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While Marvel no doubt have a tome of self-contradictory lore explaining why a Norse god with wings on his hat fits into the same universe as Iron Man and Captain America, the fact remains Thor’s a mythological being with a magic hammer, and that makes him a hard sell.

The film half-solves the problem by making fun of him. After Chris Hemsworth’s beefcake deity is banished to earth for swagger-related crimes, the Viking angle is played for laughs: Thor smashing a coffee cup mirthfully and shouting “ANOTHER!”, Thor striding into a pet shop and shouting “HORSE!”.

It’s when we get to the green-screen emptiness of Asgard (apparently modelled on Mario Kart’s rainbow road) that the film loses its way, the carefully ironic tone drowned in camp, airy nonsense and weather-based fight scenes. If everyone in The Avengers movies teases Thor mercilessly he could yet be a watchable hero, but this solo effort fails to convince.

This text originally appeared in Official Xbox Magazine

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