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Ten Word or Less Review: Thor.  Not a chore.  Kind of a bore.

Beating up on Marvel’s Thor flick would be like mighty Thor himself taking time to wail on some puny mortal who bumps into him and makes him spill his coffee.  He could do it easily, effortlessly and leave nothing but a bloody pulp in his wake.  But why waste the effort on something so intentionally slight?  Thor is probably better than anyone ever imagined it could possibly be, but nor is it impressive in any useful way.  It stands as a shining example of how ‘okay’ but disposable the most touted event flick has become.  What also speaks volumes is that the best single scene in the whole movie is a throwaway joke involving the title character being run over by a truck.

Thor is saddled with the thinnest of stories.  If you watched a preview you’ve seen the whole thing.  Thor’s a jerk and he acts like an ass.  His Dad Odin, Anthony Hopkins, strips him of power and cast him down to Earth hoping he’ll learn not to be a jerk.  He learns not to be a jerk.  Everything is swell.  That’s actually only half the story.  The other half of the story involves a bunch of people in large helmets walking around really big sets.  This movie must set some kind of record for characters wearing oversized headgear.  I mean these helmets are absolutely freaking gigantic.  I think if I wound up in Thor’s home of Asgard I’d take up the chiropractic profession because everyone must have incredibly sore necks.  All the imagination went into the hats because there wasn’t much left over for Asgard itself.  It’s basically a big special effect that feels unlived in by anyone or anything.  Someone needs to count how many scenes take place in the cosmic door way room which looks like a big record needle that plays the universe’s biggest copy of Dark Side of the Moon.  There’s an entire mythological civilization at our doorway and everyone just keeps leaving from or going to this one room.  Imagine a Star Trek movie where everyone just kept going to and from the transporter room over and over.

Thor’s best parts are the jokey, fish out of water bits.  New guy Chris Hemsworth is having a grand old time playing the hammer wielding god, he basically holds the movie together, and his scenes when he arrives on Earth work better than anything else.  Director Kenneth Branagh wrings some laughs out of this dopey scenario by letting Hemsworth play things to the hilt.  Instead of having Thor fret and gawk at the new world he’s stuck in he simply barrels through it with unmatched bravado.  He acts like a magnificent, oblivious asshole and could care less that the world around him no longer bends to his whims.  The movie even dares to poke the smallest of jokes at its own expense.  Natalie Portman is here to stare googly eyed at the muscle bound god and pretend to be a scientist.  That’s the extent of her part.

Thor is slight, forgettable summer nonsense.  Like just about all of these Marvel properties, despite the budgets and supposed ambition, it all feels surprisingly small in scope and they all end with the same big fight scene.  I’m sure Thor will go on to future cinematic adventures, he’ll be an Avenger next year, and maybe with a  little tweaking they might get somewhere with this thing.  His first adventure though a limited adventure flick for kids and comic book fans.

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2 Comments

  1. Well, as a comic book fan, I thoroughly enjoyed it 🙂

  2. After watching Almighty Thor on SyFy I’ve decided this movie is an utter freakin’ masterpiece of subtle human drama.


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