Meathead action that’s a little raw on story. Thor is the comic book story on the god of thunder and his hammer which he slings like a boomerang. He is played with hulk titanium by Chris Hemsworth who is a kind of anti-hero until Earth softens him. He comes from the realm of Asgard, which is unexplained, but must rest somewhere in the distant cosmos (full definition would be futile, anyway). The throne belongs to his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) who seems to love his son fleetingly and gets ticked off by him injudiciously – how topsy-turvy, are they? Thor simply wants nothing but to embark on a killing rampage against the evil Frost Giants, but Odin feels violent provocation will bring the fight back home. Thor’s actions get him banished to Earth, via a wormhole.
Once crash landed, Thor meets Natalie Portman, as astrophysicist Jane Foster, who attempts to understand him and then feels for him. Her colleague Dr. Erik Sevig (Stellan Skarsgard), a stock character, tries to warn her to stay away from him. And her friend Darcy (Kat Dennings), very annoying and even more unnecessary, contributes nothing except to make offhand comments. The climactic battle takes place on a few square blocks of an almost desolate New Mexico town with the Metal Giant, an aluminum man gestalt with fire-breathing ducts. It’s a rare movie monster that the Air Force could have handled alone without a superhero.
There is funny stuff that takes over during the mid-section of the movie. Thor, as a fish out of water, makes a wreck out of simple things without giving a moment’s pause. At a diner, Thor smashes his plates on the floor and bellows, “Can I have another!” Very funny. At the hospital, he receives unwanted care and so therefore rips the tubes off from himself and breaks walls and windows haphazardly.
But back to comic book politics. Thor is visited by his manipulative brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to tell him about his disgrace. Upon the return to Asgard, the great King Odin is ailing. Back to Earth, once again, Thor is at a quandary of whether he is a God or a mere mortal. He must repossess his hammer back from the government agents that have seized it. Thor is eventually visited by his fellow comrades that inform him that his brother Loki has betrayed him. A return to Asgard is permitted so he can take down Loki. Thor kind have has a dilemma, but for myself, I don’t know why anybody would choose Asgard over Earth for residence. Nothin’ to do in Asgard.
The meathead-and-the-beauty chemistry between Hemsworth and Portman is kind of irresistible, and that’s the one thing that kept me watching merrily. Of all the He-Man heroics, I liked the scene where Thor beats the hell out of America’s secret army but does it with gentlemanly sparring (he wants truce on his terms at the end of the movie). But the climax as well as defeat of the villains is just barely enough vacillation of plot. One Metal Giant down and you wonder why didn’t Loki send another battalion of them? And once they do make a sequel to this, I hope they actually let Thor use his mighty hammer more often. And they should get rid of Kat Dennings while they’re at it. She’s weak in more ways than one.
130 Minutes. Rated PG-13.
ACTION-ADVENTURE / COMIC BOOK LORE / WEEKEND AFTERNOON MOVIE
Film Cousins: “Fantastic Four” (2005); “Iron Man” (2008); “The Incredible Hulk” (2008); “Captain America: First Avenger” (2011).