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Review: Thor 3D

Looking at Thor from pre-production there were several questions surrounding the film. Would Aussie Chris Hemsworth manage to be a convincing Norse God? Can Kenneth Branagh take comic-book material and turn it into something worth watching? Will the costume look as awkward as it did in the comics? Fortunately, the answer to those questions is yes, yes, and no.

It should have been obvious that Thor would naturally lend itself to Branagh's Shakespearean leanings. A royal heir cast from the kingdom, a murderous rivalry between two siblings, a man fighting a battle in a foreign land. All of the elements of a great drama. 

Thor is a brash and arrogant young man. During the course of a information expedition he re-ignites a war that has lasted for the ages. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) fed up with such childish antics does not approve and casts Thor from Asgard. It is here on Earth that the humor of Thor shines through. The value of Chris Hemsworth's charm is truly on display when he is interacting with his human counterparts. On Earth mere velcro can contain the mighty Thor - much to his surprise - but the scenes in New Mexico become a little dull as the more lively action takes place in the stellar Asgard. Thankfully the mainstay of the Marvel universe, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) is as sharp as his pressed suit.

You would think that Asgard in all of its CGI creation would be too alien to enjoy, but to the contrary many of Thor's best scenes take place there. Branagh knows how to capture the essence of the tension in hierarchies and with Odin, Thor and Loki (Tom Hiddleston), he has much to work with.

Tom Hiddleston is a newcomer of sorts with mostly television on his resume. His Loki is less of a prankster and more of a sociopath in Branagh's vision. His expanded role in The Avengers will be entertaining. The cast as a whole is great, but Portman's chemistry with Mila Kunis in Black Swan seemed more believable than her screentime with Hemsworth.

The 3D is not absolutely necessary to enjoy Thor but it is not to the film's detriment either. It is featured in a less obnoxious fashion than most of 2011's other releases and in the film's several transportation scenes is worth it.

Thor could be the most enjoyable comic-book film of the summer - or the year for that matter -  Chris Hemsworth is a star in the making and his continued adventures as the God of Thunder shall be anticipated.

***/****

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