Marvel Movie Madness! Day 1: Thor

The latest to fly out of Marvel studios.

by | May 9, 2011 | Comments

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:

Tag Cloud

dramedy cooking OWN Marvel Rock Interview SDCC DirecTV Tomatazos TCA 2017 zombie Character Guide Rocky Rom-Com E3 docudrama comiccon Awards Premiere Dates Reality History vampires Freeform Action Bravo HBO politics Year in Review APB ABC Family ESPN crime Spring TV Star Wars romance TV Land Paramount Fall TV Showtime thriller Food Network harry potter Netflix DC Universe Amazon Marathons Biopics Crackle cats binge Sci-Fi Horror BET cops Masterpiece GLAAD TCA SundanceTV adventure Ellie Kemper Toys sitcom USA TBS TIFF Mystery Writers Guild of America Nominations crime thriller Set visit Animation MTV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Starz Oscars Countdown 2015 BBC America Extras Comedy Central Logo travel Tumblr PaleyFest TCM DC Comics Teen science fiction Infographic CBS All Access LGBTQ Trivia aliens diversity The Arrangement composers cinemax Nickelodeon GoT Schedule what to watch Red Carpet TLC Country Holidays First Look talk show Opinion Kids & Family biography Election crime drama social media Summer CMT period drama WGN VICE Warner Bros. Certified Fresh FXX Cosplay GIFs sports Universal historical drama Mary Tyler Moore supernatural Sneak Peek A&E ABC Podcast Calendar war psycho Video Games police drama FX Best and Worst IFC NBC Winners Star Trek political drama Box Office Ghostbusters Cartoon Network TNT Hulu 24 frames X-Men boxoffice Disney Channel Thanksgiving Martial Arts transformers Esquire Comic Book American Society of Cinematographers Drama Sundance El Rey Syfy Winter TV technology FOX E! 2016 serial killer YA TV Fantasy TruTV Adult Swim VH1 Photos Polls and Games Emmys Grammys Reality Competition discovery Superheroes MSNBC Pirates Musicals NYCC Lifetime AMC ITV Music Super Bowl based on movie CNN PBS Fox News RT History CBS Pop singing competition Nat Geo 007 Valentine's Day Musical Dark Horse Comics Trailer Disney Comedy 45 Mindy Kaling Lionsgate BBC President 2017 The CW Watching Series