

Beautiful production design and great effects, try to catch this one in the theater and don’t forget to stay until after the credits are finished for some more Avengers foreshadowing…

reviewed by Sean McKnight