The movie functions with three vastly different tones and tempos that go together like a weird recipe:
- Add an aura of a Shakespearean fantasy epic courtesy of director Kenneth Branagh
- Mix in a “fish out of water” comedy with a bit of action for seasoning
- Stir into a straight up epic action film by the conclusion
Pepper the movie with equal doses of science fiction and technology to create consistency with the established Marvel Cinematic Universe that also houses Iron Man, Hulk and Captain America, and that is what Thor is, and caution, results may vary.
The movie takes place in the parallel Norse legend-based magical world of Asgard where the established order is disrupted when the headstrong titular character leads an ill advised assault on a neighboring realm (it is unclear if its another world or dimension but let’s say it’s very far from home). The attack leads to Thor and his magic hammer of mass destruction, Mjolnir, being dumped on Earth…sans powers courtesy of a very ticked off Odin and to the pleasure of jealous rat-fink Loki, the lesser brother of Thor. Once on Earth, Thor attempts to maneuver through life as a regular guy who meets a brainy girl, gets drunk with a rugged elder, fights S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and eats a few slices of humble pie. Further revelations expose a conspiracy from within Asgard and across dimensions that will imperil them all unless a hero can step up and set things right.
The end result will divide people into the love it or hate it groups. The (very) high concept of parallel dimensions, magic, fantasy and the scenery alone is enough to turn people on and off depending on your cup of tea. The movie tries to be non-geek friendly with its very comedic half of the second act but I still don’t think Thor is as appealing to the masses as Iron Man or Captain America. Nonetheless, this was a decent action movie… not great or horrible, and above average, but just decent.
By Odin and the mighty hammer you shall love thee movie or you will just wait for AVENGERS where Thor will be complemented by all aforementioned superheroes. Not enough for a win but well above the passing line.