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When Marvel Comics decided to add Thor, the Norse god of thunder, to their roster of characters in 1962, it certainly inspired a young Kenneth Branagh. For the director (an avowed fan of the comic book) has packed the hammer-wielding hero's first big-screen appearance with nods to the original source material. The story sees the brash immortal (played to the hilt by Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth) stripped of his powers and banished to Earth by all-powerful father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) after a reckless attack on their frost giant enemies. Befriended by scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), the gauche galoot is then forced to adapt to his new mortality while his Excalibur-like hammer remains embedded in the New Mexico desert and his crafty brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) takes over the glittering realm of Asgard (spectacular-looking, even in unnecessary 3D). Branagh's epic fantasy may not be in the same league as the
movies, but there are plenty of amusing fish-out-of-water moments, as Hemsworth's swaggering man-mountain is cut down to size. True, the film has some scene-setting longueurs, but Hopkins brings gravitas rather than ham to his role, Hiddleston's Loki is a villain to look out for and the action is suitably earth-shattering. Of course, this adventure is ultimately a stepping stone to the 2012
movie, so look out for some telling cameos and plot clues.
The Norse god of thunder is banished from his own world when his arrogance puts the kingdom on the brink of war. He is sent to present-day Earth, where he is forced to live among humans without his supernatural powers, but must regain his abilities to defend his new home against his evil brother. Kenneth Branagh's fantasy adventure based on the Marvel comics, starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins.
Cast & Crew
Dr Erik Selvig
Agent Phil Coulson
Clint Barton / Hawkeye
Samuel L Jackson
Edited for language.
DVD and Blu-ray
22 Apr 2011
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