Call me a comic nerd of the highest order, but it is true that I go weak in the knees whenever a character out of the 'Marvel Universe' comes to a big screen near me. And Thor, one of their rare characters who tend to speak Shakespearean English, is no different.

The movie has neither the brooding nature of the 'Dark Knight', nor the vivaciousness of the first Spiderman movie. But what this origin story (the opening movie in surely what is going to be a franchise) does have is its heart in the right place.

For the uninitiated, Thor is the Norse god of thunder (played by the not-much-tested Australian actor Chris Hemsworth in his first starring role) who lives in the planet of Asgard. His father Odin (the fanboy's dream Sir Anthony Hopkins), another powerful god, has an uneasy truce in place with the frost giants, who have been trying to capture all lands on all nine realms with the help of a sacred relic — the Casket of Ancient Winters. The giants, defeated by Odin in an epic struggle, have since tried to exact revenge. They are led by Laufey (Colm Feore).

The peace is shattered when Thor, with a group of his warrior friends, travels to the ice giants' lair to question them about their latest attempt at stealing the relic. Some sensational action shots later, Odin interferes and saves his son's hide.

The furious father banishes Thor to Earth for his arrogance and renders his magic hammer Mjolnir — the source of all his power — useless by casting a spell on it which will allow only the worthy to wield it.

The suddenly earth inhabitant Thor bumps into a scientist, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), and her two co-workers. A romance develops between Thor and Jane. Meanwhile the government is on the hunt for Thor and there's trouble brewing in Asgard as well. Without giving too much of the plot away, Thor manages to skirt the trouble and save the day.

The movie wisely incorporates Thor into the present world, rather than put him into the prehistoric or futuristic times. Hemsworth brings a level of fun to the title character (unlike his comic book avatar) while Portman plays the role of a star-crossed lover to perfection. The chemistry between them crackles.

While my friends felt the costumes were a bit over the top, I felt it added a dash of drama to the proceedings. Some of the action sequences, within the ice realms, were truly breathtaking.

Having said that, watching the movie in 3D was not as great as I expected it to be. I later learned it was converted to the 3D format AFTER the movie was shot in two dimension. Visiting a 2D movie screen will not make you miss out on thrills.

Signing off, I say “Thor is definitely not a bore”.

Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars. If you're a Marvel Comics fan, you'll appreciate the movie's milieu. For most everyone else, it's regular popcorn-Pepsi fare.

–    Taita TS

Thor is now showing in theatres across the Gulf and in Cinescape theatres in Kuwait.

Images: Thor

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