This one is great fun. I'm sorry it takes so much Computer Generated Imaging ("CGI") these days to recreate a comic book on film. Kenneth Branagh ("Hamlet" and "Sleuth") has done himself proud in the way he directed this lively romp, although I must say his humor and warmth shine best in the scenes that take place in New Mexico, particularly in that little one-horse town. He has a marvelous cast:
  • Chris Hemsworth ("Star Trek" - he was Captain Kirk's father!) is a blue-eyed Thor: brash, impetuous, hot-tempered and very funny.
  • Anthony Hopkins ("The Rite") is Odin, struggling with that age-old dilemma: is the son worthy of his throne?
  • Rene Russo ("Get Shorty") is Odin's wife Frigga. It's nice to see Rene working again!
  • Tom Hiddleston (lots of TV) is the trickster Loki: cunning, sly, ambitious.
  • Ray Stevenson ("Kill the Irishman") is Volstagg, one of Thor's loyal warrior gods. I recognized him despite the costume.
  • Idris Elba ("The Wire") is Heimdall, the guardian. I thought the voice was vaguely familiar; I'm sorry I missed him!
  • Natalie Portman ("Black Swan") is Jane Foster, a young astro- physicist. She is very earnest and appealing.
  • Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd ("Angels and Demons") is Erik Selvig, a scientist trying to prevent Natalie from doing something she might regret. I've never seen him be funny before and he's terrific!
  • Clark Gregg ("Iron Man 2") once again plays a government agent. I guess it's because he does it better than anybody!
  • Kat Dennings ("Charlie Bartlett") is Darcy, who brings the con- temporary world to Thor: she tasers him (!) and later on snaps his picture for her Facebook page.
  • Jeremy Renner ("The Town") has the best line. He is a marksman with Thor in his sights; he says "You'd better hurry up and tell me to shoot him, I'm starting to like this guy!"
Naturally the art is pure comic book, fantastical scenes in other-worldly places and LOTS of blowie uppie stuff. I got sleepy during the CGI, but really enjoyed the folks in New Mexico!