“Thor: The Mighty Avenger” (2011)– Movie Review

While the movies aren’t always perfect, Marvel seems to have it figured out.  Audiences want consistency.  It’s worked for the Harry Potter movies and now, Marvel Studios is working it on a whole new level that DC Comics just doesn’t seem to get.  I checked out “THOR”– finally– this weekend.  Coming into this summer, this was one of the movies that I thought could really suck it up.  Thankfully, while it’s not exactly a thought provoker like, say– Inception– it entertains both as a movie and as a set up for next summer’s The Avengers.

Growing up, Thor wasn’t one of the comics I read a whole lot, so I can’t speak much for continuity with the books themselves.  But it doesn’t seem to stray TOO far from the comic source material anyway.  Comic fans will appreciate the nod to Donald Blake.  In the movie, Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, who you may remember as Kirk’s dad at the beginning of Star Trek, is the God of Thunder, son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and brother to Loki (Tom Hiddleston).  He is the heir to the throne of Asgard, at least until his foolish pride triggers a war with the Gods old enemy, the Frost Giants.  As punishment, King Odin strips Thor of his powers and banishes him to Earth.

On Earth he meets Dr. Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman; and her team of scientists, friends, etc.  Together they help Thor as he tries to recover the source of his power, the Hammer of Mjölnir, which crashed in a New Mexico desert and is now being guarded by S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Coulson (same character from the Iron Man flicks).  In fact, if you caught the scene after the credits of Iron Man 2, it will make much more sense here.  Back in Asgard though, betrayal is afoot as the war with the Frost Giants intensifies.  Thor must learn humility before he is able to regain his power and stop evil forces from destroying both worlds.

I won’t give away what little plot there is.  This movie serves primarily to introduce audiences to Thor because as the closing credits clearly state: Thor will be back next summer in THE AVENGERS, which will unite Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Hulk (Ed Norton Jr. err– Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Captain America (Chris Evans)– who gets his own movie in July.  Thor also serves to introduce us to Hawkeye, in a special cameo played by Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner.  Hawkeye serves no real purpose here, but he will be in The Avengers so his appearance is a bit of a plus for fans of the comics/movies.

Thor is a lot of fun, with great effects and a good bit of laughs.  Hemsworth is pretty good as Thor and Hiddleston is subtly good as Loki.  It’s not real deep though and at times is a bit slow– but again, its just the tip of the Marvel iceberg to get audiences ready for The Avengers and in tone is on par with the past Iron Man flicks and the Hulk.  Tying all of these movies together with consistent casting and cameos by characters from movie to movie is what will make it all worth while.  Stay tuned for an after the credits scene that sets up some future plot points for both Captain America and The Avengers.

DC Comics should take note.  With a third Batman and a new Superman flick coming next summer, there has already been talk of a Justice League movie, that will NOT have anything to do with the Bats and Supes as appear in their own flicks.

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