The first big blockbuster of 2011’s summer season, Thor is a terrific mix of Norse legend and Marvel comic book excitement.
Starting in the present day as scientist Jane (Portman) and her boffin pals (Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) see weird stuff in the sky and then find a hunky man lying in the road as if he fell out of the sky (some gals have all the luck), the film then takes us to the planetary realm of Asgard, whose inhabitants are worshipped as gods down on Earth. There’s king Odin (Hopkins), his wife (Rene Russo) and their two sons – the thump-first-ask-questions-later Thor (Hemsworth, perfectly strong-jawed and six-packed) and his more pensive brother Loki (a suitably shady Hiddleston). Unfortunately the Asgards have enemies – the spooky frost giants – and when Thor goes over to their planet to pick a fight, his dad is not amused and casts his firstborn out and down to Earth, where he is separated from the mighty hammer that gives him his strength.
Which is when, of course, Jane and co come in. So on top of a Thor without his strength, we’ve got a fish out of water story, intrigue at the Asgardian palace back home, and even a potential romance between Thor and Jane. Epic, exciting and almost Shakespearean when you consider its flawed hero and tempestuous familial relationships (handy that it’s Kenneth Branagh in the director’s chair then), this spectacular-looking movie starts off slow (younger kids may yawn during the first bits on Asgard) but builds into a fun, action-packed mythic adventure that should entertain both adults and kids alike.
This movie is aimed at kids over 12.
The blue-faced frost giants, the enemies of Asgard, are quite creepy-looking and may scare younger children. Most of the violence is comic-book in style so shouldn’t disturb the over-8s. (As a rule of thumb – if you thought Iron Man was fine for your child to watch, they should be okay with Thor).
If you like this, why not try: The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, Clash Of The Titans 2010, Prince Of Persia, Avatar, Iron Man,