First things first, stay through the credits. Trust me, there is a very important plot point for both the ending of this film and next years The Avengers (which is the only superhero film I'm looking forward to more than The Dark Knight Rises coming out next year). That said lets get into my spoiler-free review of Thor.
The main thing with Thor is the choice of director, Kenneth Branagh. He is best known for making adaptations out of Shakespeare plays and for playing Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Some said that he was a poor choice to direct Thor but then again first impressions are usually wrong. In this case, Branagh is a perfect fit to make Thor. He manages to find a balance between 1980's Flash Gordon silliness and powerful drama and it works, mostly down to the performances. Chris Hemsworth, previously known to me for playing George Kirk in the Star Trek reboot, has the role as Thor. He gives in a great performance doing great in both the physical comedy, the comedic elements of the character in the real world and a very powerful voice with which he commands the screen, even more the Anthony Hopkins in their scenes together. Natalie Portman is also good as Jane Foster, I really buy that Portman is an astrophysicist she just seems that intelligent. Portman also has a great chemistry with Hemsworth which is really important for the love story Branagh wants to present, that and the relationship allows Portman to show of her comedic talents, especially when she accidently hits Thor with her car, twice. Tom Hiddleston is good as Loki presenting a slimy nature while still showing the vulnerability of the character. Stellan Skarsgard is good as Dr Selvig bringing a great level of intelligence to the film. Ray Stevenson steals the film when he is on screen as Volstagg through his great comedic timing and Idris Elba presents a true god-like nature as Heimdall mainly through the way he utilizes his voice in all his scenes. The real scene stealer of the film however is Anthony Hopkins as Odin, he commands the screen with his presence and his voice ranges from soft and kind to loud and angry at the drop of a hat. The true stars of the film are the cinematography and the set design for Asgard, Asgard looks incredible, the way that it is formed really feels like a home for the Gods and Branagh makes sure you see as much of Asgard as you can through the usage of long sweeping shots of the landscape truly selling the idea of Thor. There are some complaints however, the stuff with SHIELD feels a bit forced and only in there to set up The Avengers, in the same way as Iron Man 2. Kat Dennings gets really annoying at times as Darcy, the action scenes aren't as good as they could be and the 3D is pointless and I would only recommend the 3D version of Thor in IMAX as in IMAX you can see and hear everything that Branagh wants you to. There is also a very pointless cameo from Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, in the film purely to set up his character in The Avengers which doesn't add anything to the film and the only time the SHIELD stuff makes any sense to the narrative is in the after credits scene which I will not spoil, go see the film for yourself. Overall though Thor is a very good movie, completely worth seeing and has a feeling very few films accomplish nowadays, fun, Thor is very fun to watch and on that basis alone, go and watch Thor as soon as possible and once again STAY THROUGH THE CREDITS.
My Rating: 4/5 (yes I know that a ton of bad jokes can be made at my rating)
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