Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 19
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
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For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

EENIE, MEENIE, MINIE MO: Odin (Anthony Hopkins, standing in front of the throne) is ready to retire and must choose his successor. He has to choose between Thor and Loki, however, when Thor almost causes a war between Asgard and the neighboring Frost Giants, Odin banishes Thor to Earth. To find out if Thor returns to Asgard to claim the throne, see the movie.

Thor: Hammer Wielding Marvel Comics Superhero Comes to Big Screen

Kam Williams

Although Thor was created by the legendary Stan Lee in the early sixties, it’s taken almost 50 years for the comic book hero to arrive on the big screen. The character was based upon the god of thunder in Norse mythology, but today he’s probably better known as a member of the Avengers, the intrepid team of crime fighting superheroes led by Captain America and that includes Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and the Incredible Hulk.

The adaptation was directed by four-time Oscar nominee Kenneth Branagh, and stars an Australian actor Chris Hemsworth in the title role. The supporting cast includes Academy Award-winners Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins, as well as Rene Russo, Jeremy Renner, Stellan Skarsgard, Ray Stevenson, Idris Elba, and Colm Feore.

An almost seamless mix of live-action and animated special effects, the film unfolds with an explanation of Thor’s back story before preparing us for the upcoming sequel, titled The Avengers, which is scheduled for release in the of spring 2012.

The movie unfolds in Asgard, a planet in a remote corner of the universe, where we find aging King Odin (Hopkins) trying to decide which of his two heirs, Thor or Loki (Tom Hiddleston), to crown as his replacement. He makes up his mind when the former’s warlike nature fractures his country’s fragile peace with a neighboring race of creatures called the Frost Giants. So, Odin decides to teach his son a lesson by separating him from his mighty hammer and banishing him to Earth.

When Thor crash lands in New Mexico, he is hit by a car driven by a trio of stargazers: Jane Foster (Portman), her ditzy sidekick Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings), and astrophysicist Dr. Erik Selvig (Skarsgard). Reduced to a mere mortal on this planet, a frustrated Thor must recuperate in a hospital until he’s well enough to search for his hammer that his father tossed elsewhere in the desert.

Meanwhile, trouble’s brewing back on Asgard where it has come to light that Loki is not really Thor’s brother, but is the adopted evil son of Laufey (Feore), the diabolical Lord of the Frost Giants. Can Thor find his powerful mallet and figure out how to return home in time to prevent the Loki from ascending to the throne?

The film is not only an introduction to Thor, but it also lays the groundwork for what’s in store from future sequels with the Avengers and other characters from the Marvel stable of superheroes.

Very Good (3 stars). Rated PG-13 for intense action and violence, running time: 114 minutes, distributed by Paramount Pictures.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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