Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. Paramount Pictures, Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Studios. USA, 2011. Story by J. Michael Straczynski, Mark Protosevich, Screenplay by Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne, based on the comic book by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby. Cinematography by Haris Zambarloukos. Produced by Kevin Feige. Music by Patrick Doyle. Production Design by Bo Welch. Costume Design by Alexandra Byrne. Film Editing by Paul Rubell.
After leading his mythical world into battle against their enemies, defying his father’s wishes, heroic Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is banished from the kingdom and sent to present-day Earth as punishment. He very fortunately lands on our planet at the same time that a geeky meteorologist with suspiciously pretty hair (Natalie Portman) is encountering resistance from the government on her own work, while back home his evil brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) becomes a dark influence on his people in the wake of their father (Anthony Hopkins) suddenly taking ill. Despite some funky production design and great visual effects, this science-fiction pulper is bereft of a healthy sense of adventure that is not helped by the dullness of its two leads. Portman’s tragically beautiful face suits the insane melodrama of Black Swan more than it does the comic book-come-to-life vein, her humourlessness as big a weight on the proceedings as is Hemsworth’s drab dialogue delivery. Physically he suits the role to a muscle-T, but his acting has all the heavy awkwardness of Schwarzenegger without any of the humour or charisma. Kenneth Branagh directs with a “Look how light I can be” air that doesn’t do him any favours (this kind of movie does not require that kind of irony). Also features Rene Russo in a too brief role as Thor’s mother.