First Reviews of ‘Thor’ Emerge Online

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 9th, 2013 at 1:49 pm,

Chris Hemsworth as Thor First Reviews of Thor Emerge Online

Comic book fans, I doubt that I have to remind you that we are but a few short weeks away from seeing Marvel’s adaptation of Thor hit theaters, helping to kick off the 2011 Summer Movie Season.

Right about now, Marvel Studios and Paramount are sparing little expense to promote Thor to the masses – in fact, if you look around any metropolis nowadays you’re likely to see Thor banners and posters popping up left and right in addition to clips from the film and many new TV spots. To kick the promotional campaign up to the next level, Marvel screened a final cut of the movie for a handful of movie sites, and those lucky enough to have seen it are letting their thoughts be known.

While I’m tempted to air my grievance that we here at Screen Rant are unable to give you a first-hand review of Thor (looking at you with an arched eyebrow, Marvel/Paramount), I am happy to report that our good friends Peter Sciretta from /Film and Steve ‘Frosty’ Weintraub from Collider were granted access to this coveted pre-screening, and went so far as to share their thoughts on the film in a vide review.

In addition to the video critique, you can check out some traditional print reviews of Thor from the likes of of our pals over at Moviehole and, er, ‘those guys and gals’ over at Variety.

For you fans anxious about preserving the Thor experience for when you are in the theater (in costume?) on opening day/night, fear thee not mortals:

These reviews are 100% SPOILER-FREE.

We’ll start with the video review from Pete and Steve, which basically dubs Thor as another solid (if not great) offering from Marvel Studios:

THOR Video Blog from ColliderVideos on Vimeo.

Moviehole echoes the sentiment that Thor basically follows the Marvel Studios movie formula, albeit in some distinctly better ways, thanks to the presences of Kenneth Branagh at the helm:

Don’t head into ‘’Thor’’ expecting something that doesn’t even resemble one of the previous Marvel studios movies though because, for the most part, the written flick is indeed discharge from the same passageway…. Only with smarter dialogue than most, lavish production values that wouldn’t be out of place in ‘’Gosford Park’’ or ‘’Remains of the Day’’…And admittedly, who wants a comic book movie to stray too far from well, the look and feel of a comic book? (Christopher Nolan haters, shut it!)

Still, as much of an A to B job as these films are, they’re all very solid commercial blockbusters and ‘’Thor’’ is no exception – in fact visually it might just be the most impressive. As I mentioned, those production values wouldn’t be out of place in a lavish period drama or royal biopic, and they add so much to ‘’Thor’’ – the world of Asgard will take your breath away in a way no Los Angeles backstreet can. The film’s many scenes ‘above’ will have you in awe – they’re just splendidly shot and scrumptiously staged but mainly, the city and landscape looks dreamy.

In order to deflate the notion that these early reactions are the biased praise of “fanboys” (now a dirty word, it seems) and “movie bloggers” (always been a dirty word, it seems), “official trades” like Variety also keep in step with the assertion that Thor is some solid B(+) summer entertainment:

As the living actor and director most closely associated with Shakespeare, Branagh may seem a surprise choice for such material. A childhood reader of the comics, he brings a fan’s enthusiasm and his skill as an actor’s director to the table here. Fitting Hemsworth out with a classical but never pompous British accent and shooting emotionally charged sequences with elegant simplicity, Branagh succeeds in rendering his mythological characters deeply human.

While no fatal missteps are taken along Thor’s path to redemption, pic has a slightly choppy feel, as if it’s trying to squeeze an origin tale and at least part of its sequel into a single entity. Most of the material motors along just fine, though the editing occasionally seems a bit too hurried in moving from one dimension to the next. An extra reel of Earth-bound story might not have gone astray.

Click the links to any of the aforementioned sites to read the full reviews. As stated, they are all SPOILER-FREE.

