“Thor” Captivates Using Story Instead Of Special Effects

The company Marvel Entertainment has been cranking out blockbuster superhero movies for years, but in a sea of films, “Thor” definitely stands out as one of the most unique.  Not just because of famous actor turned director Kenneth Branagh or the star-studded cast of Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman and Tom Hiddleston, but  because of how Brannaugh brought the tragedy and breaking apart of an unstable family to the silver screen from an otherwise untouchable world.

Putting aside the copious amount of special effects and loud explosions throughout, what really makes “Thor” different from a typical superhero movie is its plot, where instead of focusing on a hero and his cliché adventure to save the Earth from some form of destruction, Branagh insists focusing on the brotherly relationship of Thor and Loki, the two main characters of the movie, as they fight bitterly for the love and appreciation of their father and King of the Gods, the Norse god Odin.

While the main story takes place in Asgard, the Land of Gods, and Jotunheim, the Land of Giants, there are brief scenes that take place in New Mexico.  The film begins with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) ready to take over the throne for his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), but after the enemy race of Jotuns raid Asgard, Thor races war and destroys the peace between the two races.  Odin exiles Thor to Earth, where he comes across Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), an astrophysicist.  All the while, jealous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), desperate for his father’s love and approval, takes advantage of the exile and seeks to rule Asgard in his brother’s place.  Needless to say, the plot resembles that of Shakespearean classic “King Lear”, but with more blurred distinctions between protagonists and antagonists.

While its title may imply that “Thor” is directed only towards fans of the comic book or Norse mythology, the movie includes complicated psychological issues such as child abandonment, isolationism, genocide, inferiority complexes and heroism.

While “Thor” is definitely one of Marvel’s deeper films, the movie can also be enjoyed simply for its combat scenes and in-depth special effects.  There are minor differences from both the classic comic series and the mythology it’s based off of, so hardcore Marvel fans may be disappointed with the modernization of the story.  Still, the actors and storyline of “Thor” really take center stage and seek to touch audience emotionally rather than deliver superficial thrills.