Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Thor Review

Some films grab you early on with a killer first act that instantly promises something special. Thor doesn't.

Some films don't kick it into high gear until the final act, with a stunning conclusion that elevates the entire work to a new level. Something I like to refer to as The Phantom Menace effect, you walk out of the theater buzzing about the end and you forget entirely that almost everything before it wasn't very impressive. Thor isn't one of those films.

My biggest problem with Thor, a fun slice of cinema that I like but certainly do not love, is that the middle portion of the movie is by far its strongest section. The way we first meet these characters is lackluster at best and the way we say goodbye to them is a major disappointment. In the end I couldn't shake a feeling of being entertained but let down, reflecting on the many scenes that were done so right and yet the complete vision just didn't rise up to expectations.

Once the material allows the performance to make us give a shit, we do because the characters start to get fleshed out and what we see is endearing. Forget throwing hammers and running down Asgardian Mario Kart Rainbow Road, give me more scenes in which the aesthetically pleasing couple of humans known as Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman are sitting next to a fire and start to connect on a deeper level. These are the type of sequences that are needed in a work of absurdity like a super hero comic book film, the moments in which the characters feel like real human beings and not just actors in ridiculous costumes. Unfortunately they are few and far between in Thor, giving way to more silly humor that isn't very funny and action sequences that don't exactly get my pulse racing.

Thor is a solid entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not even remotely close to their best achievement but also a whole lot better than its worst. Entertained? Certainly, but it feels like it could have been so much more. 



  1. Thor is my favorite Marvel character. It is the only Marvel comic that I still buy on a regular basis (along with Loki's comic). But the Marvel version still doesn't sit perfectly with me. Maybe its the costume. But what I believe it does get right is the relationship between Thor and Loki. Those are the parts that shine. Tom Hiddelston is phenomenal as Loki. Kenneth Branaugh was also an inspired choice for director given his Shakespearian background. I give it 4/5.

    1. See, neither Thor films sit right with me (I will see if my even harsher criticism of Dark World still applies when I revisit soon) and for me it is the tone. Not that I want dark and gritty like something a Zack Snyder would release, but just too many attempts to be funny and not enough of them land for me.

      I do agree though completely with the Thor/Loki dynamic and Hiddelston in general, he is fantastic. I am hoping for great things from Ragnorak because the Thor films have been near the bottom of the MCU rankings.