Thor Movie Header First Reviews of Thor Emerge Online

Having done some more extensive digging myself, I have identified a few points of consensus between all the reviewers that I’m sure fans are wondering about:

  • There is nothing but praise for actor Chris Hemsworth. The consensus is that he nails the role of Thor and comes off as a likeable and versatile leading man who is able to balance equal parts gravitas, action and comedy. Predictions are the actor will have a bright career and will be a perfect fit against Robert Downey Jr. in The Avengers movie.
  • As far as the supporting actors: Kat Dennings (thankfully) isn’t too annoying as the comic relief. Natalie Portman is average as Jane Foster – though she doesn’t have much of a character arch to work with. Anthony Hopkins isn’t nearly as hammy as he could’ve been (see: The Wolfman or The Rite). Finally, Tom Hiddleston shows strong-yet-subtle theatrical skill playing Loki.
  • The Asgard scenes are gorgeous and vividly rendered, and speak to the level of visual effects work in the film.
  • Reviewers were split about the Earth-bound second act of the film. Some said the middle dragged, others thought the more interesting story/character development took place on Earth and could’ve been developed at a slower pace.
  • The action scenes are pretty cool – though Marvel still has an issue with third-act final battles that feel somewhat rushed and unsatisfying as a payoff.

So, there you have it – the early word on Thor. Of course none of this REALLY matters until we deliver our own official Screen Rant review, so stay tuned for that in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, what do you think of these early reviews? Does the film sound like what you expected it to be? Better? Worse?

Thor thunders into theaters (sorry, bad pun) on May 6th.

Sources: /Film, Collider, Moviehole, Variety

TAGS: Thor
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  1. This is great. I’ve been awaiting first good word for this movie. Now I’m even more excited to go see it. There’s no surprise in the praise Hemsworth is receiving. He truly does seem like the perfect fit for Thor.

    But we’ll have to wait less than 3 weeks to see for ourselves!

  2. Ok first of all WOW great stuff S/R thanks for posting this but the guy in the black hooded jacket was extremely annoying to listen to especially when he cuts the other guy off mid sentence. Can’t wait to see Thor let the summer begin!!!

  3. Sounds good , now we just need to speed up the clock in order to view this sooner, rather then later

    • You can use my time machine if you want to.

  4. I hope Loki will not be in ‘The Avengers’ and is taken care of in this film. There are many other villains that The Avengers can face instead of using the same villain from Thor. Hulk should not be used as a villain either.

    Kat Dennings is incredibly gorgeous and should not appear in movies unless she is the female lead or the main love interest. She shouldn’t have been in this movie at all.

    Chris Hemsworth used to be perfectly healthy and physically fit a few years ago and it is absolutely shocking to see what he has had to do to his body for this movie with those disgustingly huge muscles that he has now built. It is worse though, because he has to maintain it for future Thor and Avengers movies.

  5. “third-act final battles that feel somewhat rushed and unsatisfying as a payoff.”

    Sounds a lot like the final battle in Ironman.

    • my thoughts exactly… hope destoyer at least destroys an entire town… or a BP gas station 😀

      • He will. Muahahaha!

    • @ INK

      Alot of hero movies are like that imo.

  6. Variety reports Thor as having a British accent. Being British myslef, I can tell you that is not a British accent, it is a scandinavian accent.

    I’m glad the early reports are good on this movie.

    • actually Chris was trying to do a British accent not a scandinavian accent even Jaimie Alexander confirmed in a video interview she was training to do a British accent. they even said from day one they going to make the characters use a British accent.

    • Tolhaller reports Thor as having a Scandinavian accent. Being Scandinavian myself, I can tell you that it’s not entirely a Scandinavian accent, but it’s better than those Scottish “Scandinavian” accents used in other movies.

      I’m also glad the early reports are good on this movie.

      • Haha, really? Well, umm, if it aint British and it aint Scandinavian, even though they were going for British, all I can say is they came up with a heck of a good combination of the two, though, now that you say Scottish Scandinavian…:)

        • I am a little disappointed, as when I saw the first trailer and heard Chris Hemsworth speak, I thought it was pretty cool they had given him a Scandinavian accent!

