As a fan of the Noggin the Nog books, and someone who, because of this, ended up taking modules in Old Norse and Classics at University, I was pretty keen already - but throw Kenneth Branagh in as a director and I was sold. Popcorn in hand, I eagerly awaited some old-school action - deity style.
So this is the beef. The warrior Thor (Hemsworth) is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard by his father Odin (Hopkins) for his arrogance and sent to Earth to live among humans. Falling in love with scientist Jane Foster (Portman) teaches Thor much-needed lessons, and his new-found strength comes into play as a villain from his homeland sends dark forces toward Earth.
Well. Hmm. What can I say. A film which takes part in two realms has the effect of leaving the audience stuck in limbo. Just as you're getting into the CGI world of Asgard, the fantastic, soaring buildings, the impossibly beautiful people, the sheer volumne of gold - we're jarringly back in dull Arizona with Natalie Portman's dull dialogue. Put those warriors of old in the modern world and suddently, they both look silly (though Branagh's tongue in cheek enough to mention that as two coppers refer to them as Xena Warrior and Jackie Chan).
Things I liked: the Mario Kart style rainbow road which is gateway to the other nine realms. The smashing of coffee and demanding of more by Thor. The Metz style 'judder man' of the Frost Giants. Anthony Hopkins (always good) and the fact is was relatively short.
To be fair, I didn't really dislike anything, it's more that such a simple story and plot I could see lends itself well to comics, (and Noggin the Nog books) so no doubt it's been a challenge for Marvel Films to turn it into something which could match the other giants in their film library.
I'm more confused by Branagh's involvement - and surely continued involvement as the sequel was just a little bit too obvious.
Okay. I've found a dislike. Films which assume a. there needs to be a sequel, b. that you will watch it, c. and that you'll pay to watch it. Just don't do it, unless you're Harry Potter, then fair enough, you've got a good excuse. I kind of felt like they did a poor job with this film, because they knew there'd be another one - why not made the best film you can and assume NO sequel, then if it's successful celebrate with a better one. Franchising is the enemy of good cinema.
Overall 2.5 out of 5 - it was pretty entertaining, but I'll never watch it again