Despite being the proud owner of no less or more than 12 X-Men comics I am a real fan of all things Marvel and comic book adaptations in general with the exception of Superman which I never fully understood.
When Chris Evans was announced as Captain America I was super excited as he is my guilty pleasure actor and whenever The Avengers movie was announced I was even more delirious as it meant that Robert Downey Junior, Chris Evans and potentially Edward Norton would all be in the same film.
Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Captain America were all fine with me as they are based in the real world without any non scientific powers. I could never fathom how Thor would slot into this Marvel universe but there was never any doubt that I would be there to see this film.
PLOT: Thor (Chris Helmsworth) is banished from Asgard by Odin (Anthony Hopkins) after he is tricked by Loki into breaking a long held truce. Thor, now mortal, is sent to earth where he meets Jane (Natalie Portman) a scientist who is equal parts smart and hot. Thor’s hammer plays hard to get and SHIELD get involved. Hawkeye makes a cameo and Samuel L Jackson does not. The family turmoil continues until the big show down between Thor and Loki takes place. END PLOT
Iron Man 2 was an summer action flick with delusions of grandeur in that it had Stark's breakdown forced into the second act in an attempt to add some drama. In contrast Thor is a drama with some action scenes added in to keep the tension high.
I think the difference between the two lies with the director. Favreau is great at summer fluff but Thor went a different route and hired a Shakespearian actor/director (Branagh) to take the helm. This worked so well as the drama between fathers/sons and brother/brother was utilised to the full.
The family drama remained at the core of the movie but once Thor got to earth there were some genuinely funny fish out of water comedy moments. Thor’s expression of hunger (this mortal frame requires sustenance) has already been stolen by me and will be used to death. Thor managed to be equally light hearted and serious with neither feeling out of place.
Chris Helmworth is a big, lumbering, super muscled and tanned Aussie who shouldn’t have progressed further than Summer Bay but he is very good as Thor. He has the charm, looks and charisma of the late Heath Ledger and it was hard shaking this thought off during the film.
I love Natalie Portman in anything (except films which star Ashton Kutcher - I don’t love her that much) and she was fine in the usual female love interest role which required her to be totally uninvolved with the action.
Anthony Hopkins is perfect as Odin and effortlessly commands authority and respect from the people of Asgard and the audience.
The action is fun and there are a couple of nice little set pieces based in Asgard but the earth action scenes were the best.
I was worried about Thor fitting into The Avengers team before I saw the film. Now I am worried about The Avengers fitting in with Thor.
Thor had the potential to a camp cheesy wreck and I wouldn’t have been surprised if it went the same road as Clash of the Titans but as usual all my preconceptions were thankfully wrong. Thor is the strongest movie Marvel has produced in a long time.
I will be seeing Thor again before my Easter break is up - it has been a long time since I have watched a film twice in the cinema. The bar has been raised. Captain America has a lot to compete with and even the appearance of Chris Evans wont be enough to suffice.
Thor gets 9/10. I absolutely loved it.