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May 3, 2011

Thor (2011)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Actors: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman

290px-Thor-thor-32844859-1280-983.jpg (290×223)

Synopsis: Norse God, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), is exiled to Earth and has to find a way back to his home planet before his evil brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) usurps power.

Review: Another month, another superhero movie, and I must confess to approaching Thor with more than a little cynicism, particularly as it seems indicative of Hollywood’s ever-growing reliance on graphic novel movie franchises. It was to my surprise then that Thor is actually quite decent – not great by any means –  but certainly one of the better comic book adaptations of recent times. And although I think some pseudo-intellectual auteur explanation about director Kenneth Branagh’s input is a touch silly when the film is so clearly industrial, it’s clear a tangible intelligent presence is behind the film, from the way it is extremely well cast and acted, to the CGI/action quota being reined in and actually serving the story.

Particularly admirable are the performances of the relatively unknown (at least in Hollywood terms) Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston in the two main roles. Hemsworth’s rugged Australian physicality and charm works well in the comic potential of Thor being banished to small New Mexico town, and Hiddleston brings his impeccable theatrical pedigree to the role of Thor’s insidious and tormented brother, Loki. (May 2011)

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