Thor (Chris Hemsworth) listens as his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) instructs him on the importance of ruling Asgard in "Thor."
Swing that hammer
The first of several blockbuster comic-book based movies, "Thor" hammered its way into theaters last week, earning more than $65 million in receipts, setting the tone for what we can expect from a summer cinema season loaded with heroes, action and sequels.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), wields a powerful hammer and commands the skies above earning him the name, "God of Thunder." In the eternal realm of Asgard, the ultimate warrior is ready to take his rightful seat as his weary father's successor. But a rash decision by Thor, spearheaded by his tricky brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the God of Mischief, leads to the destruction of shaky truce between two lands. Angry, Odin strips Thor of his powers, his weapon and his right to the throne - banishing him to Earth, no longer an immortal god, but instead a simple human - a muscle-bound, capable fighting human - but a human none-the-less.
He begins his journey on the earth following a collision with a scientific crew tracking weather anomalies in New Mexico. Lead by student Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), Professor Andrews (Stellan Skarsgard) and a helper Darcy (Kat Dennings - along for humor purposes). Not quite understanding Thor's connection to the recent weather issues, the group keeps him close as his real identity slowly begins to reveal itself.
Desperate to keep his brother out of Asgard, Loki forms an alliance with the enemies of his kingdom, allowing him to ascend to the throne and threatening the peace of both the eternal realm and earth.
Thor is forced to battle as a human to once again be worthy to wield his hammer and regain his power; then is called upon to return home and save Asgard from Loki's control.
This film, like the two Iron Man stories, the previous Hulk story, and the upcoming Captain America release are all tie-ins to next summer's Avengers epic which will incorporate many of the characters from Marvel's recent summer film barrage.
Not quite as good as Iron Man - the Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is better out of uniform than in - Thor still delivers with great special effects, an imaginary land of the gods, a dark world ruled by the monstrous frost giants and likable characters in supporting roles.
Hopkins was a great choice for the majestic Odin, Hiddleston is pasty and creepy as evil Loki, and Hemworth was an ideal unknown to carry the hammer.
Portman, well she's as good as ever and easy on the eyes, and Dennings is along to the provide some lighter moments.
Thor proved a worthy kickoff to the summer season and continues to set the stage for the much anticipated Avengers film. And like its predecessors, stick around through the credits for the closing scene with SHIELD leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) as he sets the connection to the Captain America film.
Don't take it too seriously and have fun. My only complaint, with the use of all the AC/DC classics in the Iron Man movies, how do you not include "Thunderstruck" in Thor's soundtrack. C'mon man.
"Thor" rates 3 1/2 buckets out of 5 on the popcorn bucket scale. Let the butter run free upon thy bucket, like the golden hair of Thor blowing in the wind. How bout that Shakespeare. Running Time: 2 hr. 10 min. MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence.