Thor Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany, 8th September 2011.
The more I see Thor, the more I love it.

As an action film, it is no great shakes. The best of the heavy-metal comes in the first act, and the set-pieces from that point on get progressively more lacklustre in pure adrenaline terms. But Branagh's interpretation of Marvel's Thor is about much more than mere derring-do and elemental body-slamming. It is about the character, himself, and his epic journey from self-centred and arrogant heir to a godly throne to a man capable of humility and heroic self-sacrifice. Yet as noble as Branagh's themes are, they would account for nothing if it weren't for the immensely strong, wonderfully charismatic and thoroughly gripping performance of Chris Hemsworth. Each time I have watched the film, I have seen more in his portrayal. More heart, more soul, more genuine magnetism … and more splendid comedy value. In the arc of a movie-bound superhero who must undergo the typical voyage of self-discovery and also learn to love another – and do it all convincingly – he brings so much warmth and energy to what is, essentially, a heftily clichéd path. We see all of these transitions in his eyes and we truly feel the emotional trajectory that he is being swept along. Portman is good too, but it is a typically measured performance that simply hits the right notes – though it hits them well. Hiddleston is excellent as the deceitful and aggrieved Loki and Hopkins, after his hammy panto villainy in The Wolfman manages to invest some finely regal pride into the proceedings. And even if I am in the minority, I thought the cameo from Renner's Hawkeye was really cool.

The biggest surprise though, I feel, is how assured Branagh is with the material. And the best test of all is whether or not we want to see more of this Asgardian super-warrior with Branagh at the helm. For me, personally, this is an undisputed yes. Depsite the lob-sided action, Thor remains one of the most enjoyable films of the year and certainly one of Marvel's best efforts.

Their Blu-ray is no slouch in AV terms, but the apparent raft of extras is made up, primarily, of promotional dross. Sir Ken's commentary is a breathless riot of flowery soliloquies, but it is well worth experiencing though, and the deleted scenes are also very rewarding.

So, with such a great movie looking and sounding so good, by Odin, it's hammer-time!!!!

Thor comes very highly recommended.

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