Thor

 

Paramount Pictures

 

Rating: PG-13

 

Reason for the Rating: Sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence.

 

Plot Summary: When mighty Thor is banned from Asgard and sent to Earth, he must defend his new home from other-worldly enemies.

 

PopFam Recommends: Boys of all ages will enjoy this latest super-hero flick. Actually, Mom's just might enjoy it too.

 

Norse and Greek mythology have never been overly fascinating to me. Oh, some of the stories are interesting, but these gods and their exploits never captivated me as they have others. That is, until I watched Thor, this Norse god who definitely has some super human abilities. Set in modern day, Thor explores "what if?". What if these gods we learned about as children were real? What if they came to earth today? What if the ancient met the modern?

 

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) lives an ancient lifestyle in Asgard, another realm of the universe. The son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), Thor is a warrior from birth. He loves to fight, and jumps at any opportunity to display his strength in battle. Which is a great quality for a warrior, but not so much for a king. In an attempt to teach Thor humility and wisdom, Odin strips Thor of his weapon, a magical mallet, and casts them both out of Asgard, sending them to earth in an atmospheric display of power. Which is fitting for the god of Thunder.

 

Upon reaching earth, Thor meets Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), an astrophysicist who has been searching for a link between earth and other realms. While out on a night excursion, she sees Thor fall from the sky, and isn't quite sure what to make of him. Let's face it, what would you think if you saw a man fall from the sky? She certainly doesn't believe he's Thor, but he can tell her what it was like to be in the middle of a lightening storm, so she's not letting him leave without some answers.

 

Thor couldn't leave if he wanted to. Part of the condition for his return, and for him to use his mallet again, is that he learns what it means to be worthy of the name Thor. So, until that happens, he's stuck out in the middle of New Mexico. Which, in this movie, is the middle of nowhere. Eventually, Jane doesn't want Thor to leave, because she thinks he's pretty amazing and wonderful. It doesn't hurt that he's built like a god, but his "ancient" manners and way of speaking are quite charming...if not hysterically out of place at times. Which was something very enjoyable and surprising about Thor. Kids might not fully understand the humor, but parents will find themselves laughing out loud at situations and dialogue.

 

The characters and their personalities, as well as the actors themselves, lend to chemistry between Thor and Jane and believable tension between Thor and his brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). What the actors did for the characters, CG did for Asgard. Magical, beautiful, and while not totally realistic, they enhanced the story and characters. Which is the way Asgard should look...other-worldly and unbelievable.

 

So, Thor is a Norse god who possesses superhuman abilities. A super hero. Which is what boys in general enjoy stories about. If you and your boys follow Marvel's super hero movies, you'll have fun discovering several nods to previous and upcoming movies, including Iron Man and other Avenger movies coming this year.

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• Thor's greatest power was his physical strength, yet his arrogance made him weak. He had to learn humility to pull the mallet out of the stone. What would Odin have you learn to pull the mallet out of the rock?

 

• Emotions can be a strong motivator for good or for bad. Loki's jealousy nearly ruined all of Asgard. How could he have handled this situation differently and had a better outcome?

 

• Odin isn't the only god who demands humility from his children. What does the Bible say about pride and humility?

 

--JW

 

Note: All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

Reprint an Article - Free