Thor (12A)

Film

Fantasy films

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Wed Apr 20 2011

Is it 1987 again already? With its big hair, bulging biceps, blunt dialogue, swooning maidens, stoic heroes, shiny sets and even shinier armour, had ‘Thor’ been released a quarter of a century ago it would have had its own animated spinoff, tie-in shampoo and a range of articulated toys manufactured by Kenner. Even the basic set-up – an age-old interglactic conflict between musclebound lugs transfers to Earth and chaos ensues – feels eerily similar to the movie version of ‘Masters of the Universe’. The only thing missing is a cheeky animal sidekick.

Comic-book fans will angrily point out that this incarnation of the ancient Norse god was actually created by Marvel guru and cameo junkie Stan Lee back in the early ’60s, and that the film’s plot, which sees Thor (Chris Hemsworth) banished from Asgard by his dad Odin (Anthony Hopkins) in an effort to teach the wayward warrior a spot of humility, comes directly from the source. But it’s clear from the decor, the dialogue and the nod-and-wink execution that everyone involved knows exactly how outrageously outdated this all is, and they’re going to have a little fun with it while they can.

Not that ‘Thor’ is camp – this isn’t ‘Flash Gordon 2’, however much some of us might have enjoyed that. Like a number of recent comic-book blockbusters, it treads the line between telling an engaging story and recognising its silliness, though it does err sporadically on both sides. For every solid action set-piece or inventive digital effect, there’s a ludicrous costume choice or stupid sub-Shakespearian plot twist: pity poor Tom Hiddleston, whose role as hissable trickster Loki is little more than a daft horned helmet and a dismissive sneer.

The supporting cast fare better: while Hemsworth pouts, Hopkins barks and Natalie Portman simpers as forgettable love interest Jane Foster, it’s Stellan Skarsgaard and Kat Dennings, as Portman’s scientist sidekicks, who emerge with dignity relatively intact. Hackney’s own Idris Elba also does himself proud as taciturn gatekeeper Heimdall, but the less said about Thor’s roving pack of becoiffed back-up gods, the better.

But the big question which hangs over ‘Thor’, and one which is never satisfactorily explained, is why Kenneth Branagh? He’s never shown a penchant for action, and that isn’t remedied here: while the film’s many noisy punchups are perfectly serviceable, this is a largely anonymous piece of work, lacking any directorial stamp. And this apparent dispassion extends to the figures on screen, with precious little attention paid to character development.

But for anyone looking for a spot of mindless holiday fluff, ‘Thor’ remains an endearing throwback to simpler times: when men were men, gods were gods and heroes looked like bodybuilders who’d just raided the dress-up box. Just don’t expect to remember much about it afterwards.
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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Apr 29, 2011

Duration:

114 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|18
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Phil Ince

A good, solid, 3 star film with some gorgeous, 5 star design. Nicely-performed, it doesn't warrant a fourth star, however pleasing, because the story is just a little too simple. Anthony Hopkins is nowhere near as camp as you might anticipate from the trailer, Tom Hiddlestone makes up for that. Once you've seen Chris Hemsworth with his shirt off in the cafe scene, you can feel entirely justified in wanting to shag him. Your boy/girl friend may thank you for taking him/them/her to see it. Funny at times, lightly touching stuff. I hope there's a sequel that's as harmless and good-humoured.

Phil Ince

A good, solid, 3 star film with some gorgeous, 5 star design. Nicely-performed, it doesn't warrant a fourth star, however pleasing, because the story is just a little too simple. Anthony Hopkins is nowhere near as camp as you might anticipate from the trailer, Tom Hiddlestone makes up for that. Once you've seen Chris Hemsworth with his shirt off in the cafe scene, you can feel entirely justified in wanting to shag him. Your boy/girl friend may thank you for taking him/them/her to see it. Funny at times, lightly touching stuff. I hope there's a sequel that's as harmless and good-humoured.

Nick

Hanna is better. I have seen Thor and Hanna and, dare I admit it, Attack the Block. Hanna was the best of the three. Then Thor. Forget about Attack the Block.

Nick

Hanna is better. I have seen Thor and Hanna and, dare I admit it, Attack the Block. Hanna was the best of the three. Then Thor. Forget about Attack the Block.

very pleased filmgoer

I really enjoyed this film - I went to see it by accident - was supposed to see "Hannah", but the screening got cancelled due to "technical difficulties" and I got to exchange my ticket for something else, so I chose Thor, because they weren't charging me extra for the 3D screening and my 3D specs... and I'm really glad I didn't get to see "Hannah" now! Anyway - Thor was very enjoyable: I actually thought the characterisation was effective - and the two kids at the start actually looked like they'd turn out as Thor and Loki... absolutely loved Tom Hiddleston, and Anthony Hopkins (of whom I am not a fan) was really good here. Natalie Portman is an example for tiny women everywhere... My only complaint about it is that it could have been a bit longer and that might have allowed for more development of more minor characters (maybe?). But there's so much to enjoy about this film, I'd recommend it, it's exciting and fun and sweet and spectacular. Not fussed about the "3D-ness" of it all, so might try to catch it again in good old fashioned 2D.

