THOR

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) share some brotherly love, Asgard style.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) share some brotherly love, Asgard style.

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(12A) 114mins

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anothony Hopkins

AS a graphic novel (or as my wife calls them, comics) fan for many years I wasn’t really sure I’d enjoy Thor, as back in the 60s and 70s the character was arguably the weakest in the Marvel stable.

However, with Branagh directing and one of the top Marvel writers J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5 supremo) on board, this trip into myth and magic/science works pretty well.

Hemsworth is just about spot-on in the title role, though he doesn’t need to do too much apart from look big and muscular.

Without getting too bogged down in the detail, the plot sees Thor, impetuous and conceited, disobey his dad Odin (Hopkins) and is banished from Asgard to Earth.

There, a covert agency (S.H.I.E.L.D.) discovers Thor’s mighty hammer (also cast out and only able to be used by someone virtuous).

Back home, Thor’s brother Loki (Hiddleston) isn’t the nice chap everyone thinks he is. Queue for lots of punch-ups.

Will Thor change his ways and start to smile? Will he get the girl (Portman)? Will he come through victorious? What do you think...?

Of course Thor, Iron Man and (later this year) Captain America will all link up for next year’s Avengers line-up.

Half the fun of these films is looking out for the Avengers references and in Thor I spotted an obscure mention of the Hulk and a brief cameo from Hawkeye (no I don’t have an anorak).

The king of the graphic novel Stan Lee makes his customary Hitchcock-type appearance and, if you now what he looks like, Straczynski can be spotted in a crowd scene.

You also need to sit through several minutes of credits at the end for the regular taster - this time it seems to set up the story for the Avengers.

As for Thor the film - it certainly looks the part and there’s no letting up in the action stakes.

It doesn’t take itself too seriously thankfully and there’s some decent comic moments.

four out of five stars

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley