Contributed By Yong Yung Shin
During a dry spell at the cinemas where things are anything but fast and furious, Marvel Comics’ latest superhero movie Thor is raking it in. It is entertaining enough to get through a bag of popcorn with, but, alas, nowhere good enough to justify the Natalie Portman overload this first half of 2011.
Australian newcomer Chris Hemsworth lends his distracting good looks to the role of Thor, the next-in-line to the throne in the fantastical realm of Asgard. At the eve of his coronation, however, the palace suffers a breach of security when the Frost Giants attempt to break into the kingdom. Against his father King Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) orders, the rash and immature Thor confronts the Frost Giants. A greatly disappointed and angry Odin banishes his son to Earth, along with his hammer and source of power. Odin casts a spell over it such that only one worthy of its power will be able to wield it.
As he wanders around in a foreign world trying to recoup his magical powers, Thor’s friends conspire to bring him home before the whole of Asgard is overrun by corrupt forces. On Earth, the scientist Jane (Natalie Portman) finds her Thor-zan in the fallen deity, setting the stage for a mortal-god romance that hits more than a few bumps when his past catches up with him.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, Thor is executed slickly enough as a piece of visually pleasing entertainment—but nothing more. For one, it is sorely lacking in artistic flair and narrative aplomb as seen in the stellar Batman and Ironman; characters are as simplistic as plot devices are clichéd and disposable, which is a shame, really, considering the decent performances and a portrayal to heroism that’s starkly different from what other superhero movies trumpet.