Written by Joe the Revelator
For someone who has read more Norse mythology than Thor comics, watching the Marvel adaptation became an exercise in word association into nerdy Norwegian. Hannibal Lecter talking about frost giants, Asgard, and Jotunheim comes off as well as Star Trek's liberal use of scientific jargon. Regardless, Thor is a fantastic looking movie.
Thor, the sponge-brained quarterback prince of Planet Viking, struggles to prove himself worthy in the eyes of his father. His attempts to display kingly might come off as vain and vicious, as he slaughters his way through the ghettos of the ice giant's world; a world which the old king had already conquered and subjugated.
To punish Thor, King Hannibal strips Thor of his powers and banishes him to the realm of Earth through an intergalactic ray gun, sending his signature hammer after him with a charm that only a virtuous man can wield the hammer and thus carry Thor's godlike powers. The king's second son Loki, who is literally an adopted ice giant in human form and looks as sinister as Satan's goatee, is left in Asgard to help rule in Thor's stead. How could this possibly go wrong?
Once on earth Thor is met/hit by a trio of twits who, in the most heartwarming way, teach him the ways of our planet. Most of this is done by way of witty dialogue and watching Natalie Portman make eyes at the big blond ape. Their mission, which is thwarted by S.H.I.E.L.D. becomes the recovery of Thor's hammer which is lodged in the middle of a crater where it landed.
If I sound at all hostile towards Thor so far, it may be because I went back and read a few comics after the fact. In the panels the story didn't seem quite so translucent. And Thor's revelation and trial over goodness versus ego had more weight. In the movie he charges after the killer sentinel (G.O.R.T.) sent by not-evil Loki, with almost the same abandon as when he thrashed the ice giants. The difference here is that he lacked his god powers.
Smite the with thy righteous hammer
The movie itself looks pheonominal, from the halls of the gods to the rainbow bridge, to the gold-clad gate guardian who looks like Isaac Hayes on PCP (I imagine this is what he actually does in heaven).
If not for any other reason, watch Thor for the amazing CGI or the cutesy relationship between man-child Thor and the lab mouse Jane. For me, this movie serves one valid purpose; to connect the dots when the Marvel mash-up movies involving S.H.I.E.L.D. come out.