Monday, April 18, 2011

"Thor" reviews coming in largely positive (updated)

"Thor" had it's official premiere yesterday (today?) in Australia, where star Chris Hemsworth got his start as a popular TV actor, in preparation for it's UK rollout on 4/27 and it's U.S./etc debut on May 6th. It was also, apparently, shown to some U.S. critics around the same time. The reviews have started hitting the web and Twitter... and so far the word is good. Hollywood Reporter liked it, so did Variety. On the "geek press" side, Drew McWeeny agrees. There are a bunch more, but these will give you a rough consensus.

UPDATE! Empire's review is another rave.

Those trying to stay 100% spoiler/plot-structure-info free will probably want to just skim those or avoid full-reads altogether (nothing major in them, but you never know) but a few consistent themes run throughout almost every review I've read:

It's bigger than we've been sold. The trailers have been short-selling Asgard and focusing on the Earth scenes. Apparently this doesn't reflect the "ratio" of cosmic-to-earthbound action in the actual film.

It's not a "dark" movie. This intrigues me - almost every all of the reviews that bother mentioning the other Marvel/Avengers films make a point to mention that this is probably the most "kid-friendly" of the cycle so far; in as much as it's more heavily grounded in comic/fantasy business than PG-13 body-horror ("Incredible Hulk") or midlife-crisis and/or corporate politics ("Iron Man 1&2.") I'm MORE than fine with that - I don't want to see a "grownup" movie about a Space Viking looking and his Magical Hammer.

Hemsworth is good. This is the first Marvel/Avengers movie that's being shouldered by a previously-unknown leading man, so it's good to see mostly across-the-board praise for Chris Hemsworth.

The drama works. Another VERY frequent compliment - though often noted as the "upside" to criticisms that the action/fight sequences aren't necessarily the most groundbreaking. Probably the single most-recurring thing in the first crop of reviews is near-univesal agreement that the courtly/family intrigue among The Gods kills; with ample credit being given to the choice of Shakespearean/arcane-bombast specialist Brannagh as director. This is GOOD to hear, if it's true - "Thor" is both the weirdest and least-known of the principal Avengers, and if this film AND its/his part in future continuity is going to work people need to grasp/"buy" the characters and their world. Remember: "Iron Man" worked so well as a superhero character-study that no one cared about (or now remembers) it's awkward, nonexistant 3rd act.

9 comments:

Rob said...

Natalie Portman is in it and the drama is good? Nooooo, really?

Sounds like Marvel really commited to taking a step towards the other end of the uncanny valley. Stylization over realism is a great strategy for Thor.

Danny said...

@Rob
Go tell that to George Lucas.

Jens Erik said...

Holy crap, this is a first. I actually get to review a movie BEFORE MovieBob. Awesome. :D

Popcorn Dave said...

Sweet. Really wasn't expecting this film to work, so this is a pleasant surprise for me. Let's hope the later reviews are just as positive.

Chris Cesarano said...

This is super good news. I've been worried that the Marvel film studios may be incapable of keeping the quality of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk consistent across all their films, and the visual style of Thor seemed to break away from the other movies as well. That it is getting such positive attention is sweet.

If Thor, X-Men: First Class and Captain America can all manage this, then I'm going to be in nerd heaven.

Adam said...

I'll admit that I've never cared about Thor before, but the trailers have actually been drawing me in and prompting me to go see this movie. The fact that Natlaie Portman co-stars is no negative either. Glad to hear that it could be a solid flick.

Joe said...

Thank the gods of Asgard! This year's films have been of such mixed quality (though I just saw Hanna and loved it) I'm waiting for the good stuff with bated breath.

Minic said...

Just saw it! (I'm an Aussie)

Solid, entertaining stuff. No, the action isn't incredible, but the movie gets the job well and truly done. Great performances, stunning visuals, emotional. The lead character/actor deserves his top billing in The Avengers

CraftyAndy said...

I always prefer my movies to be serious while still being imaginative and abstract. Imagine the movie Simple Plan (yes the suspense drama) but taking place on a alternate planet with the characters being alien, that would be epic in itself.
I'm just hoping it's not too goofy like the previous spiderman films. It doesn't seem that way, and I'm glad to hear that every marvel film so far has it's own style and trend, That makes the comic books come to life all the better for me.