The Norse god plummets to Earth after his father, Odin, casts him out
Chris Hemsworth, Thor | GREAT ODIN'S RAVEN! Brothers Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) don't see eye to eye
Credit: Zade Rosenthal/Marvel Studios

STARRING Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman
DIRECTED BY Kenneth Branagh

First off, he’s not really a god. At least, he’s no more of a god than, say, Superman, who also hailed from a remote celestial world populated by high-powered pseudo-humans. But he still has a lot to learn about mortals when he plummets to Earth via a wormhole that links his home planet, Asgard, with ours, after his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), casts him out for his arrogance and belligerence. (Odin hopes his son will learn humility among the earthlings.) ”It is a kind of coming-of-age story. He has this great gift, this great strength, and pointed in the wrong direction it can be quite destructive,” says star Chris Hemsworth. ”He’s working out his relationship with the rest of the world, as well as what his responsibility is to it.”

Odin also strips Thor of his hammer, the source of his power, and sends it to Earth separately. It remains mystically locked to the ground, giving the plot an Arthurian ”sword in the stone” element. Thor can still throw a mean punch, but until he proves himself worthy of reclaiming his hammer, he remains just a man. That makes him vulnerable both to his malevolent younger brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who’s willing to wipe out Earth to become his father’s sole heir, and to the charms of a comely astrophysicist (Natalie Portman). ”It’s an origin story in a unique fashion,” says Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios. ”Thor is a hero who had powers his whole life, didn’t know how — or when — to use them, loses them, and because of that now needs to learn again.” — Anthony Breznican

  • Movie
  • 130 minutes