Marvel Movie Madness! Day 1: Thor

The latest to fly out of Marvel studios.

Enter Marvel Movie Madness, wherein Rotten Tomatoes watches all of the significant Marvel movies ever made. Full Marvel Movie Madness list here. Tune in! We give you our thoughts, and you give us yours.


Day 1: Thor (2011, 79%)
Directed by Kenneth Branaugh, starring Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard, Tom Hiddleston.

Jeff: Okay, so it isn't a perfect movie. In fact, it's kind of messy. But here's what I really dug about Thor: I loved the feeling of watching something that was at least trying to be a piece of epic escapist entertainment -- and succeeding more than it really had any right to. It's funny, it has plenty of action, it's impeccably cast, and it even boasts a touch of the old Branagh gravitas. For all its flaws, it looks like a movie, and that's something you can't say as often as you used to.


Matt: I agree that it isn't perfect, but it is pretty damn entertaining. I think in another director's hands, Thor could be a pretty tedious character: lots of thees and thous and forsooths and verilys. But Branagh gives us a portrait of a guy that's trying to be a bit more than just Viking god with a lust for battle. The big hole here is that it's kind of a shallow portrait. Thor is amiable enough (if a bit arrogant) but you don't really see how he learns that heroism is more than just skill in battle. But I was willing to forgive that, because Hemsworth gives Thor some real charisma, and he's fun to watch. The supporting cast (Portman, Skarsgaard, Hopkins, Dennings, etc) is definitely having fun here, even if we don't really get very much of them.

Alex: Outside of the great first act raid on Jotunheim, Thor doesn't feel like it had many extended action sets. That's perfectly fine. Thor goes by the original Iron Man playbook and draws its mileage from drama and performance, with Hemsworth earning his paycheck as the film's anchor. I was skeptical of the dude but he's convincing as a deity, a role that invites more laughter, pity, and scorn than one initially suspects. Hemsworth holds his own against Hopkins and Hiddleston, and the movie is lightest on its feet during the Earthly moments shared with Portman (playing a junior scientist looking for new dimensions). Stripped of power but aware he holds the knowledge she desperately seeks, Hemsworth turns the role on its head and plays Thor as magnanimous enigma. He disarms not using brute strength but a sly, bewitching smile. Suddenly, the story's human potential emerges with perfect clarity. Thor falls in love, kicks some ass, learns a lesson, and the movie never hits you over the head with a hammer to get there.

More Marvel Movie Madness:

Comments

Andrew M.

Andrew McGregor

Cannot wait to see it on Friday!

May 9 - 11:38 AM

Corr

Alexander Sciury

It's funny, even with a lot of positive praise and reaction from it, I am still hesitant to see Thor. I want to like it, but for some reason I can't bring myself to.
For that reason alone I'll probbly just wait to see it until it comes out on DVD.

May 9 - 12:11 PM

algreen99

AL Green

I pay no mind to the critics whether they rate something high or low. So your reason for not going to see Thor is a personal one which is just fine by me. I accept that you just cant bring yourself to like what you see in the trailer. But I just want to know, did you watch Step Up 3D in the theaters or did you wait for the DVD also? I see you rated it after watching it.

May 9 - 05:12 PM

Corr

Alexander Sciury

I did not watch it in theaters, (no way I was going to pay money to see it in a theater). The only reason I saw it was because my sister rented it and wanted me to watch it to. It was slightly better than I thought it would be, but it still wasn't great. Which is why I gave it 40%. (2 out of 5 stars seemed fair for it.)

May 9 - 05:17 PM

algreen99

AL Green

Fair enough my friend. Fair enough.

May 9 - 05:51 PM

Noah S.

Noah Simon

If you don't care about critics, what r u doing on this site?

May 10 - 09:26 AM

ballermat982

ballermat 982

There's more on this site than just critic reviews.

May 10 - 10:52 AM

algreen99

AL Green

I really dont know Noah. Maybe rate movies myself after I see them myself. I could even write my own reviews after I see a movie to If I wanted to. I could discuss movies with RT users and fellow movie freaks who dont get paid to write or rate anything. Fellow movie freaks who love movies as much as I do. I could make endless lists of movies and actors under different categories. I could rant on about movies on some blogs, specially my own. This site is one of if not the number place where movie freaks congregate. I should have not done this. I should have let Ballermats comment take care of this because it was more than sufficient.Oh well too late - congratulations Noah, you have just asked the stupidest question ever.

