I couldn’t believe Rotten Tomatoes had handed out a 94% rating for a comic book movie about a Norse God. After seeing the hammer at the end of Iron Man 2, I was bracing myself for a mess: Thor was a relatively unknown (read third-tier) superhero who didn’t even share humanity with the audience, probably talked funny, and would likely be way over the top. A comic-book-loving friend who didn’t enjoy any other comic book movie (he liked Thor) didn’t exactly promote the film when he described it as being “dumb but fun”, and told me not to expect too much “it’s about a big bearded guy with a hammer”.
I was still struggling to reconcile Kenneth Branagh’s directorial role when I saw the movie. Apparently J Michael Straczynski (writer of Babylon 5) wrote the script, and while there are only a couple of minor surprises, the story was smooth and there weren’t too many leaps of logic. I wasn’t too pleased at how superficially the movie treated Thor’s friends, and didn’t like how little a threat the antagonist was. However the film treated the over-the-top Thor very cleverly by portraying him as a fish-out-of-water in the real world (and having two female characters drooling over him in every scene – which I thought was hilarious). There’s a lot of comedy in the movie. I did wish more of the movie occurred on Earth; the goings on of Asgard were too disconnected from my experience: people who talk weird and wear weird helmets and live in a showy city under a ridiculously pretty sky.