It was love at the first hammer twirl.
The moment Thor twirled his hammer in Marvel's latest superhero film Thor was the moment I knew this was gonna be good. You see, Thor twirled his hammer in the comics, and the very fact that director Kenneth Branagh chose to keep that seemingly insignificant detail from the comics was enough to tell me that Thor was in good hands, and that I was in for the ride of my life.
Thor is a pretty unique story to translate into film, but it all works here surprisingly well. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is the god of thunder, whose arrogance and warmongering has opened Asgard to war with the Frost Giants. The All-father Odin (played with subdued royalty by Anthony Hopkins) decides to teach his son a lesson, and casts him out of Asgard along with his hammer Mjolnir. Thor is sent to earth, where he's found by scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who helps him learn what it means to be hero. But Thor better find his inner hero quick, because his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston in a delightfully devious role) has sinister plans for Asgard, and he'll stop at nothing to fulfill it!
You'd expect a movie about gods to show us something godly. Thankfully, Thor wasn't short of fantastic imagery. Branagh doesn't hold anything back, showing us eye-popping sequences of gods who travel through space in rainbow bridges, live in gleaming cities in the sky and fight hordes of Frost Giants in a planet made of ice. Thor needed that kind of grandiosity to pull it off, and pull it off they did. It's safe to say that, in terms of scope, this is the biggest Marvel superhero film of them all.
The ensemble casting helped sell the sheer size of this movie, and everyone did their parts well. Sif and the Warrior's Three didn't add anything significant to the plot, but as a fanboy I guess I should be thankful they got parts at all. Mad props must be given to Tom Hiddleston's turn as Loki, who played the cunning trickster to a T and seemed to enjoy it. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better Loki than him.
Thor almost fell into the trap of becoming an extended Avengers trailer like the disappointment that was Iron Man 2, but thankfully Thor stands on his own. It's fun, it's fantastic, and every minute of this film gave me the goosebumps of a fanboy who just saw his comic book dreams come to life. This is how you make a superhero movie, and it's proof that grim and gritty movie superheroes don't always work. Sometimes, it's the truly heroic, hopeful ones that shine the brightest.. Highly recommended!