Thor opens in the U.S. today and I think it'll be a thundering success. I saw it on Monday night at the Thor Hollywood premiere and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Marvel Comics God of Thunder was always going to be a hard sell and difficult to translate onto the big screen, he's a mythological Norse god who exists in a world of caped superheroes and has everything from cosmic and Middle Age style adventures.
I'm pleased to say that the director, Kenneth Branagh, has done a wonderful job and gathered a truly talented cast and created a fantastical world for Thor to inhabit.
Giant Thor billboard along L.A.'s Sunset Strip
What's also great is that he's managed to place this adventure into the same universe as Marvel's Iron Man and marry the conflicting worlds of technology and magic quite effortlessly.
In this movie, the magic of Asgard is explained away as advanced technology and the Asgardians themselves visitors from another world who the Norse people of long ago revered as gods.
Thor Hollywood premiere
Chris Hemsworth certainly looks the part of the titular hero with that killer, towering body, plus grunts his way through the action, yet brings some sensitivity and comic humour to the character too.
There's lots of entertaining action and a start that smartly resembles something out of Lord of the Rings, and yet when Thor is cast from Asgard for his arrogance and meets Natalie Portman's 'Jane Foster', there's romance and comedy to lighten the mood. I think there's a lot here for fanboys, and male and female audiences.
It's clever how Jane Foster is no longer a nurse as in the comics, but instead a 'Woman of Science', trying to understand the wormhole physics that transport the Asgardians, which will make it easier to fit her into a future Avengers movie as someone working with the technologically advanced S.H.I.E.L.D. organisation.
Thor's alter-ego 'Dr. Donald Blake' is also wittily referenced, but this is much more your Ultimates comics universe Thor and not some lame doctor who chanced upon a magical cane.
Tom Hiddleston makes for a fine God of Mischief, 'Loki', and I can't wait to see more of him in the Avengers that'll unite the likes of Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Captain America.
The movie manages to almost effortlessly establish Thor's universe, from worthy adversaries in the Frost Giants to Odin's relentlessly powerful 'Destroyer' armour. The 'Warriors Three' probably suffer the most in terms of characterisation, but I thought Jaimie Alexander did a great job as portraying the 'Lady Sif' as a strong shield maiden, with a hint of romantically pining for Thor from afar.
Idris Elba was a great 'Heimdall', Guardian of Worlds, even though in the comic books he's not black and is the brother of Sif.
I can't wait to see Thor again, not necessarily in 3D though, and I believe it more than deserves five ***** stars for pure entertainment value, but also accomplishing a huge triumph in making Thor relevant to a modern cinema going audience whose expectations of superhero movies has been raised so much in recent years.
I really look forward to seeing a Thor sequel and him in The Avengers movie in the future...