'Thor' smashes its way onto shelves

By David Crawford
Marvel’s comic book character Thor, who is the classic publisher’s take on the Norse god of the same name, may be a lesser-known hero than Spider-Man, Iron Man, or

Thor movie poster

Batman, but that didn’t stop “Thor” from dominating the box office when it hit theaters in May. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 13.
The film was directed by Kenneth Branagh and tells the origin story of Thor and his journey to become worthy of the title “God of Thunder.” Branagh does an absolutely amazing job bringing the world of “Thor” to reality.
The use of 3D and CGI was perfect in making Asgard, Thor’s home world, look incredibly similar to that of the source material. I’m not a huge fan of 3D films, but it works very well here.
Although the visual effects are great, the quality of the film isn’t weighted solely on them. Thor truly shines because of its cast’s acting. The cast includes such standouts as Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard, Rene Russo, and Anthony Hopkins. Hemsworth, who plays the title character, is the perfect choice. I can see his career skyrocketing after his performance as Thor. Natalie Portman is irresistibly charming, as always, as Thor’s love interest. Jane Foster. Hiddleston plays Thor’s brother, Loki, and does a wonderful job portraying the god of mischief with a silver tongue. Hopkins, known for his role as Hannibal Lecter in “Silence of the Lambs,” plays Thor’s father, Odin, and is as masterful as ever back on the big screen.
Not only is this film full of action, but it also has plenty of humor and excitement throughout. I wouldn’t actually describe “Thor” as the action movie its pre-release trailers portrayed it as. I would describe it as more of an adventure drama.
This film is also a set-up for the upcoming Marvel movie, “The Avengers,” opening in the summer of 2012. There are lots of nods to other movies such as “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” and “The Avengers.” These include the presence of the government agency known as shield, the character Nick Fury, who is the linking factor of Marvel movies, played by Samuel L. Jackson, and a certain purple-and-blue-wearing archer who will appear again in “The Avengers.”
“Thor” is also very important to comic-book movies in another way. Since “Thor” did so well at the box office, this may inspire filmmakers to give lesser-known characters a shot at the big screen, which many fans of the comic art form will be excited about. Hopefully, it also means that studios will begin to take more chances instead of sticking to the safe routine of origin stories and start to be more faithful to the source material, the comics.