Taking a Look at the Second Trailer for 'Thor'

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With its release date of May 6, 2011 getting closer, the second trailer for "Thor" has finally debuted. Based on the character of the same name from the Marvel comic book series, he is a powerful but arrogant warrior who ends up reigniting an ancient war. For this, he gets cast out of Asgard and exiled to Earth. Once there, he learns what it means to be a true hero as the most dangerous villains from his home come to invade our world.

Whereas the first trailer focused more on Thor, the second starts off more like a fish-out-of-water story. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is riding in a car along with her father Professor Andrews (Stellan Skarsgård) and co-worker Darcy (Kat Dennings) when they run into Thor, who has just descended from the sky. When he announces himself to be this powerful warrior, Darcy shoots him with a taser gun, declaring that he was freaking her out.

Chris Hemsworth may be best remembered as James T. Kirk's father in the opening scenes of "Star Trek." Seeing him as Thor here makes me think that the filmmakers cast the right guy. Watching him suck down junk food in a local restaurant while maintaining quite the physique is funny, and Chris appears to be playing Thor with relative ease and never striving for laughs. I am convinced that he understands this comic book hero both inside and out, and that "Captain America" will have nothing on him. We also get to see a lot more of his upper body, which clearly has spent many hours at the gym.

Natalie Portman is also more prominently featured in the second trailer, building on how hot she has become thanks to her Oscar-nominated performance in "Black Swan." Among other characters introduced are Darcy, who appears to be the comic relief, wanting to post Thor's picture on Facebook. Darcy could turn out to be either the movie's most engaging or annoying character, but we'll have to wait and see. We also get our first look at the main villain of Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who wants to destroy Earth while Thor works to defend it.

Visually, "Thor" looks even more spectacular than in the first trailer, and it shows Branagh having more confidence with special effects than he did on "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein." The trailer does, however, end with this enormous creature rising up from the ground, reminding us of last year's "Clash Of The Titans" trailer and the release of the Kraken.

"Thor" is going to be in 3D, regardless of the fact it was filmed in 2D. The filmmakers have said that the special effects were always designed to be in 3D, but that doesn't do much to excite me. Hopefully both Paramount and Marvel Studios will have learned lessons from "Piranha 3D" in regards to image conversion than Columbia Pictures did with "The Green Hornet."

Overall, the second trailer of "Thor" makes it look to be one of 2011's most entertaining films, and it looks to be focused on characters as much as special effects, which is good; this doesn't look like another big budget movie that makes up with effects what it lacks in storytelling. I eagerly await its release with excitement even while working to keep my expectations in check. But with Branagh directing, "Thor" should be a lot of fun.

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