It’s hammer time! Check out my non-spoiler review of Thor.

I finally got a chance to see Thor! Here is my non-spoiler review:

History has a way of repeating itself. Around a year ago I was sitting in a movie theatre wearing a pair of uncomfortable 3D glasses, watching some talented actors deliver some equally uncomfortable performances. Liam Neeson missing the mark as Zeus, Ralph Feinnes hamming it up as Hades, and Sam Worthington looking lost and confused without the direction of James Cameron.

The visuals fell flat, the dialogue was dreadful, and the costumes were laugh-out-loud bad.

With Clash of the Titans a faded memory, this weekend I once again donned the plastic spectacles to watch a tale of gods quarreling amongst each other, and the mayhem that ensues when their conflicts spill over to earth.

Bracing myself for an epic fail

I have to admit that when I heard Thor was coming to the big screen I was more than a little skeptical. Bringing the fantastic world of Asgard to life is a daunting task in itself, but populating that world with gods dressed in some pretty strange looking costumes, and giving them a compelling story, could be nearly impossible.

I was pleasantly surprised that Thor went way beyond all my expectations, and worked for me on every level. This is one of those rare comic book adaptations where everything just fell into place. Like Jon Favreau deftly did with the Iron Man franchise, director Kenneth Branagh struck a near-perfect balance between action, humor, and drama.

The good


Seamless special effects. Incredible art direction. Well-directed action. Costumes that were true to the source material but actually came across well on the screen. The list goes on and on…

And of course plenty of creatures getting smashed with a huge hammer.

The casting was spot-on. Playing Odin, Anthony Hopkins turned in a crackling performance that was larger than life when necessary, but just restrained enough to avoid going over-the-top. Natalie Portman breathed life into the non-descript physicist Jane Foster, giving her some much needed texture. And Tom Hiddleston was creepy, yet masterfully understated as Thor’s conniving brother Loki.

But relatively unknown Aussie Chris Hemsworth stole the show for me, and held the film together as Thor. Much less experienced than many of his on screen counterparts, Hemsworth was able to navigate a difficult character with multiple layers – crafting a convincing transition between a brash entitled jerk, to a lovably clueless outsider, to a hero searching for redemption.

The bad

Thor gets knocked out one too many times in a comedic manner, which was just a tad more humorous that it needed to be – especially given the tone of the rest of the film. This, however, is a minor quibble, and it’s completely forgivable.

The Baffling

If you’re not a hardcore Marvel fan, you will likely be scratching your head at the ‘bonus content’ that appears after the credits roll. But stick around anyway…it will get you pumped for The Avengers in 2012.

Should you see it?

Yes. Hell yes. This was the most purely entertaining film I’ve seen since Iron Man 2 over a year ago, and I would recommend it to comic fans and non-comic fans alike.

Thanks for reading!

As always, I love you guys…
– Blake xox

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9 Responses to It’s hammer time! Check out my non-spoiler review of Thor.

  1. DAMM says:

    I completely agree with your assessment with my one quibble being Portman’s performance. A little wooden for me. But my parents, myself and my children all enjoyed it! 3x the generational fun.

  2. Michael says:

    I am a bit rusty on my Marvel but wasn’t that the “CC”?

  3. Jesse Acosta says:

    Great review, I really enjoyed the film, it was a lot of fun! I’m one of those guys who just loves going to the movies in general, it’s the atmosphere, the popcorn, and the loud sounds and giant visuals. This movie was definitely more than I ever expected, I wasn’t at all sure how they could get all of Thor true to it’s comic origins, plus make it work on screen, but somehow managed to work. And boy did it work.

  4. Jonathan says:

    So difficult to really get into the nitty gritty of the movie without going spoilery, so I won’t. I thought it was a top movie, and most of the essential elements of a Thor story were there. I have a few quibbles, but they relate purely to where the movie has stepped aside from the ‘lore’ slightly, but they did the same with Iron Man in a few areas too, at no cost to the story.
    Probably the biggest problem was pace. There was a LOT of story, and character development required for the main plot that felt a little rushed, but it’s a movie, and these sacrifices have to be made sometimes when you have that much going on. It’s probably why Natalie Portman might have seemed a bit – not ‘wooden’ – but a little ‘flat’. Not enough time to explore her character and that of the ancillary cast – Warriors Three, Heimdall, etc.
    I also think that it slightly undermined a cracking performance by Tom Hiddleston, who without a doubt played a blinder. There was no pantomime cackling maliciousness in his Loki, just an excellently Machiavellian schemer, with a hint of morality and frailty in places. More of the mischief and less of the outright evil that the comics often play to.
    But, I am fleshing out very minor niggles. Well worth the cost of admission, and I would be inclined to see it a second time.

    The only dampener for me on the whole thing was the 3D which didn’t feel like it was adding anything to the movie except a headache at the end. Save the extra money and potentially the need for painkillers, and check it out in 2D.

  5. philbyday says:

    Since my take on Thor might be condidered a bit spoilery, I won’t attatch a link on my views on the film. What I will say is….w/ this movie, I understand better the term, fan service! Having three antagonists was a bit much. More seemed 2 be stressed on bombast & eye candy, than characterization.
    Like u Blake, I thought that the “humor” was overdone, bordering on slapstick. Unlike u, I thought most of the acting was phoned in, w/ the exception of Heimdal, the lead Frost Giant & especially Loki! Chris played Thor as if he were playing Hercules disguised as Thor, and the fact that a potential love triangle wasn’t explored is almost un4givable.
    Pretty much, other than that I thought it was an entertaining movie. 🙂

  6. Hmmmm…..3-D. You didn’t say anything about 3-D. Come back and tell us about the 3-D! ComicBookGrrl…ComicBookGrrl……oh damn!

  7. Brett DaSilva says:

    I thought the movie was really good. Thor is not one of my favorite characters from Marvel, but seeing him do his thing on the big screen was awesome. The effects were great. I thought Jotunheim and Asgard looked great. I think a lot of the comedy came from Asgardians being fish out out of water on earth. Thor was definitely one of my favorite Super Hero movies. If the others coming out this summer are half as good it is gonna be a good summer.

  8. IGPNicki says:

    I have to agree with other commentors about the pacing. I read later that the script was originally only going to be set on Asgard and that’s obvious int he film by the pit stop treatment that Earth is given in the film. Not to mention the underdeveloped relationship between the two leads. It’s weird because I think more time was spent with SHIELD than with the main Earth characters.

  9. Steve Wiley says:

    Finally caught Thor last night. Actually intended to see Raider’s of the Lost Arc (our Movie Tavern does Retro cinema), but it was sold out so we jumped on Thor (and boy did that hurt!). All I can say is WOW. It was (almost) everything I wanted it to be. There was a bit too much dead space in the middle, though. I was so stoked after the movie that I dug out my coveted box of Thor comics and thumbed through them for a while (and ROM and Guardian’s of the Galaxy and Dr. Strange and…). And yes, I stayed until the end to see the surprise; it was worth it, thanks! I may have to write up my own review now!

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