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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.86%
Worth A Look: 35.14%
Just Average47.3%
Pretty Crappy: 2.7%
Sucks: 0%

7 reviews, 32 user ratings

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by Daniel Kelly

"Thorly decent"
3 stars

“Thor” feels more like an obligation than a work of passion, a blockbuster fashioned to help support Marvel’s forthcoming “Avengers” flick, as opposed to enthralling on its own terms. Overseen by Kenneth Branagh, “Thor” is a watchable romp that boasts some terrific production design and an engaging lead performance, but a rusty screenplay prevents it from hitting the same genre highs as “Iron Man” or Bryan Singer’s “X-Men” pictures. Granted, Thor was always going to be the trickiest Avenger to pull off competently, but even that can’t excuse the film’s messy and derivative script.

After leading a doomed attack on another race, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself cast out of the majestic realm of Asgard, and forced to take up residence on Earth. In his native land Thor was a reckless and powerful warrior, but stripped of his abilities and mighty hammer, he finds himself lost in this new alien world. Discovered by a struggling physicist called Jane (Natalie Portman), Thor quickly makes an impression on the young woman, but not before the S.H.I.E.L.D organization comes looking for him. Making matters worse is the situation in Asgard, as Thor’s father King Odin (Anthony Hopkins) begins to fade, leaving the throne to his confused and manipulative other son Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Loki views his earthbound sibling as a threat, quickly fingering him as a target for annihilation. Thusly it is up to Thor to protect both himself, and to defend the humans with whom he now resides.

Branagh has done a smashing job in realizing Asgard, bringing it to life with luscious detail and appropriate grandeur. Visually “Thor” is a marvellous film to behold, filled as it with superb CGI and imaginative imagery. Branagh has certainly stuffed the project with a decadent aesthetic, every frame buffered by lavish cinematography and triumphant production design. Asgard alone would put sets from “The Lord of the Rings” to shame, a layered and meticulously crafted fantasy world of unquestionable quality, and one improved through the use of 3D. The addition of the third dimension doesn’t always play to the movie’s benefit (cluttered action sequences), but it definitely provides “Thor” with the sense of scope its various environments demand.

The storytelling on show might appeal to comic book enthusiasts; sadly I don’t count myself amongst that demographic. For a Marvel novice the plotting in “Thor” is both unoriginal and uninspired, shoving the hero through a selection of formulaic arcs, before climaxing on a generic note of redemption. The writers do a credible job of fleshing out the title character and his mischievous sibling (portrayed well by Hiddleston), but other supporting figures are left to wither. Portman has enough bravado and personality to make Jane work despite having little to draw on, although her burgeoning chemistry with Hemsworth always feels forced. Hopkins could do Odin in his sleep (and at times it appears that literally is the case), but other thespians including Kat Dennings (still refusing to display range) and Stellan Skarsgard (thankless role) feel surplus to the screenplay’s limited requirements.

As the titular God of Thunder Hemsworth is fun, handling both the physical elements and softer fish out of water moments well. “Thor” is perhaps at its most enjoyable when exploiting its protagonist’s cluelessness for giggles, watching the Norse legend struggle with Earthly ways is something of a treat. Branagh also stages the set-pieces proficiently, especially an early one in which a band of Asgard’s finest warriors take on swathes of opposition. It’s a manic sequence, Branagh lacing it with threat and most importantly energy, all the while keeping his camera movements coherent. Some of the later action scenes feel a tad familiar (giant robots haven’t been fresh for about 50 years), but generally when it comes to exhilarating carnage “Thor” delivers.

“Thor” officially kicks the summer 2011 season into gear, and looks set to continue Marvel’s unbelievably lucrative box-office streak. Converting Nordic mythology into a cool 21st Century picture was always going to be hard, so the filmmakers should be chuffed they’ve nearly pulled it off. It’s a muddled and overstretched production with several fundamental flaws, but hey, at least it’s rarely boring. When it comes to an event picture that counts for something, right?

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=20200&reviewer=425
originally posted: 05/10/11 06:26:48
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User Comments

11/17/16 deepak koi he 2 stars
10/01/14 Horror Lover 3.5 stars. Solid enough comic book movie. 4 stars
6/23/14 Haley S. I loved this movie. It was funny and entertaining, and the plot was good. 5 stars
1/20/13 dmasz91 my fave superhero movie ever! and funny 5 stars
8/31/12 Dr.Lao Not as good as "Captain America" but better than "The Fantastic Four" 3 stars
7/20/12 Sean Harrison As if William Shakespeare wrote a superhero story. 4 stars
1/27/12 Kathryn Martinez Plot was enticing, but I thought the ending could have been different. 4 stars
12/24/11 debbie hodgdon so funny, great graphics, epic, my favorite!!! 5 stars
10/18/11 Magic While not bad, still pointless, only serves as a long advertisement to the Avengers movie. 3 stars
9/26/11 sake02mo Sasa Pudar 5 stars
9/10/11 Captain00Kirk Marvel succeeds yet again! www.youtube.com/Captain00Kirk 4 stars
9/08/11 Pret Not bad, but still yet another only half-good comic-book adaptation, something else please 3 stars
6/21/11 KingNeutron Thor(attitude) is a little too much like the guy from the "I'm on a horse" commercial. 3.5 3 stars
6/11/11 Rich Great costumes and sets! 5 stars
6/01/11 Chris White Best parts in the film are with Loki. 4 stars
5/30/11 g. Great movie. 4 stars
5/27/11 Shaun A A must-see epic film worthy of the character. 5 stars
5/23/11 Koitus I thought it was a good movie. Nothing "obnoxious / stupid" in the writing. Not great tho. 4 stars
5/21/11 Apollo Really really liked it. 4 stars
5/21/11 Darkstar Best Marvel movie so far. 5 stars
5/20/11 Faraz Fun movie. The armour looks real !! 4 stars
5/13/11 kaz LOVED IT!!! 5 stars
5/12/11 peter jokeson I agree about the lack of control Branagh had - But I only agree with that! Fun film 4 stars
5/10/11 gc Great action sequences, Hopkins was perfect for the role as Odin,overall very well done 4 stars
5/09/11 damalc i'll be damned. so that's what was in Marsellus' briefcase. 5 stars
5/09/11 Butt Boring. Really. Damn. Boring 2 stars
5/09/11 Leeee sit back, smoke a dun, and enjoy... 5 stars
5/08/11 jim huggins a respectful hero story admirably done. 5 stars
5/07/11 action movie fan not faithful to the comic but still fun to watch 3 stars
5/07/11 Toni Lots of fun! 4 stars
5/06/11 mr.mike Branagh brings it home. 4 stars
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  06-May-2011 (PG-13)
  DVD: 13-Sep-2011


  DVD: 13-Sep-2011

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