Humility and Sacrifice Overcome Arrogance
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie
Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Tom
Skarsgård, Kat Dennings, Colm
Feore, Clark Gregg, Idris
Elba, Ray Stevenson
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 114 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures/Viacom
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Executive Producer: Alan Fine, Stan Lee, David
Maisel, Patricia Whitcher,
Producer: Kevin Feige
Writer: Ashley Edward Miller, Zack
Stentz, Don Payne
Address Comments To:Sumner Redstone, Chairman/CEO, Viacom
Brad Grey, Chairman/CEO
John Lesher, President, Paramount Film Group
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197
Phone: (323) 956-5000
THOR opens with a group of scientists, led by Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, finding Thor falling to Earth in the New Mexico desert after being cast out of Asgard, a floating kingdom from another dimension or another part of the universe (the movie isn’t always quite clear here but later mentions the idea of different dimensions once later). Thor was due to be coronated as the heir to his father Odin’s kingdom, but an invasion from several of the Asgardians’ ancient enemies, the Frost Giants, disrupts the ceremony. Angrily, against Odin’s orders, Thor leads a team of Asgardian warriors, including his brother, Loki, against the Frost Giants on their home planet. Thor’s plan doesn’t go well, and he and his friends have to be rescued by Odin.
Odin is extremely upset that Thor tried to start a terrible war, after years of peace. Thor is arrogant, however. He wants to defeat the Frost Giants once and for all. So, Odin takes away Thor’s power, including his mighty hammer, Mjolnir, and casts them both down to Earth. This leaves Loki next in line to the throne.
On Earth, Thor is upset and bewildered to learn he has no powers. With help from Jane, he tries to retrieve his mighty hammer, but agents from SHIELD, a secret governmental agency, are now guarding it.
Back on Asgard, Loki plots against his brother. Apparently, it was he who gave the Frost Giants a secret way into Asgard. Loki has his own intense scene with Odin, where he confronts Odin about his true origins. The confrontation leaves Odin deathly ill. Now that he sits on the throne, Loki orders Thor, and Earth along with it, to be completely destroyed. Only Thor can stop Loki from destroying Earth, but how can he do anything without his superpowers?
THOR is primarily a coming-of-age story. When stripped of his powers, Thor must learn what it takes to be a true hero. Eventually, Thor earns the right to be the hero again because he becomes humble, kind and, most importantly, willing to sacrifice his life for others. Thus, the title character in this superhero movie has a wonderful, redemptive and inspiring character arc that turns out to be quite moving. It doesn’t hurt that, as Thor, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth turns in a star-making performance. Of course, he’s helped by an incredible supporting cast, including Oscar-winning actors Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins. Also, Director Kenneth Branagh, with his Shakespearian background, now seems the perfect choice to handle the movie’s epic interaction among Asgard’s ruling family. Branagh also handles the movie’s intimate, funny scenes with a deft touch.
Happily, THOR also has a family friendly feel, despite some brief foul language, action violence and scary, threatening creatures. It turns pagan mythology into a story about alien beings with super powers and access to advanced technology. Thus, the rainbow bridge linking Asgard to Earth in Norse mythology becomes a bridge to a device that constructs a wormhole to transport people from Asgard to the other nine realms of the universe, a concept which is also taken from Norse mythology. All in all, viewers should have a hammering good time with THOR.
THOR is loads of fun. It’s also a coming-of-age tale. When stripped of his powers, Thor must learn what it takes to be a true hero. Eventually, Thor earns the right to be the hero again because he becomes humble, kind and, most importantly, willing to sacrifice his life for others. This gives THOR a wonderful, inspiring, redemptive quality. Happily, THOR also turns out to be rather family friendly, despite brief foul language, action violence and scary, threatening creatures.