Sunday, May 8, 2011


Movie Name: Thor
Year of Release: 2011
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars:Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Stellan Skarsgard, Kat Dennings, Clark Gregg, Idris Elba, Colm Feore, Ray Stevenson, Jaimie Alexander, Josh Dallas, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner
Genre: Action, Adventure
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5

Kenneth Branagh has made a career of making interesting choices, both as an actor and as a director. His directorial debut, "Henry V", garnered fantastic reviews and award nominations, but since then, his output has been irregular: he has directed both the really good "Hamlet" and the really bad "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein", to name but a few. "Thor" adapts the Marvel Comics character, introducing the multiple dimensions/parallel universes that exist, namely Asgard and Earth. Thor and Loki are both sons of Odin, the ruler of Asgard - Thor the oldest is the one, chosen to rule after his father steps down, but he is a young man ruled by arrogance, impetuous and with a lack of consideration for others. One of his outbursts threats the peace of Asgard, upon which Odin sends him to Earth in order for him to learn the value of courage, humbleness and kindness. On Earth, Thor meets Jane Foster, an astrophysicist who teaches him the meaning of humanity, while Loki in Asgard prepares a macabre plan.
Kenneth Branagh had with Thor a lot of material to work with. The character has existed for years and the plethora of stories is immense. However, the screenplay opts to introduce the character on Earth and in Asgard, and how both realities exist simultaneously. The main problem with the direction of Branagh, is how he populates the story with cliches that are predictable and add nothing new to the storyline. And of course, as usual in all his films, he overdoes everything, from the soundtrack to the production design - the film almost crosses the line between an interesting aesthetic and kitsch. The actors try their best to do what they can with the meager material. Chris Hemsworth personifies the strong and muscular hero with a great energy, but his transition from arrogant to humble never really makes much sense. Natalie Portman has nothing much to do, the same can be said for Stellan Skarsgard and most of the supporting actors in the film. Tom Hidleston as the villainous Loki, tries to give the film some gravitas, but he's never really menacing, nor convincing. The film ends up living from the fantastic special effects, sadly that is not enough to recommend it.