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
Thor Movie Reviews: Most Critics Like it, But Not AO Scott
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)

(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.”

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  • 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.”
(Read more Thor stories.)

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