Comic book adaptations range from insanely awesome to absolute trash. Thor lands somewhere near the awesome side, but it is certainly not the best superhero film of all time.
The film takes the usual route of character titles. Thor is an arrogant deity—rash, impulsive and violent. But he does want the best for his home, Asgard. The film takes place on both Earth (Midgard) and Asgard. On the day of Thor’s appointment as heir of Asgard, the Frost Giants of Jotunheim launch an unsuccesful attempt to steal back one of their artifacts, stolen after the war with Asgard. Thor then decides to bring his brother Loki and a band of warriors to Jotunheim to get answers. Cue insult to Thor’s masculinity and a big fight ensues. It takes Odin, the Allfather, to come down and fix it all up.
Thor is subsequently banished from Asgard to Midgard and his artifacts of power are taken, most notably his badass hammer Mjollinir. Here begins a deliciously cheesy story of contrast and self-growth.
A funny and enjoyable story that lacks depth
While the story of Thor is relatively cliché, it is remarkably enjoyable. We’ve seen banishment, the clash of society and government interference before. But Thor manages to make it absurdly fun. The script is good as a whole—nothing award winning, but the humor of watching an ancient Norse deity try to talk to modern Americans is worth a few giggles at least. I won’t spoil it for you, but I particularly love his reaction to coffee.
Thor has a few twists, somewhat predictable, but doesn’t focus on them, instead featuring the overdone sacrifice and character growth trope. There is nothing wrong with that in itself, but it does leave the viewer wishing for a little more creativity on the creators’ part.
A great cast
The cast of Thor is worth mentioning, Chris Hemsworth, who plays the titular character, is grandiose and human at the same time, managing to play an arrogant deific warrior and a guy who has no idea what to do in equal parts. Natalie Portman is also good, but her character lacks some fleshing out and leaves her as more of a plot device than a person. The talented Anthony Hopkins is Odin and Idris Elba is the Gatekeeper of Asgard.
Effects that are lavish and abstract
The effects of Thor are something of a divisive line for those who watched the film. I loved the surreal, abstract coloring and design of the armor and architecture of Asgard. But on Earth they look bizarre and far from practical. The realization of the cosmos and Asgard itself are dreamlike and stunning, however.
A film worth your time
All in all the film was worth watching, especially considering that The Avengers film is coming out soon. Thor is a funny, blockbuster movie that balances science fiction and fantasy in a decidedly delicious way with only a lack of complexity and a bit too much cliché holding it back from being stunning.