The introduction story for the Marvel god of thunder, Thor, could not be in better hands than director, Kenneth Branagh. This was the story that this excellent Shakespearian actor turned director was born to tell. The movie feels epic, overwhelming and immense. The videography and the actors, especially Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman, do great justice to the story they tell. That said, other reviewers have slammed this film for being shallow, but I can’t agree with them. Thor is my number one movie of the year.
The story by Babylon 5 creator, J. Michael Straczynski, pays incredible homage to the original Stan Lee stories. While the movie origin story is different from the origin story depicted in the comic Journey into Mystery #83, it was more than good enough to work. I was absolutely delighted that there were shout-outs to facets of the 1960s comic series. I won’t spoil them for anyone, but if you read those comics, you’ll know them when you see them. There were points in the movie that were predictable, but this didn’t hurt the movie much because any viewer who is familiar with the Thor story knows certain things HAVE to happen in certain ways to make the story progress. My overall take on the 2 hour movie was that I was viewing (and enjoying) a silver age Marvel comic book illustrated by Jack Kirby and written by Stan Lee. It was awesome and if there is any justice in the world, Thor will get more than passing consideration come Oscar time.
I saw the movie in 3D, but I’m not sure that it was worth it. That is not to say you won’t get the full special effects without 3D (I think you will), but I’m just not sure it added anything to the experience. And that what Thor was, it was an experience that ranked it as a must see for 2011. Be sure to stay for the vignette after the credits roll.