As superheroes go, Thor is probably quite far down the pecking order after the likes of Batman, Superman and Spider-Man, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be fun, and in the hands of director Alan Taylor, he’s a bit of a hoot.
In this second instalment of the goth Nordic drama, Thor (an earnest but hugely likeable Chris Hemsworth) is called upon to save not only his own home planet but also the entire known universe (including Earth) from the lord of the dark elves (an almost unrecognisable Christopher Eccleston). In order to do so he must engage the help of his broody brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and human love interest Jane Foster (Natalie Portman).
What follows is a bit of a 3D epic (all 112 minutes of it) which is beautifully art directed (think of Nordic runes rendered via supercomputer), packed with action, occasionally funny and really rather fun. Just don’t try to make sense of any of it because it doesn’t; it really, really doesn’t make sense. And in the final, epic battle where people keep popping in and out of the action as they are cosmically displaced, it may actually fry your brain. But there’s some nice use of London locations including the naval college at Greenwich and a supporting cast list that boasts the likes of Anthony Hopkins, chewing the scenery for all he’s worth, and Rene Russo in flowing wig.
This is not a postmodern remake of the superhero genre a’la the latest Batman and Superman franchises but more a throwback to those Saturday morning matinee movies where man with flowing locks and big hammer (well, more a mallet) takes on all comers and saves the day. Certainly not cerebral or intellectually stimulating, but it certainly gives you your money’s worth when you’ve got a big bucket of popcorn to munch your way through and those 3D specs firmly planted on the bridge of your nose.