very pleased filmgoer

I really enjoyed this film - I went to see it by accident - was supposed to see "Hannah", but the screening got cancelled due to "technical difficulties" and I got to exchange my ticket for something else, so I chose Thor, because they weren't charging me extra for the 3D screening and my 3D specs... and I'm really glad I didn't get to see "Hannah" now! Anyway - Thor was very enjoyable: I actually thought the characterisation was effective - and the two kids at the start actually looked like they'd turn out as Thor and Loki... absolutely loved Tom Hiddleston, and Anthony Hopkins (of whom I am not a fan) was really good here. Natalie Portman is an example for tiny women everywhere... My only complaint about it is that it could have been a bit longer and that might have allowed for more development of more minor characters (maybe?). But there's so much to enjoy about this film, I'd recommend it, it's exciting and fun and sweet and spectacular. Not fussed about the "3D-ness" of it all, so might try to catch it again in good old fashioned 2D.

scrumpyjack

The last Branagh film I endured was Frankinstein so went into this fearful some mass delusion was going on. I need not have worried as in the 15 years since the DeNiro disaster Ken has become a very fine director indeed (that or he has a top notch second!) Pacey, excellent cgi & 3D plus fine, played straight performances add up to the biggest surprise this year so far. 8/10

scrumpyjack

The last Branagh film I endured was Frankinstein so went into this fearful some mass delusion was going on. I need not have worried as in the 15 years since the DeNiro disaster Ken has become a very fine director indeed (that or he has a top notch second!) Pacey, excellent cgi & 3D plus fine, played straight performances add up to the biggest surprise this year so far. 8/10

Ethics Gradient

I was amazed to see such a dismissive review. This film entertained from start to finish, eye popping visuals, (Valhallah and the rainbow bridge especially), amazing battles, great fish out of water type humour and, get this, sub Shakespearian plotting (hi Ken). Stay for the 3D Hubble telescope wander through the galaxy when the credits start rolling too. Loved it, totally 5 stars.

Ethics Gradient

I was amazed to see such a dismissive review. This film entertained from start to finish, eye popping visuals, (Valhallah and the rainbow bridge especially), amazing battles, great fish out of water type humour and, get this, sub Shakespearian plotting (hi Ken). Stay for the 3D Hubble telescope wander through the galaxy when the credits start rolling too. Loved it, totally 5 stars.

Rosie

Loki was the most well developed character in the entire film - Tom Hiddleston did a remarkable job and frankly stole the show.

Rosie

Loki was the most well developed character in the entire film - Tom Hiddleston did a remarkable job and frankly stole the show.

ed

Moments of high drama give the actors a chance to shine, particularly Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins. All the other actors are left to flounder in a CGI blur of nutty plot. I didn't like the central characters, Chris Hemsworth was solid enough, but mostly dull, and Natalie Portman seems ill at ease outside of serious drama (I extend this to her part in YOUR HIGHNESS too). This was an improvement on IRON MAN. And I liked the design of Asgard. A lot of the action was too quick and up close (blurred) to be effective ( a CGI fudge?) and like IRON MAN 2, at times it seemed like an extended trailer for THE NEW AVENGERS next year. The four sidekicks, which included a wack Ray Stevenson as falstaff, were truly pointless and expendable. Kenneth Branagh's stlye was lost in the melee and anyone could have directed this. Juts another production line Hollywood Super Hero flick... I enjoyed the other "soulless" blocvk busters of 2011 more, like SCREAM 4 and FAST 5... THOR-dinary.....

ed

Moments of high drama give the actors a chance to shine, particularly Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins. All the other actors are left to flounder in a CGI blur of nutty plot. I didn't like the central characters, Chris Hemsworth was solid enough, but mostly dull, and Natalie Portman seems ill at ease outside of serious drama (I extend this to her part in YOUR HIGHNESS too). This was an improvement on IRON MAN. And I liked the design of Asgard. A lot of the action was too quick and up close (blurred) to be effective ( a CGI fudge?) and like IRON MAN 2, at times it seemed like an extended trailer for THE NEW AVENGERS next year. The four sidekicks, which included a wack Ray Stevenson as falstaff, were truly pointless and expendable. Kenneth Branagh's stlye was lost in the melee and anyone could have directed this. Juts another production line Hollywood Super Hero flick... I enjoyed the other "soulless" blocvk busters of 2011 more, like SCREAM 4 and FAST 5... THOR-dinary.....