  7. I had no doubt that this was going to be at the least a very solid and entertaining movie which is what I look for in my comic book movies. (fanboys shut it!)

  8. Thor will be better than Green Lantern.

    • Don’t kid yourself.

    • …not guaranteed.

      • Thank you.

    • What won’t be better than Green lantern? Seriously.

  9. AWESOME!!! Can’t wait to see it!

    Any news on when they will be doing the reboot?



    • lol Nautious they’ve probably already finished the script and are heading into the first stages of production. On a lighter note I’m glad that this sounds solid except for the old Marvel final battle flaw that thet just can’t seem to fix

  10. “Third-act final battles that feel somewhat rushed and unsatisfying as a payoff.”

    You’d think that Marvel would know how to deliver on that – apparently not.

    Sometimes I think ALL these Marvel movies should, by rule, add a 30-minute extension to the final battle.

    • Yup

  11. I wasn’t impressed by TDK’s final battle between Batman vs. Joker & Batman vs. Two-Face. Batman Begins final battle was better, imo. But Marvel studios’ films being seen bad, i think not, i remember others with worse final battles during the climax.

    • IMO Iron Man had the worst 3rd act I’ve ever seen in a major block buster. I’ve never seen a big film of that caliber fall apart so horribly in the third act before. It was kind of sad given how good it was leading up to that point.

  12. Great news. I am hoping all the comic book movies do well. I am there when it hits the theatre. Thanks for the feedback Kofi and Screen Rant.

  13. Rightly or wrongly I always use reviews as a guide to help determine whether a movie is worth seeing, especially when accounting for amount of hype and inflated ticket prices.

    One of the only times I’ve ignored reviews was for Blade Trinity and well, the less said about that the better.

    I;ve read around 7-8 reviews now all of which seem credible enough. The fact that there’s almost an overhelmingly positive vibe makes me conivinced that Thor will be the real deal. Still waiting for Screen Rant’s own verdict of course.

    Being a massive fan of Lord Of The Rings and the battle epic/ fantasy genre in general (the next two Mondays on tv are great with Game Of Thrones followed by Spartacus) I always looked forward more to Thor than Green Lantern or Captain America and at the moment that preference is looking more and more justified.

    I think the main reason for the weak / rushed final acts in these movies is that being summer blockbusters, they have the running time has to be a certain length i.e not too long. It’s a lot harder to sell an summer event film that’s 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours long. Dark Knight was an exception but there were other variables that made people tolerate the 152 or so mins. Ironically Dark Knight also suffered from a weak final third.

    In general a lot of people just want a standard 90 – 100mins that they can enjoy without having to concentrate too much. The best of superhero movies Spiderman, Batman Begins, Iron Man and Hulk (Ang Lee’s version) all invest a lot of time on the origin aspect – which I personally like – that when it comes to delivering the slambang finish, filmakers realise they’ve only got a short amount of running time remaining, so they cram it all all in leaving an unbalanced feel to the film as a whole.

    Blade is still the best example of being able to finish just as strongly as it starts off. Definitely no weak final act in that movie.

    • Blade the best example of finishing just as strong as it started? If by that you mean starting off very mediocre and managing to not get any better or worse by the end.

  14. Just what we expected it to be, maybe more when we see it ourselves, that’s a very good sign, I can’t wait to see it!

  15. Promising!

  16. sounds good so far but how has the 3D conversion turned out
    hopefully better than clash of the titans rushed job

  17. I am so releieved…
    Speaking as a true fanboy I have waited almost 2 years for this movie.
    I was really starting to have some doubts (especially about the corny/crappy jokes) but the reviews really put my faith back in the movie.
    Can’t wait for it now, it will hopefully be worth it. Just hope the “boring”-non-fanboy people i’m gonna see it with will also appreciate it.

    P.S. Suck it America! Here in ol’ South Africa we get the movie like 2 weeks before you! I’m gonna see it next Wednesday in 3D (27 April).
    oh… and

    • Yeah, but you have to live in South Africa. I’d much rather wait an extra 2 weeks and live here in the United States. So HA HA! to you too!

