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Reviewers: Richard Tara & Ricardo Barberini
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard, Kat Dennings

Of all the well-known Comics stories Thor is the most romantic.  The Fantastic Four and Justice League of America are futuristic.  Batman and Superman are contemporary and have been since the 1930's as each generation sees the same characters in a slightly different form.  Only Thor transcends time and space to the ancient times.

Thor and his mischievous brother are sons of Odin, who is the overlord of Asgard, the fantasy land of the Norse ( North.) Asgard is one the nine lands of the Universe.   Odin has recently defeated the Ice Giants who have the power of turning opponents into ice by touching them.  His kingdom is now prosperous and peaceful. Odin, who is getting old, has to make a decision for a successor to follow him as the king of Asgard.  He chooses Thor as the next ruler of Asgard, but is dismayed by Thor's lack of humility and his overbearing arrogance. He takes Thor's most powerful weapon, his hammer, away and exiles him to Earth as a mortal man.  Thor lands somewhere in a New Mexico desert and is rescued by a scientist (Jane Foster played by Natalie Portman) and her friends Eric and Kat. Jane and Thor soon fall in love. The US government also gets involved after discovering Thor's hammer and send agents to exploit its potential. Except this time, the agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) is a nice guy.

The heartbroken Odin collapses and goes into a coma.  His other son, Loki takes over as the new King of Asgard.  The jealous Loki tries to get rid of his brother Thor by sending a giant mechanical creature to destroy Thor and his friends.  To add to Thor's misfortune, the Ice Giants are on the march and are planning to conquer Asgard and kill Odin, who is still in deep sleep and unable to defend himself.

Thor has to battle the monster sent by his brother and make his way back to Asgard to save the kingdom and his father before the Ice Giants complete their conquest.

Thor is actually a very entertaining movie.  The story is absorbing and the acting is mundane but acceptable.  Even Anthony Hopkins is just playing the same personae that Charlton Heston did in the Ten Commandments, A long staff in his hand that he keeps on hitting the ground to affirm a point.  Heck, any actor with makeup could do that.  But, acting is not the point here.  Natalie Portman as Jane Foster is so wishy-washy.  Darcy Lewis as Kat, the brainless assistant, shows better acting ability as does Stellan Skarsgard as Eric the passed-over compliant scientist protector and friend of Jane. Chris Hemsworth is at least 6' 3 in his stockings.  He has a fabulous toned body that will appeal to many women.  But, he can't act a lick!  He towers over Natalie Portman who is just over five feet or so. They are so obviously mismatched.

One thing we never discover in the original comics is whether Loki is an evil character, a mischievous entity, a joker or maybe more importantly, the dark side of Thor. Kenneth Branagh, the director, has kept that notion alive in the movie by flip-flopping the Loki character between all of the above. Well done!

Kenneth Branagh is a Shakespearean actor, director and producer. He maybe great in all those roles but we did not see any of his latent talents here.  Most of the movie was based on the well-known stories of Thor and an immense amount of special effects. At a budgeted figure of 150 million dollars, anyone can buy the best 3D Experience effects.

So, we will give this movie two and a half stars.  It is not an inspired movie such as Avatar was.  The acting and direction are pedestrian, yet it is very entertaining and enjoyable. We would recommend it for the entire family.