Thor Leaves Critics (Mostly) Thunderstruck
Reviews solid for likeable new superhero flick
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2011 11:25 AM CDT
In this film publicity image released by Paramount Pictures, Chris Hemsworth, left, and Anthony Hopkins are shown in a scene from the film, "Thor."   (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures-Marvel Studios, Zade Rosenthal)
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(Newser) – Critics are mostly quite pleased with Thor, the new Marvel superhero flick about a Norse god fallen to Earth, directed by Kenneth Branagh. The film currently sports an 81% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though its positive reviews seem to be more three-star than four-star. Here's a taste of what they're saying:

  • Thor “pulls off something I wouldn’t have thought possible: It restores the innocence to big-budget superhero mythmaking,” writes Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly. “The movie, though it’s often a very funny god-out-of-water origin comedy, has a stirring emotional core.”

  • Girlfriends will enjoy this one too, writes Peter Travers in Rolling Stone: “Thor, for all its digital sound and 3D fury, is a guy movie unafraid of showing its feminine side.” When romance gives way to fighting, Branagh displays “a class-act grasp of how action works best when it defines character instead of obliterating it.”
  • Andrew O’Hehir of Salon, however, wasn’t totally won over. “Audiences aren’t getting ripped off here,” he writes, but the movie is slightly disappointing. “Saying that Thor is half-assed would be too mean to everybody involved; it's three-quarter-assed.”
  • But that’s kind compared to AO Scott's reaction. “As I stumbled out of the IMAX … I thought of seeking shelter: in a nearby bar; under a passing bus; in the velvet shadows of an art house,” he writes in the New York Times. It's so soul-crushing because “nothing, at the level of execution, really has gone wrong.” The movie set out for “absolute and unbroken mediocrity,” and achieved it. “And that is depressing.”