Thor (2011)
Paramount Home Video
Cast: Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, Chris Helmsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins
Extras: Commentary Track, Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, Marvel One-Shot

For the past decade, we have seen superhero movies a dime a dozen. With the digital revolution in filmmaking, at last, came the ability to put to film some of the stories that had previously been limited by the laws of physics, nature, if not the universe itself. Unfortunately, with the deluge of superhero films also came a good number of ill-perceived ones, movies that were simply forgettable, others that were over-ambitious and others yet that were just plain bad. At the same time, the new sprung genre also created true gems, though at a much rarer frequency. Although I had pretty much given up on superhero fare myself, when "Thor" arrived in my desk, I was curious to find out where it would be located in the spectrum.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are the sons of the great god Odin (Anthony Hopkins) – as accorded by the traditional Norse myths. Odin is torn as to which of his sons to pass his empire on to, and to prove his mettle, the rash Thor starts a war with the Frost Giants, in hopes to once and for all destroy the threat they pose to Asgard.

Infuriated, Odin banishes Thor from the realm, sends him to Earth without any of his powers. Here, the former God of Thunder must prove his worth and redeem himself before his brother Loki takes control of Asgard, which will inevitably lead to the universe's doom.

Norse mythology has a lot in common with Greek mythology, and it has never been more evident than in this movie, as every god, every ability and even the similarities between Asgard and the Greek Olympus can no longer be ignored.

The movie itself is colorful and full of spectacular shots — as well as some rather mediocre computer graphics. The realm of Asgard, in particular, looks as plasticky and artificial as anything you've ever seen in a movie.

While not a bad movie as a whole, I found "Thor" to be somewhat unsatisfying nonetheless. The biggest problem lies in the story itself. Not only is it so highly predictable that you could turn off the movie after the first 10 minutes and correctly guess the complete story of the film, what I found worse is the fact that the plot is virtually non existent. About one hour into the movie I asked myself, "Is this really the main plot or is there something coming that is actually taking it up a notch?" All in all, I found the "Thor" is missing the mark with a weak plot that underwhelms viewers on the whole front.

Paramount Home Entertainment is delivering the movie in high definition with a massive punch. Incredibly detailed and entirely without flaws or speckles, the transfer is a top notch presentation that makes full use of modern video formats. Rich hues that leap off the screen, incredible contrast and black levels, combined with texture and definition that has been designed to dazzle, this transfer has it all.

The same is true for the audio track on the disc. Arriving as a DTS 7.1 HD Master Audio presentation, the track is bombastic and huge. With a wide dynamic range that gives your speakers a solid work-out, the track also shines with a solid frequency response, superb bass extension and the ability to render even the most subtle nuances in the mix with wonderful clarity. Dialogue is well integrated, making for a solid and enjoyable presentation.

The release comes with a number of bonus features, such as a commentary track by director Kenneth Branagh. Also included are deleted scenes and a number of featurettes covering various aspects of the making of the movie. Also included is a Digital Copy of the film on a separate disc.

"Thor" was not so much a disappointment, as it was an underwhelming experience. I felt the world and the characters would have lent themselves to a much better and bigger story than what was presented here. Despite Branagh's best efforts, the characters remain flat and not really all that interesting, reminding viewers throughout that this is nothing but a comic book adaptation. Anthony Hopkin's affinity of late, to play mostly small roles of lecturing patriarchs, while sporting virtually the same hairdo over again, doesn't help to make things better either.

So, in short, "Thor" is entertaining and a fun romp, but make sure you turn your brain off and don't expect to remember the film once it's over.