  18. Hey! There was nothing wrong with the Cinematic vista of me sitting in a Giant Donut! ~ Stark

    Rainbow Bridge… hummpf…

  19. Seriously dude?

    Anyway… for once in my life I’m not ashamed of my country!

  20. P.S. I loved that scene from Iron Man 2. It was hilarious. They should have used other music though… for some reason the song that played there made the thing feel… dirty… I know… I know… I’m WEIRD.

  21. Rushed and abrupt editing is not Branagh.
    Whenever I read such impressions I suspect
    studio suits coming in to shorten running time.

    Branagh shot Hamlet in 70mm which had a better
    three-dimensional effect than any modern 3D.
    That may have been the last 70mm movie.
    Thor would look incredible in the format.

  22. “These reviews are 100% SPOILER-FREE.”

    Not exactly true. Pete and Steve’s video review has some minor spoilers but nothing too worry too much about. Maybe 97% free would be correct :)

    The only universal negative seems to be that the movie felt a bit rushed which is unfortunate. If a movie is GOOD, no one will care if it went 20 mins past 2 hrs.

    • @Mongoose

      Yeah I realized that Spoiler part when I saw the full video I din’t have the 11 minutes to spare while writing this up. To be fair, they do say “STOP WATCHING NOW” before they get to the spoilers 😀

      I agree with you about the running time -unfortunately it’s been proven that some people get movie ADD.

      For example, if I hear one more person complain that TDK should’ve been 20 min shorter, I swear to go I’ll scream.

      • The Dark Knight should’ve been 20 minutes shorter 😛

        • Win! 😀

        • Oh sully you little miscreant

          • I couldn’t help it lol. It’s like putting a huge red button in front of a kid and telling them not to push it :).

            • Just like when I said “If I hear ‘Nolan would have done better’ one more time, I´ll jump out of the window.”

              All of a sudden 20 people responded with ‘Nolan would have done better’…

              • @ Scapegoat

                What got my atttention the most is people like to think Nolan as the Godfather as DC comic filmaker when it mainly due to TDK’s gross and he only directed two Batman films, soon to be 3. Not many films to be considered a Godfather. As a Joker mentioned in Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm, ” Makes you wanna laugh, doesn’t it? “

                • Ohhh, Batman: Mask of The Phanatasm, that was classic…

                  • @ Bernard

                    I too agree on that. If i was to make a Batman reboot, id be as accurate as i can be lengthly for pace reasons & would considered using one scene from Mask Of The Phantasm which i liked.

        • Wow, Kofi sounds like Shatner yelling KHAAAAAAAANNNNNN!!! :-)

        • @ Mongoose

          Just wanted to say im glad im not the only who felt TDK felt it dragged alittle.


  24. I dont find it all that odd SR didnt get an advanced screening – obviously the agents at Marvel dont willy nilly just grab critics and risk getting reviews they dont anticipate as being mostly friendly.

    Im not saying SR isnt friendly, but Im guessing the reviewers here at SR arent beholden or doing graft with certain studio agents.

    • netshark,

      That is correct. It’s a tricky balancing act – other sites have written fine articles on this. Sometimes to remain objective you have to sacrifice access.


  25. I am glad that the “fanboys” like myself and some of the big reviewers thought highly of the film. I was almost at the point where people that haven’t been exposed to Characters like Thor might think of this movie as a joke. CAn’t wait to see it now!!!

  26. @Vic You see this is why I always come to screen rant for my movie news your writers are always honest about the films and they do not suck up just for perks so Thank You :)

    Now on to Thor I have been following Thor,Captain America and The Avengers when they were only concepts and I can proudly say this looks like it will be an amazing way to kick off the summer

    • ^ What he said.

  27. i knew the end fight would have been short, now i fear the the ending of capt will be like thor and IM2, rushed and no where near as epic as it could/should be.