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The Marvel Comics superhero created by Stan Lee

  • (L-R) Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Anthony Hopkins as Odin in "Thor."
  • A scene from "Thor."
  • Chris Hemsworth as Thor in "Thor."
  • Stellan Skarsgrd as Professor Andrews and Kat Dennings as Darcy in "Thor."
  • A scene from "Thor."
  • Chris Hemsworth as Thor in "Thor."
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In this film version of the latest in the Marvel series of superheroes, Thor, the god of thunder, is sent from the mystical realm of Asgard (which looks really cool, like a Yes album cover) to present day Earth - New Mexico.

Much like how the criminals in Superman 2 were cast away and ended up crashing on Earth, Natalie Portman hits Thor with her truck after he makes a landing. As he gets up dazed, asking for “Hammer, hammer!” Her friend replies “Yes, you’re hammered. We can tell.” This is about the extent of the humor.

Character actor Stellan Skarsgard is wasted as the professor and mentor to Portman (he was great as the professor getting under Robin Williams skin in Good Will Hunting). Rent A Somewhat Gentle Man with Skarsgard - it was just released on DVD, and is one of my favorite movies of the year. Renee Russo (Tin Cup, Lethal Weapon 2,3) after a long absence from movies, makes a return in a small part. Unknown Chris Hemsworth is perfectly cast as Thor. He looks like Brad Pitt on steroids. Anthony Hopkins as the dad – is a very powerful king. The eye patch isn’t as cool as the mask he wore in Silence of the Lambs.

The movie is directed by Kenneth Branagh, who brought his Shakespearian touches to the Norse tale, although he's a better actor than director.

I laughed that the only song played in the whole movie is the horrible Billy Swan ‘70s hit I Can Help. I hated that tune as a kid, and didn’t like it in the movie (even if it was cued up with the line “I’ve got two strong arms” as locals tried picking up the huge hammer in the desert).

This movie reminds me a little of the last Harry Potter film – in the sense that it’s entertaining enough – but it’s just a big set up for the next in the series. It’s a cookie cutter super hero film, that’s just slightly better than Iron Man 2. It’s very forgettable; an average movie that’s a set-up for The Avengers (film debut in 2012). In its defense, it was probably the hardest of the comics to make into a cohesive story.

Stay for the credits to get the clue about the next movie, and don’t pay to see it in 3D. It’s not worth the extra couple of bucks, as the 3D was wasted yet again.

I’m giving this a C.

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  • Rating: 3 of 5