THOR (2011)

Running Time: 115 mins.                      Rating: 4 Stars/5 Stars

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Genre: Action/Adventure/Drama

Country: USA

Language: English

Distributor: Paramount

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgaard, Kat Dennings, Clark Gregg, Idris Elba, Colm Feore, Ray Stevenson, Rene Russo, Jaime Alexander

I’ve never read a comic book but I loved watching the ‘X-Men’, ‘Batman’ and ‘Captain Planet’ cartoons after school in the early 90’s.  Remember ‘Captain Planet’?  Growing up, I vaguely remember hearing about this god-like character who waived around a hammer like Tim Taylor after his morning Adderral and cup of joe.   (‘Home Improvement’ jokes always kill in your first film review.)  So, when I went to the movies to see THOR, I went with an open mind and a bottle of Jack just in case the movie sucked and the girl I was with wouldn’t think I was a total loser for taking her to an awful movie.  I know that sounds pessimistic, but the last comic book superhero movie I saw was THE GREEN HORNET…enough said.

Maybe this is the Jack talking, but I was pleasantly surprised and fully entertained throughout the entire film.  Because, for how implausible the story is, it was fairly simple.

Odin, King of Asgard (Anthony Hopkins) teaches his cocky son Thor (Chris Hemsworth) a life lesson in humility after he disobeys an order.   Odin takes Thor’s “power” away and banishes him to New Mexico.  That’s one hell of a punishment; I don’t even think I would pull into a rest stop in New Mexico.  On Earth, Thor falls in love with a beautiful mortal scientist (Natalie Portman) who is studying the wormhole that brought Thor to Earth.  Back in Asgard, Odin falls ill and Thor’s brother Loki assumes the throne he’s so long been coveting.  But, Thor’s companions Sif and the Warriors Three, unhappy with Loki’s short rein of power attempt to return Thor from his exile to help them defeat his evil brother.

I wasn’t expecting the film to be funny and there were some genuine laugh out loud moments that regrettably made me spill my adult beverage into my 70,000 calorie bucket of popcorn… I did the math.  When Thor is exiled to Earth after the enormous fight sequence, the pace naturally slows a bit.  But actress Kat Dennings seizes this opportunity with her scene stealing performance in her small but unforgettable role with perfectly timed one-liners.   Albeit with the same affect she uses in every one of her other movies.

This film jumps into the super-hero elite status I usually reserve for THE DARK KNIGHT and the X-MEN franchise.  The wonderfully corny dialogue between Thor and the “Mortal Earthlings” was worth more than the price of admission by itself.   This family friendly film is a Summer 2011 must see!

Oh, how did the date end up?  Well I’m glad you asked.   Your stud of a correspondent took the hottie with a body home and…shook her hand very firmly as he said goodnight!  Hey, most of us have to work a little harder for the perfect Hollywood ending.

If you like this recommendations: X-Men, Spider-Man, The Dark Knight