When reading the credits of “Thor” I was astounded to find Kenneth Branagh as the director. Written by Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz and Don Payne, this PG-13 retelling of the mythological story of the god of Thunder moves us away from Branagh’s typical link to Shakespeare and directly into the heart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his younger brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), are the Princes of Asgard learning how to be effective rulers from their father, King Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Many years later, when Thor is to be crowned king, his coronation ceremony is interrupted by a breech in Asgard’s security causing the arrogant warrior to take matters into his own hands. In a reckless fit of rage Thor ignites a centuries old war with the Frost Giants of Jotunheim ultimately resulting in his exile from Asgard to Earth.
While on Earth, Thor loses access to his hammer, the source of his unmatchable strength, and is lowered from god to mere human standards. It is here he meets scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who not only thinks he is an egotistical brut but belongs in a mental hospital. Eventually, however, Thor is able to convince her he is worth trusting and she ultimately comes to his rescue with perfect timing. Through Jane’s example Thor learns to put others before himself resulting in a series of events benefiting Asgard as opposed to his earlier actions which only brought harm.
I recommend this movie for teens on up. I enjoyed watching the larger then life characters on the big screen, but feel the effect will be just as pertinent from the comfort of your own home. The message of the importance of humility, especially in those in high profile positions, is impossible to miss as is the display of laying down your life to serve others even when they are wrong. Hint: be sure you watch all the way to the bitter end, even ALL the credits. Staying true to their reputation, you will not want to miss Marvel’s tantalizing hint into the next installment of their comic empire…Stephanie Spurgetis