Movie Review: Thor

THOR - I'll admit it was about a week ago that I saw the film, but I think that has helped to give me some perspective on its lasting effect for me. That said, here's the breakdown on my review of Thor.
STORY: The story was pretty solid combining several versions of Thor's mythology according to Marvel. The characters felt authentic, and the meshing of the two worlds (Asgard and Earth) seemed to clash much less than I would have expected. As one might have guessed, however, its a tough task to take something as wildly fantastic as Thor's world, and prevent it from seeming cartoony or ridiculous. Fortunately, I felt it was handled pretty well. While at times characters seem to be far less affected by encountering gods than one might expect, I can't say I much cared. I was pleasantly distracted by the themes of the story, and how they played out on screen.
PRESENTATION: The visuals of Asgard and its counterparts were truly epic. I still can't get over how realistic CG environments are becoming. I truly felt like I was in the spaces they imagined. The costumes were also equally epic. I can't say however that they felt natural outside of Asgard. While the brilliant color palette of Thor's costume worked well against others in his world, when he was on Earth the outfit seemed to stick out like a sore thumb. I'll say that this was certainly a tough challenge for the filmmakers: to create an authentic fan pleasing costume and still have it fit into a realistic modern earthen setting. All qualms aside it plays out very well, but I did sometimes find myself distracted by the crayola reds and blue against the more subtle complex sepia tone of the desert backdrop.
ACTING: I found the acting in Thor to be one of the most pleasant surprises. Chris Hemsworth (who I've never, ever heard of) carries himself with a sly wit and charm befitting of a fallen god. Equally impressive is Tom Hiddleston as Loki. He had all of the whiny angry child angst and lust for revenge one could want from a slighted younger brother god-type guy. I will say that oddly enough performances from the vets like Anthony Hopkins (Odin) and Natalie Portman (Jane Foster) seemed rather subdued. I'm not sure if this was to allow the newcomers to take center stage, or a lack of meaningful scenes. Either way I never found myself cringing about lame one-liners or ridiculous leaps of logic more than once or twice.
OVERAL: 7.5 / 10 - I'm being a bit harsh here, but I think that while Thor has some impressive substance and action, it falls just short of transcending its genre. This wouldn't matter as much had we not already been blessed with the likes of Nolan's The Dark Knight. Unfortunately the bar has been set pretty high. That said, Batman is inherently set it the real world with no godly powers or wild outfits (save one), and Thor comes impressively close to being a great movie, given that it encompasses such fantastical characters and visuals. It could have easily been a cheesefest, and yet was not. I'd say, mission accomplished.