Kenneth Branagh’s beautifully directed epic superhero film Thor, released in 2009/2010, follows the adventures of Marvel’s version of the Norse mythological god, Thor – the god of thunder. BAM! Even though these gods age, Thor is still a young man in this film, and his arrogance and certainty of his own sense of entitlement means that he needs to learn some god damned humility! So where does his father, Odin, send him? Why, to Earth! That makes sense.
Thor just happens to come across some super-nerds studying the phenomenon that occurs in the sky when the god’s bridge to other worlds is activated. Well, he gets hit by a car. Twice. And then, in his arrogance, he smashes some crockery and thinks he has the right to rescue his hammer. But only someone worthy of the power of Thor has the right to the hammer – Odin made sure of that. See, Odin doesn’t want Thor banished forever – just until he learns that he’s not always right, or that he makes bad choices, or that declaring war is not a good idea, or something. So Thor learns to live as a human, and when he faces off with the giant monster his treacherous brother Loki has sent after him, he wins his humanity and earns his hammer back. Yay!
But that’s not all! Thor has to protect all of Asgard from Loki, who is scheming to… not quite sure. Take over it, I think. I think Loki’s ambitions are simple. He wants to hurt Thor, too, and I guess he achieves it. I’d tell you how, but that’d be a spoiler.
Chris Hemsworth, largely known before his casting as Thor as one of your standard hunks on Aussie soap opera Home and Away (and also in this awesome horror film called The Cabin in the Woods which is another Whedonfest) is brilliant as Thor. His open, honest face lends a big credibility to the ambitious but naïve Thor. Natalie Portman is wonderfully cast as the feisty, brilliant scientist Jane (this also means that the core cast of The Other Bolyn Girl, Portman, Eric Bana, and Scarlett Johansson have all played Marvel characters). She’s quite little, so it makes Hemsworth appear even larger as Thor. And that shirtless scene? When I saw Thor in the theatre, I heard everyone around me gasp. Let’s just say ‘yes, please.’