Review: Thor (2011)

Chris Hemsworth: just the most charming, perfect guy for this

An interviewer asked director Kenneth Brannagh how he could go from directing Shakespeare to low art like this. As only a classically trained British actor, writer and director could, Brannagh pulled him up, pointing out that the question presumed there was a difference, that one was “better” than the other, and he didn’t see it that way. It took someone from his background, in which classic mythology and bawdy comedy are equally esteemed, to make Thor as enjoyable as I found it to be.

I never read the comic; I can’t speak to how true this film is to its source material. I only watched it to get some background before watching The Avengers movie – and yet I really dug this film in its own right. The moment from which I was hooked was when Thor, in an Earth hospital, is sedated mid-rampage. The pacing and tone of that one moment made me feel I was in good hands – that there’d be a deft balance between the original mythology, cheap laughs, and fan service.

The conceit of the story itself is a little blah, but Brannagh has real fun with it and a clear desire to address all its elements as expertly and caringly as possible: the solemnity of the family drama, the laughs, the action, the romance, and of course the character development of Thor.

And isn’t Chris Hemsworth just the most charming, perfect guy for this role (and the scene-stealer in others).

I’m glad I did see this, actually – if for nothing else than the fact that I partially agree that The Avengers, which I enjoyed even more, is a better Thor 2 than Thor 2