Since the first X-Men film was released back in the summer of 2000 and was a success, there have been more comic book inspired movies than you can count on your hands and feet. Some of them made sense to make a leap to the big screen as they were already popular such as Spider-Man and The Hulk. While others were much less popular and didn’t fare well in their transition to the big screen such League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Jonah Hex. Thor rides the line between those two with mixed results.
Thor is played by Chris Hemsworth, a relatively unknown Australian actor. Playing the God of Thunder has to be a rather daunting task but Hemsworth does so with a great blend of confidence, intensity and just having fun with it. Anthony Hopkins plays Thor’s father, Odin, and he brings his usual excellent acting chops to the table. There are moments of cheesiness that creep in but for he most part Hopkins makes for a convincing, aging God who wants what’s best for his people. Natalie Portman plays Jane Foster, a scientist and Thor’s love interest. Portman is serviceable as Jane but her character felt underdeveloped. The "love story" between them felt rushed as well and rather pointless. Though she plays a somewhat crucial role in Thor, it didn’t feel like she was there to be anything more than Thor’s love interest.
Though Thor has excellent acting and tells an interesting origin story, it was definitely missing something. For all its attributes, all this movie ultimately feels like is a preface to next summer’s Avengers movie which will feature a roster of multiple superheroes. Much like Iron Man 2, it was too preoccupied with setting up other movies instead of focusing on the universe of the title character. It’s missing that certain indescribable quality that gives it a watchability that makes you want to see it more than once. Iron Man, The Dark Knight, X-Men 2, Spider-Man 2, all those movies had that quality but Thor comes up short. And yet, I still found it to be entertaining and better than a lot of other comic book movies that have come out in the last ten years. If you’re so inclined, be sure to check out Thor at the Cinemagic in Hooksett or Merrimack.