Though I admire Kenneth Branagh as a director, and I was surprised to see him take on a project like Thor, I honestly was pleasantly surprised by how good the film was. I used to be able to count the really good superheroes films on one hand, now I think I will need two.
I could find very little to criticize about this film. The first couple of scenes throw out a lot to process. Thor is a sci-fi/fantasy film and therefore has a lot of explaining to do for the audience to understand the setting. This can get a little confusing and requires a practiced suspension of disbelief, but it doesn’t do much to spoil the rest of the film.
I loved the way this film was directed. Even though it was a superhero film full of action and special effects, the plot seemed deep, the characters real, and the climax extremely satisfying. Thor is filled with plot points that both excite and satisfy the viewer. Additionally the dialogue is frequently mixed with humor allowing for an entertaining experience.
The special effects, though frequent, do not distract from the story. In fact, I’d say they enhance the progression, and are quite exciting. The ending in particular, was extremely satisfying. It may have been full of special effects, but I was literally punching the air along with Thor’s hammer.
The actors were excellent choices. Chris Hemsworth, both looked and acted like a legitimate immortal. He was also able to make the progression from an arrogant prince to a humble superhero without making it look unnatural. Anthony Hopkins was a natural King and leader of a race of gods. And Natalie Portman was…well, Natalie Portman.
Overall, I would recommend this film to everyone, superhero fan or no. I would easily rank Thor with films like Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Superman: The Movie, Spider-Man, etc. It is among the best superhero films made to date.