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Thor 2011

Moving between present day Earth and the fantastic realm of Asgard, we witness how the Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior god whose reckless actions rekindle an ancient feud among the deities. As a punishment, Thor is cast out of Asgard and forced to live on Earth among humankind.

Starring:
Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman
Runtime:
1 hour, 54 minutes

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By FallenGrace TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 May 2015
Format: Blu-ray
Though perfectly suited to watch as a stand alone feature, Thor is in fact the fourth movie of Marvel studios phase one universe that ties up with Avengers Assemble so if you want to understand some of the references then you should watch Iron Man, Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 first but it doesn't matter too much.

What does matter is that Thor is a fantastic film.

Based upon norse mythology, the character Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), the king of the realm of Asgard. During his would be corronation to receive the crown from his father, Asgard is attacked by a handful of frost giants, long time enemies of the Asgardians. Arrogant in his youth believing himself invincible, he is persuaded by his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) Thor and his closest warriors defy Odin and travel to Jotenheim to confront the giants resulting in war. Enraged by Thor's acts, Odin banishes him to earth to humble him. Pride before the fall as they say.

This film does so many things right. It has surprisingly strong character development at it's heart as Thor realises he has much to learn not only about himself but the other realms, I really enjoyed watching him grow.

The locations are stunning. The CGI heavy realms of Asgard and Jotenheim look fantastic, Asgard is all light with golden glowing castles and shimmering waters in contrast with Jotenheim's dark cold ice and rock environments. Despite these fantastical locations Thor's time on earth in a small desert town is equally memorable as Thor tries to adjust to a world he doesn't understand or belong leading to many humorous moments. Interestingly despite the large differences between each realm, it works well as a cohesive universe.
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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Oct. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For the uninitiated, that's the Thor. God of thunder from the Norse pantheon. Son of Odin. And in comics oft sent to Earth to learn humility in a human alter ego and occasionally do battle with duplicitious sibling Loki.

And be a member of superhero team the Avengers.

As we'll see next year...

In the meantime, Thor, like Iron Man did three years ago, takes the character and gives him an origin movie.

Director Kenneth Branagh tackles the problem of how to mix Norse gods and real world on screen by remembering Clarke's first law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Thus the norse gods living in Asgard here are basically super advanced aliens who once came to Earth long ago to do battle with the Frost Giants - nasty and not quite so advanced aliens - when they attacked tenth century Norway.

Their worlds are connected by a shimmering bridge which is guarded by a gatekeeper. A bridge that in our technology might also be referred to as a stargate or a wormhole.

But that's all exposition we get after a brief opening when astrophysicist Jane Foster and two friends are investigating strange readings in the sky and promptly knock down a man who comes out of nowhere.

Jumping back to the exposition shows that this is Thor. And that he and his brother Loki were raised by father Odin who hasn't been to war since he beat the frost giants. And that Thor is a bit more impetuous and up for a fight than Loki is.

When the opportunity for that comes going against his fathers wishes seem him banished to Earth, and his hammer Mjolnir dropped into the desert [what you saw in that post credits scene in Iron Man Two].

Can Jane and her friends help Thor in his quest to get home?
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Format: DVD
As someone who hasn't read the Thor comics, I have no idea how faithful this film is or how in-character everybody is. But as a film fanatic, this is an amazing addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The viewer starts with little love for the main character, but I (and the people I watched this with) found that his personality was developed wonderfully, and that he's actually a really likeable hero underneath his arrogance and self-centred-ness. By the end of the film, he's one of the most relatable characters. Even the villain of this story is sympathetic, and it really is painful for the viewer to see him lose his way. I was apprehensive about the humans Thor meets- I don't really like romance or 'fish-out-of-water' movies- but they were all rather likeable and behaved realistically enough- well, except Darcy. I'd watch a film about that girl on her own, she's a brilliant cloud cuckoolander.

Some aspects of the story could have been explained better- like the Odinsleep- but most of these mysteries are cleared up with either watching the other MCU films or looking at some Norse myths (which is what this film and it's comic counterpart are loosely based on). I liked the way aspects of Norse legend like Yggdrasil, the World Tree, were incorporated into this movie. Also, unlike most MCU films, this is very character-driven, and I think that is what makes it such a good film. The action scenes are few and far between, but what we see is epic and I think it's done really well.

It's a film I'd recommend to anybody with an interest in superheroes (since it's a fresh breath for the genre) and also for anybody who likes fantasy or family/romantic dramas. There's a little of something for everybody.
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