Unlike some other mythological based Greek stories that fall short, Thor is a great representative of the action pantheon that is worth spending a couple of hours with thanks to the talented star Chris Hemsworth and the excellent direction of Kenneth Branagh.
Hemsworth takes on the character of Thor who has been set to Midgard (translation: Earth) by his father Odin who is played by Anthony Hopkins even though his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) tries his best to settle irate dad down. As part of Thor’s punishment for misbehaving, he has to live on Earth and a spell is cast upon his hammer (translation: powers) so that the hammer only works when the bearer is worthy.
The minute he gets to Earth he finds out that life on the blue planet is not too rough however running into scientist Jane Foster played by the lovely Natalie Portman and also running away from the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that are after him with Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson in charge.
Earth is not the only concern that Thor has on his mind however, because back in Asgard Loki inherits the throne and starts creating all kinds of trouble in the heavens and on earth inviting some negative forces into Asgard and sending the aptly titled Destroyer town to Earth who Thor soon has to deal with.
Although the plot is clearly cut with the ‘bad’ son saving earth from his brother’s erratic ruling decisions and the enemies are clear throughout along with the beautiful maiden side kick, Thor still moves along quite quickly with a fresh enough storyline that is kept alive by a great cast, excellent screenwriting, and of course the willful and watchful eye of Kenneth Branagh. While he may not have seemed like the logical choice given his experience is Shakespeare and not comics, he shows the same attention to detail and love for the mythological action film which helps give it that extra kick.
After all, Thor may not be Shakespeare, but it is an epic myth in its own right composed of pathos, tragedy, and a bit of comedy along the way which is something that Branagh does not have plenty of experience nailing on the head.
Branagh is not the only one that made Thor watchable however, as Hemsworth plays the title character wonderfully without reservation easily making the journey of God’s bedraggled son one that viewers can visualize and experience with him. The character as a result becomes a bit vulnerable and a bit real as he plays him both as the little boy that wants to come home and the little boy who is determined to show his dad that he is worthy of being considered a man.
On the other hand, Loki plays the evil of the film well, even though he is never exactly defined as evil intentioned, simply the bearer of many bad decisions with harsh consequences throughout the film leaving you to wonder why he does not get kicked down to Earth as well.