May 10 - 01:30 PM

Corr

Alexander Sciury

Like ballermat982 said, theirs a lot more to the site than the critics opinions. You can review and rate your own movies, see the movies grosses, check out news articles ect.
And I'm in the same boat as ALgreen. I don't judge what movies I see by the critics opinion. Sure, it's good to know what other people think of it, but not going to see a movie "Because the critics rated it low" or going to see one solely "because the critics rated it high" is absurd. Make up your own mind for Pete's sake.

May 10 - 02:58 PM

woundedmakers

Steven Bada

"It isn't perfect but..." is how every fucking review seems to start for this film. I agree, it isn't perfect-but neither is ANY film. It seems critics/audience's are slightly embarrassed (?) to enjoy the film as much as they did, so they have to say "Well, it isn't perfect..." to soften the blow a bit. Thor accomplishes exactly what it set out to be. And thats all i need from a film. Also, VERY tired of people complaining about the Hawkeye character's cameo: "It just feels like it was filmed after and cut into the movie". Um, maybe it "feels" that way because there were fucking articles all over the web about a month ago stating/showing the filming of Hawkeye's scene. So, perhaps if you didn't KNOW the character was recut into the film, than it wouldn't FEEL like he was-ya jaded bastards.

May 9 - 12:14 PM

THEREWOLF

Markus Arbutina

Dude way to ruin the cameo for me. Throw a SPOILER in there next time.

May 9 - 05:09 PM

This comment has been removed.

Cory

Cory B

Both Iron Man movies have emphasized the main characters first, then action, then finally the villains. Iron Man 2 was the same way, and one of my primary complaints about that film was that they had two really cool characters, but didn't do enough with them. I loved Iron Man 1, gave it a perfect 100 in fact. It worked for me in the same way Batman Begins worked: as an exploration of the events that pushed its protagonist to become the hero he is now. Like Batman Begins, Iron Man is pretty much ALL about its hero, at the expense of the villains. Sometimes, I think that's okay. That was one of those times.

May 9 - 05:51 PM

algreen99

AL Green

I am not following someone who hasnt seen a movie yet and doesnt want any spoilers but is on one of that movies threads reading the posts of people whom some have obviously seen the movie already. Mr THEREWOLF, blame the mirror.

May 9 - 05:47 PM

THEREWOLF

Markus Arbutina

Most people do put SPOILER in there posts that contain spoilers jackwagon. Also I apologize for having a life and not getting out to see every movie on opening weekend. If you notice the RT folks and basically everyone else on this post managed to not include any real spoiler in there posts.

May 10 - 05:50 PM

algreen99

AL Green

Hey everyone look. THEREWOLF is posting on the same thread as me but apparently he has more of a life than me. His life is so exciting and busy that he is here once again reading and posting on a thread about a movie he has not seen yet then complains about spoilers. I have not seen Thor yet and I am not dumb enough to blame anyone but myself If I find out anything about the story. You sir are a failure of epic proportions.

May 10 - 10:43 PM

THEREWOLF

Markus Arbutina

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, I find it interesting that you have the time to troll websites and make fun of people. I only posted that I wished that guy put a spoiler alert in his post and you jumped all over it. YOu must have nothing better to do, you are trolling like crazy.

May 11 - 03:11 PM

RexLaboro

george glass

I totally agree with your entire post. I noticed the back-handed positive reviews too. They like the movie, but for some reason they can't express enjoying it without that disclaimer. Is there a douche code for critics that says they HAVE TO say soemthing bad about a film like this? And after the Captain obvious opening statement of "It's not perfect", they don't even elaborate on it. Because they LOVE IT.

May 9 - 09:13 PM

Dylan

Dylan Davis

Wait... That random guy was supposed to be Hawkeye? That scene seemed so pointless. It makes more sense now. I guess.

May 10 - 06:14 PM

woundedmakers

Steven Bada

haha see, that's what I don't get man-how was it pointless? [SPOILER DERRRR] Agent Coulsen's men were getting their ass kicked by Thor, he calls Hawkeye to act as a sniper-Coulson orders Hawkeye to hold off on taking the shot because A) Coulsen is intrigued that Thor is able to take out his SHIELD agents like they were "mall cops" and B) Given the circumstance that an unmovable alien hammer is the reason SHIELD is there in the first place, it only makes complete sense that Coulsen would AT LEAST entertain the idea that Thor and the hammer may have a connection. I truly believe had it been just a random SHIELD agent in Hawkeye's place, no one would even mention anything about the scene feeling "forced".

May 10 - 08:24 PM

Scott Love

Luke Simpson

1. It's no Iron Man...but it's good.

2. Liked it more in retrospect when I realized Thor is Captain Kirk's dad.

3. Who plays Darcy? Yikes, she's cute.

May 9 - 12:24 PM

Smartest Person Here

Greg Bonnette

3- Kat Denning. Checkout her red carpet pics.

