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Wick's Review

Created May 11, 2011 09:14PM PST • Edited Apr 19, 2021 02:19AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Very Good 3.5

    Norse mythology – vainglorious and a bit fussy – isn’t everyone’s cup of grog. Yet it inspires a marvelous comik movie. Just this side of campy in the opening reel, Marvel’s latest proves gracious and charming by the middle, then thunderously thrilling in its climactic battle sequences.

    Most of the film takes place in the supernatural realms of the Norse gods. These spectacularly realized fantasy settings provide a legitimate grandeur that hard core fantasy fans will love. As a casual fan, I was plenty happy to go along for the ride.

    Three strong leads give the movie real heft, especially Chris Hemsworth as the arrogant Thunder God himself and Sir Anthony Hopkins as his wizened father. Ably directed by Shakespearean master Kenneth Branagh, this ersatz Shakespearean movie doesn’t rise to the transcendent level of Iron Man, but easily rises high enough to please comik movie fans and perhaps even a few of their parents.

    For those of us who grew up with Thor, it’s a wonderful reunion with an old-school hero.

    Secret Tip - Most Marvel movie fans know by now to stick around past the closing credits for an Avengers teaser. Nick Fury wants YOU!

  3. Very Good 3.5

    Chris Hemsworth wields the hammer as if to Asgard born. Dashingly arrogant in the early going, charming and noble in the latter reels, he ably looks and acts the part of Scandinavian God.

    Natalie Portman – the moviestar of the moment – matches up well to him as a thoroughly modern woman swept off her feet by a supernaturally studly old-fashioned guy. Upon finally seeing him in his full Thunder God regalia, she asks if this is his normal look. He nods. She blurts “It’s a good look!”

    Most notable amongst the rest of the cast is Anthony Hopkins as Thor’s demanding father Odin. Hopkins knows how to play King.

    Others include:

    • Tom Hiddleston often looks vaguely ridiculous as Thor’s conflicted brother Loki, a risk every actor takes wearing a cape. This one doesn’t pull it off.
    • Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd as Portman’s fellow scientist. Nice to have a Swede in a movie about Norse mythology.
    • Kat Dennings as Portman’s cheeky assistant.
    • Clark Gregg as the head S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Understated and funny, Gregg’s Agent Coulson gets better each time he appears in a Marvel movie.
    • Ray Stevenson as one of Thor’s warrior posse. Stevenson is always great as a randy soldier.

    Stan Lee cameo alert: He’s the guy who asks “Did it work?” after gunning his pickup truck to pull Thor’s hammer from its pedestal.

  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Good 3.0
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Very Good 3.5

    The film earns several legitimate laughs, mostly by placing an Earth-bound Thor in mundane human settings. So we get Thor in the diner (“This drink… I like it! More!” Smashes the coffee cup.), Thor in the pet shop (“I need a horse!”), Thor before getting tasered (“How dare you threaten the son of Odin with such a puny weapon!”).

  9. Direction Great 4.0

    Kenneth Branagh aces the job of directing a superhero epic with a regal succession drama at its core. Several professional critics have carped that his Shakespearean talents are wasted here. Wrong. He stages the numerous scenes of royal intrigue – in King Odin’s court; between the two princes; between rival kings – with the accomplished hand of a Shakespearean master.

  10. Play Good 3.0

    Alone amongst the crop of Marvel movie superheros, the God of Thunder isn’t a flawed human. He’s a flawed god, so he gets to flirt with humans yet doesn’t share our physical frailties. These regal deity elements made for a bit of stiffness in the dialog, but ultimately played out in satisfying fashion.

  11. Music Good 3.0
  12. Visuals Really Great 4.5

    Behold Asgard, the magnificent home of the Norse gods, presented as a gorgeous art deco city, not just on a hill, but in craggy canyons. They make the 3D worth it.

  13. Content
  14. Tame 1.5
  15. Sex Innocent 1.0
  16. Violence Fierce 2.0
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.6
  18. Fantasy 4.1

    Thor is more elemental to our day-to-day life than most realize, one day more than the other six. Thursday literally means Thor’s Day. Dude’s got his own day, every single week. Huge.

  19. Circumstantial Supernatural 3.8
  20. Biological Fantasy 4.5
  21. Physical Fantasy 4.1


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Jul 31, 2011 9:43AM

Regarding Spaceghost’s Review
Fantasy is “an astrophysicist as pretty as Natalie Portman.” :-)

May 15, 2011 5:31PM

Regarding Wick’s Review
Yeah, I’m sure you’ll like it BigD.

May 14, 2011 2:45PM

Regarding Wick’s Review
Sounds like a good one! I’ll have to check it out.