May 6, 2011 Thor
Studio: Paramount Pictures Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence.
The rich history of Marvel Comics is once again the inspiration for a big screen adventure in "Thor."
The Norse god of thunder (Chris Hemsworth) is set to ascend to the throne of Asgard. But a reckless act endangers the kingdom, and forces his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) to make a difficult decision.
The All-Father strips Thor of his power and his enchanted hammer Mjolnir and banishes him to Earth. It is a lesson designed to teach his son humility. If Thor can somehow achieve that goal, then his power and his mystic hammer will be restored to him.
But it's a bumpy road for the god turned man. He meets astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) mere moments after arriving in the New Mexico desert. Actually, she hits him with her car, prompting a visit to the local hospital.
Once he regains his senses, Thor sets out to reclaim his hammer and birthright, and save Asgard from foes without and within.
Unlike the creators of "Iron Man" and "The Hulk", director Kenneth Branagh had to somehow figure out a way to marry the splendor of immortal beings with the common people of our world.
And he had to do it without everyone looking ridiculous in the process.
Branagh accomplishes that feat. Scenes set in the home of the gods come off feeling genuine....as real as the struggles of the now-mortal Thor as he attempts to find his place in the human race.
Both realms are threatened by Thor's brother. Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who is scheming to grab the throne for himself. The god of mischief is a formidable foe as he weaves a web of deception.
"Thor" is another positive step in Marvel's plan to create the ultimate super team movie, "The Avengers."
The costumes, music and special effects are dead on, but most importantly, the script, direction and performances elevate this story a great deal. Put it all together and "Thor" is a smashing success.
Hemsworth's thunder god of starts off arrogant and brash but eventually he learns the power of serving others. The film's supporting cast is also very impressive. Portman, Hopkins and Stellan Skarsgard give meat to the story...whether the action is taking place on Earth or up above.
On my rating scale, "Thor" hammers a HOME RUN.
And stick around for the credits, because there is a secret
scene at the end of the film.
HELL'S KITCHEN Tonight at 8:00 PM 8 Chefs Compete
The chefs create ethnic dishes with select ingredients; a team falls behind before dinner service begins