Let me go ahead and presage this by saying I’m not a huge fan of the Thor series. I’ve come across a bunch of the old comics from the eighties and found them, for the most part, silly and Thor’s dialogue impossibly wordy (Stan Lee had him talking like something out of Prince Valiant). I was reluctant to see the movie also because it was directed by Kenneth Branagh, who did make some decent Shakespeare adaptations, but who also made one terrible monstrosity: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (the one with De Niro mumbling more than usual and Helena Bonham Carter–no surprise–acting crazy). Roger Ebert disliked the movie so much he didn’t review it, but in his recent review for X-Men: First Class he referenced Thor as an example of a bad superhero movie, which must have been hard for him considering how much the guy likes Anthony Hopkins.
Anyways, going into the movie not expecting much, I ended up enjoying the film for the most part. Asgard looked cool, just as I hoped, but then they also went to Juttenheim, an ice planet, and that was the coolest scene in the film. I’m always thrilled to see how filmmakers portray imaginary locations like the Troll Market in Hellboy 2 or Gotham in the Christopher Nolan Batman films, and this was no exception.
The only problem was that, for about a third of the movie, it takes place in our world (Booo-ring!). After seeing all these stunning, imaginative locales, the movie did kind of peter out when he lands on earth and meets Natalie Portman. Don’t worry, after way too many fish-out-of-water jokes (think of the Star Trek movie where they go to Earth and save whales) Thor does get back into action.
Bottom line: this isn’t an excellent superhero movie like Batman: the Dark Knight, Spiderman: 2, or the Christopher Reeves Superman movies, but, as far as disposable popcorn munching fare goes, Thor is pretty good.