May 9 - 04:48 PM

Scott Love

Luke Simpson

4. Will Darcy return in The Avengers?

May 9 - 12:26 PM

LakersFan-BostonSucks

Matt St. John

Saw it opening night, watched about 10-15 mins of it and fell asleep for the rest of the movie.
Not because it was bad... because I was drunk and stoned and it was an 11:30pm show!!
I sporadically woke up to hear the audience laughing and cheering and my friends said they liked it, so I guess I'll have to see it again.
God I hate paying $11 to sleep in a chair when I could've just slept at home for free!

May 9 - 12:29 PM

stephen d.

stephen lee

LOL Nice of your friend to let you sleep :P

May 10 - 02:49 AM

CFM

'schak Attack

Did your friend carry a broom for the SWEEP!

May 10 - 08:29 AM

Not L.

Not Likely

Wow.. you are like.. so cool

Thanks for posting that so all of us can envy you

May 10 - 09:17 AM

ap sirius

karl anderson

myself, probably the best nap I had in a theatre was during The American, with George Clooney...I wish I had been drunk and wasted....would make a great blog

May 10 - 04:29 PM

Sputnik99

sputnik 99

I actually missed the "Thous and thees and verilys." I really wanted Thor to say at least once "I say thee nay!" It's Thor's classic line.

I didn't think Thor becoming good and Loki becoming bad made any sense. It was rushed, and fairly unbelievable. And the 3D was pointless.

Anyways, Thor was just okay, IMO. Maybe I'm just in a bad mood. Sorry.

May 9 - 12:32 PM

Jared F.

Jared Fore

See, I, for one, was extremely happy with the choice to exclude the "th"-words. Even in the comic books, it was incredibly jarring to read because, frankly, the writers didn't know how to correctly write in that style. "I say thee nay," for instance, is just bad grammar; they try too hard to make it sound "old" or "godlike" by using words that make no grammatical sense in context. The transition to the big screen, particularly when held up against Earth characters like Jane Foster and Darcy, would be even more awkward.

May 9 - 06:01 PM

Phogoodness

Andrew Nguyen

Thor didn't reach the heights of Iron Man or Dark Knight, but it was a passable two hours of entertainment.

The film was held up by the performances of Hopkins, Hiddleston, and Hemsworth. Branaugh brought a Shakespearean dynamic between these characters that really worked. While the lead role didn't require Hemsworth to display significant dramatic acting chops, it was still an effective performance due to his boundless charisma. I loved the epic Asgardian scenes. They provided a glimpse of was could have been a 'Lord of the Rings' type film. It was the earth scenes that felt out of place. Thor's relationship with Jane Foster and his newfound maturity after his banishment seemed rushed and underdeveloped. I wish the Earth scenes could have been extended, and made more substantive to bring them up to the level of the rest of the film.

The ending was well-done in that it brought closure to Thor's opening character arc because he learns about sacrificing for the greatest good rather than acting on his own impetuous emotions, something he would need to do when he is king one day. It also does a good job bridging the sequel for reasons which I will not disclose due to spoilers.

Thor is rousing, somewhat formulaic popcorn entertainment, that grades above average in terms of summer movies.

May 9 - 02:05 PM

mjprogue

Mike PArker

Please, please, PLEASE don't mention Dark Knight in a post about a real comic book movie...they have entire countries devoted to Nolan, please let us real comic fans have our one Nolan-free zone!

May 11 - 09:04 AM

mjprogue

Mike PArker

Please, please, PLEASE don't mention Dark Knight in a post about a real comic book movie...they have entire countries devoted to Nolan, please let us real comic fans have our one Nolan-free zone!

May 11 - 09:04 AM

opTIMus Nerd

Tim Ahlberg

Thor did what I think they needed it to do and that was whet the appetite for the Avengers. I left wanting more and being a person who grew up Marvel but didn't like the Avengers (especially Thor, Iron Man and Captain America...What were they avenging? Being sucky characters on a sucky team?) but because of the quality of these flicks I am rather enjoying the build towards next summer's Avenger flick.

That said, Thor standing on it's own isn't all that much. As every review everywhere has stated, it could have been SO much worse as good direction and good acting did well with a so-so script which very (verily) easily could have slipped into cheesey stupidity. I had a good time, partially due to that being a rare experience at today's movies and part of that watching talented people have fun doing their thing in a fun context.

May 9 - 02:23 PM

mjprogue

Mike PArker

Grew up Marvel and hated Thor, Cap and Iron Man?

