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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.67%
Worth A Look: 36%
Just Average46.67%
Pretty Crappy: 2.67%
Sucks: 0%

7 reviews, 33 user ratings

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by Rob Gonsalves

"I say thee nay."
3 stars

Those who find themselves as tired of comic-book movies as I am might also find themselves attending "Thor" for the same reason I did: it's directed by Kenneth Branagh.

The man knows battle scenes (Henry V), he knows pomp and circumstance (Hamlet), he knows romance (Much Ado About Nothing). Give Branagh a Shakespeare play and he's a god. But Thor, based on one of Marvel Comics' second-tier heroes, is a long, sad distance from the Bard. Still, I dared to hope. Branagh can be an earthy, robust director, and who better to oversee the power clashes of Asgard than the man who turned Hamlet into a glorious four-hour nonstop orgy of eye candy?

Branagh does not appear in Thor, and it could've used him. What we do get isn't shabby. Sick of brooding superheroes, I enjoyed Chris Hemsworth's interpretation of Thor as basically a jock too big for his britches, a powerful pup who'd rather set his land at war with the Frost Giants (the Frost Giants?) than suffer any insult to Asgard. Thor also likes to eat and drink to excess; he's a hearty Norse god who lets out a full-lunged laugh when he's up against a foe who might actually beat him. Hemsworth is immensely likable, as are most of his castmates; Natalie Portman, as Thor's mortal love interest, doesn't have much of a character to play but seems to be having fun (while her assistant, Kat Dennings, snarks around in the backgrounds of shots); Anthony Hopkins, as Thor's father Odin, gets his voice up impressively. A lot of the Asgard scenes are a matter of lavishly armored men belching fustian at each other, but Hopkins brings some wit and surprise to his intonations.

Thor has been banished to Earth for his aforementioned hubris, and his legendarily nefarious brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) gets busy in Asgard with murky plans involving the Frost Giants. (The Frost Giants? Really?) Eventually, Loki sends a big fire-shooting metal monster called the Destroyer to incinerate Thor in the New Mexico town where he ended up, and the spectacle has a deep-bass crunchy physicality. On Asgard, though, the action scenes are too obviously fully wrought in a computer, and the editor (Paul Rubell, who helped cut the equally unscannable Transformers films) turns everything into whirling, smash-and-grab gibberish. It's no use complaining about this, I suppose; this is how action films have looked for about a decade and will look for many years to come. They're edited for an almost elliptical impression of action, not for pace or clarity.

This is the fourth superhero flick actually to be produced independently by Marvel Studios, after the two Iron Man movies and The Incredible Hulk. All of them share the same universe, all point towards next year's Avengers movie wherein all the characters fight side by side, and all are pretty much affable and competent and nothing more. There's not a whisper of art in any of them, though I had hoped for some from Kenneth Branagh. I think I understand why he signed on for Thor, aside from the Asgardian paycheck: he must have relished the opportunity to make a mammoth blockbuster that would open in almost 4,000 theaters in the U.S. alone. (It's already his biggest hit, not even counting the overseas grosses.)

Fine, but in the end this isn't a Kenneth Branagh film; it's a Marvel Studios film. About all Branagh brings to it is a certain hairy-chested bravado and a lot of Dutch angles. I guess if you wanted to hurt your head you could try to fit it in thematically with his Shakespeare films, but the Bard, alas, did not think to include Frost Giants. Aside from the odd faerie or sprite, he wrote people. None of those here, really.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=20200&reviewer=416
originally posted: 05/08/11 20:24:05
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User Comments

1/22/19 morris campbell solid superhero flick 4 stars
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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