Thor (May Contain Spoilers)

Since the ending clip from Iron Man 2, I’ve been massively anticipating the release of this film, not only as adaptation of one of Marvel Comics’ big-time superheroes but also as a pre-cursor to The Avengers coming out next year.

Taking place over two different worlds, Thor sees the Norse God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) battle his way across both his homeland of Asgard against the Frost Giants, and then across Earth against a seemingly unstoppable force from Asgard, The Destroyer. Being the next in line for the throne of Asgard, Thor becomes cocky and disobedient and leads a fight against the Frost Giants. For his arrogance, his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) banishes him to Earth and takes back the source of his power – his hammer Mjolnir. Stranded on Earth, Thor meets physicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who takes him in. Back in Asgard Thor’s brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has taken over the throne and plans to destroy other worlds, along with his older brother. Thor must learn what it takes to be a hero in order to stop Loki turning The Destroyer on Earth and everything he has grown to love.

When I was a younger, I loved reading about all the different Norse gods and their stories, and that’s partly why I was so excited for Thor coming out rather than Captain America later this year. The great part about this, from a story perspective, is that there’s no need for an “origin” story. He doesn’t become Thor; he just is Thor right from the start thus taking out the whole background story element. The CGI landscape for Asgard is just as huge and intricate as you would expect it to be, which adds a lot to the general visuals of the film. Also, it means the iconic Asgardian armour and helmets they wear don’t seem out of place at all, which was at one point a worry for the producers as they almost dropped the idea in favour of other costumes. As a flipside to this, it’s probably a good thing that not once is “thou art”, “havat thee” or “verily” used, as that would probably be too much for audiences to take seriously!

Obviously, there have to be certain differences from the source material – the Frost Giants for one are done pretty differently as they are normally pictured to be towering mountains of giants, but in Thor they’re more like a tribe of huge, tattooed warriors with control over ice. Both concepts work equally well for their medium, so one doesn’t really seem better than the other. One part Thor could have done without is the flashback to Odin putting the block on Mjolnir as it seemed like a useless point to reinforce by the end of the film, but having a not-so-Hollywood ending made up for it.

Kat Denning’s intern character was obviously put in to represent the young, hipster generation and probably should have grated on me more, but since I actually like Kat Dennings I found it hard to dislike her in Thor that much. Also, as many might agree, had no problems with Jeremy Renner making his first appearance as Hawkeye in the middle, even though he didn’t actually do very much. And yes, as with all Marvel films, there is a bit at the end worth staying for which ties in nicely to Captain America and perhaps even The Avengers.

Thor gets 8 out of 10 for being an epic action film with amazing landscapes and fantasy worlds, and even though it didn’t quite have the same initial impact Iron Man did, it definitely lived up to all my expectations.

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