WTF? Except for Spidey, you just named the three most captivating and cool characters in comics...ever...

Oh and they were Avenging victims of crime...not a tough one to figure out!

May 11 - 09:06 AM

stephen d.

stephen lee

Marvel Movie Madness Day 1: THOR

This movie is very different than ones Ive seen lately, for example it is about a superhero viking with a magic hammer who lives in space, let that sink in for a second. No offense to Stan Lee but it sounds like a superhero a 5-year-old would make up on the spot. So obviously I had no hope for it at all. Now Im not gonna lie and be like most people where there like Oh! I love Thor! I read all the comics when honestly they probably just read up on the Wikipedia page about Thor. So I was going into this movie not knowing what it is about, not having much hope for it and worst of all seeing it in 3D (this was my very first 3D movie).
The movie starts with Odin the king of Asgard protecting Earth from the Ice Giants. The Ice Giants are a group of people who are trying to take over the world starting with earth. They defeat the Ice Giants by taking the source of their power the Casket of Ancient Winters. Back in present time Thor, one of the two sons of Odin, is about to be promoted to king in the middle of the ceremony some of the Ice Giants try to take back the Casket unsuccessfully. Thor, upset about the Ice Giants, goes to kill them against his fathers orders with his brother Loki and four of Thors friends. The 6 start to battle but it soon ends when Odin intervenes. Because he disobeyed him, Odin banishes Thor to Earth along with the source of his power his hammer Mjolnir and cast a spell on it to allow only the worthy to wield it. Banished to Earth Thor, with the help of three scientist, must find his hammer and gain back respect from his father so he can go back to Asgard.
Thor is played by Chris Hemsworth (a fairly new actor) Odin is Anthony Hopkins and Jane Foster, one of the three scientist, is played by Oscar winning actress Natalie Portman. Thor has a strong supporting cast with my three favorites being Tom Hiddleston (Loki) Stellan Skarsgård (Dr. Erik Selvig) and Idris Elba (Heimdall); three people you'll be seeing again in The Avengers possibly Thor 2. The special effects are great there wasn't a scene I thought was too cheesy. Seeing it in 3D wasn't worth the extra money at all. The plot turned out to be very family friendly and the character development was great. This movie is gonna leave anyone wanting more and luckily you wont have to wait that long. Stick around for after the credits for another Avengers teaser ;)

4/5 80%

May 9 - 04:08 PM

kalikoda

nick c

i'm unsure why you felt you needed to retell the story. I was going to watch the movie but now i don't need to because i know everything that happens. I give your review 2/10 and i give Thor, based purely on your poor storytelling 6.5/10

May 9 - 06:53 PM

stephen d.

stephen lee

Ummm I only told like the first 20 minutes of it in case no one saw it and thank you for pointing out that I suck at summarizing movies even though I already knew that. Also, if you looked at my RT account this is my first review but I guess I should thank you for the HARSH criticism. By the way, you could probably find out all of what I said through the trailer so I would suggest for you to actually see the movie because I barely scratched the surface.

May 9 - 07:39 PM

v-alexander-the-great

victor alexander

No, you're pretty good at summarizing, you just aren't very good at reviewing.

Also, thank you for that last paragraph letting me know which actors played which characters in the movie. I didn't know who was who, I thought Natalie Portman (Age 29, Academy Award winner) was Thor! And Chris Hemsworth was a best boy grip! Omg how silly, thanks for clearing that up!

May 9 - 09:22 PM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

Get off his nuts v-alexander. And stephen d. If you suck so bad at summarizing movies. Why do you continue to do it? hmmm

May 9 - 11:29 PM

stephen d.

stephen lee

@v-alexander-the-great
I'm sorry I didn't think any idiots would be reading this. The reason i pointed out who the actors were is because some people will go see a movie for a actor/actress alone. For example i'll see any movie with Cillian Murphy or Mark Wahlberg because theyre my favorite actors.

May 9 - 11:45 PM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

@ stephen d. shut your mouth before i put something in it.

May 10 - 01:34 AM

stephen d.

stephen lee

Get off my nuts doomzdavo

May 10 - 02:40 AM

algreen99

AL Green

After *the movie starts* you should have stopped reading Nick.

May 9 - 09:22 PM

ap sirius

karl anderson

I was going to say ,is this the only valuable comments you all have to say or do you have anything constructive to say, but then I realized Im the dumb one reading this shit...

May 10 - 04:34 PM

Smartest Person Here

Greg Bonnette

3- Kat Denning. Checkout her red carpet pics.

May 9 - 04:48 PM

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