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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.86%
Worth A Look: 35.14%
Pretty Bad: 2.7%
Total Crap: 0%

7 reviews, 32 user ratings

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by Marc Kandel

"The pen is mightier than the hammer, except when used like a hammer."
3 stars

I liked “Thor”. Let’s get that out of the way. I kinda knew I would going in, because who the fuck makes a movie about Thor? Directed by Kenneth Branagh no less? One please.

So why didn’t I love it?

Ten minutes into the story, Frost Giants, enemies of the Asgardians (Thor’s people) attempt to steal a powerful weapon. They fail, but not before murdering two guards. Thor and his father Odin bitterly argue about retaliation and consequences. It’s all lofty-sounding rhetoric about “Keeping the Peace” or “Appearing Weak” tossed back and forth… over two dead men on the floor whom even the cameras can’t bother to remember.

What were their names? Did they have families? Thor doesn’t give them a glance; he’s all about teaching the Frost Giants a lesson. That’s bad, but perfectly in character as Thor is the guy needing to learn about caring for others. The real problem here is that Odin doesn’t appear to give a shit either, and he’s the one who’s supposed to be imparting Thor with wisdom and conscience. Odin’s focused on the big picture. I get it. But by ignoring the small tragedy right at their feet he misses an opportunity to put a face on Thor’s heedless warmongering. That’s four lines of dialogue, maybe five. Less than 20 seconds of screen time: “Thor. These men. Imagine them dead in the middle of the streets of Asgard. Alongside our friends. Our women, our children. Multiplied by a thousand. That is the consequence of your pride, the price for “Asgard’s Honor.” Shit that took me all of a minute. But hey, I’m not some hotshot screenwriter, I’m just a guy with 6-12 bucks in his pocket who’s supposed to want to buy, and in turn buy-into your product.

And from then on, despite the intoxicating affability of Chris Hemsworth, a great supporting turn from Tom Huddleston as the bad guy and a bouncy script that juggles visuals and events on two wholly different worlds ably, I can’t get over everyone missing the forest for all the trees. As jovial as Thor is, he’s still kept at a lukewarm distance from the earthlings for whom he should be developing affection until somebody looks at their wristwatch, sees that the film is almost over and its self-sacrifice time.

Don’t let the last 10 minutes of most Marvel films fool you. The heart of a great superhero film isn’t pounding the shit out of a bad guy; it’s about helping people. You miss that, you’ve missed the point. I never got those wonderful gooseflesh rippling highs I felt when Superman saves Lois and stops the helicopter from crashing into the crowd or when Spidey stops two kids from getting run over in the street; because those films knew these guys are at their best when they’re saving others, and the great moments were when we took a few seconds to put a face on those being saved. Thor and his friends yell very loudly for a small town to evacuate and so it does, helped along by a few explosions sent their way. At the brisk pace the movie maintains, I wouldn’t have minded a few more moments that didn’t keep the hero at arms length from people in need.

“Thor” is a good time. But it lacks those elements that will have you cheering and warmly remembering it.

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originally posted: 09/16/11 09:46:34
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User Comments

11/18/16 deepak koi he 2 stars
10/02/14 Horror Lover 3.5 stars. Solid enough comic book movie. 4 stars
6/24/14 Haley S. I loved this movie. It was funny and entertaining, and the plot was good. 5 stars
1/21/13 dmasz91 my fave superhero movie ever! and funny 5 stars
9/01/12 Dr.Lao Not as good as "Captain America" but better than "The Fantastic Four" 3 stars
7/21/12 Sean Harrison As if William Shakespeare wrote a superhero story. 4 stars
1/28/12 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
10/19/11 Magic While not bad, still pointless, only serves as a long advertisement to the Avengers movie. 3 stars
9/27/11 sake02mo Sasa Pudar 5 stars
9/11/11 Captain00Kirk Marvel succeeds yet again! 4 stars
9/08/11 Pret Not bad, but still yet another only half-good comic-book adaptation, something else please 3 stars
6/22/11 KingNeutron Thor(attitude) is a little too much like the guy from the "I'm on a horse" commercial. 3.5 3 stars
6/12/11 Rich Great costumes and sets! 5 stars
6/02/11 Chris White Best parts in the film are with Loki. 4 stars
5/30/11 g. Great movie. 4 stars
5/28/11 Shaun A A must-see epic film worthy of the character. 5 stars
5/24/11 Koitus I thought it was a good movie. Nothing "obnoxious / stupid" in the writing. Not great tho. 4 stars
5/22/11 Apollo Really really liked it. 4 stars
5/22/11 Darkstar Best Marvel movie so far. 5 stars
5/21/11 Faraz Fun movie. The armour looks real !! 4 stars
5/13/11 kaz LOVED IT!!! 5 stars
5/13/11 peter jokeson I agree about the lack of control Branagh had - But I only agree with that! Fun film 4 stars
5/11/11 gc Great action sequences, Hopkins was perfect for the role as Odin,overall very well done 4 stars
5/10/11 damalc i'll be damned. so that's what was in Marsellus' briefcase. 5 stars
5/10/11 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
5/08/11 action movie fan not faithful to the comic but still fun to watch 3 stars
5/08/11 Toni Lots of fun! 4 stars
5/07/11 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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