Thor review: 10 things you should know about the new Thor movie

For two hours this morning, I watched Thor unspool on a downtown movie screen, a few days ahead of its American release date of May 6.

(photo courtesy of

To answer your most pressing question: yes, it’s good. Really good. As anticipated, it played out like a superhero version of Lord of the Rings.


SPOILER-FREE, because I care.

1. Don’t see it in 3D. The technology was bolted on to a 2D experience, which means that there are no additional thrills or visual insights to be had by seeing Thor in 3D.

2. I believe in god casting. The Norse gods (Thor, Loki, Odin, The Warriors Three, Heimdall, Sif) were perfectly cast.

3. This is no ordinary comic book film. Though Thor tells an origin story, it never feels like a superhero origin story. In Thor, the titular Norse god is cast off to Midgard (Earth). Once in the realm of mortals, Thor must work to reclaim his honor and hammer, and then find his way back home (Asgard) to save his father and kingdom. If not for Thor’s cape and a Stan Lee cameo, it wouldn’t so obviously be a Marvel movie.

4. Thor respects the comic book source material. Thor pioneers like (co-creator) Stan Lee and Walt Simonson have done so much to enhance the mythology of Thor that there was no reason for it to be put through the Hollywood grinder.¬† I’m assuming that¬† J. Michael Straczynski, one of the film’s writers, deserves some credit for staying true to Thor and his supporting cast. In addition to his film and television work, Straczynski has spent a lot of time as an author of major comic book titles, including Thor.

5. Chris Hemsworth. Thor could have been played as a one-note character, but Hemsworth infused charm, rage, humility, compassion, and fury into the Thunder God.

6. Special effects. The Frost Giants of Jotunheim. The Destroyer. Heimdall’s observatory. Thor flying and twirling his hammer. One breathtaking effect follows another in Thor.

7. Continuity. Yes, there are threads to previous Marvel movies (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and the Incredible Hulk), as well as nods to what can be expected in both Captain America and The Avengers. Along those lines, stay through the credits. You know the drill.

8. Without giving away any detail, the scene where Thor regains his hammer gave me goosebumps.

9. There’s humor, too. Whenever a Viking god is inserted into a small New Mexico town, hilarity ensues.

10. The PG-13 rating is a “soft” PG-13. Other than the creepy frost giants and ongoing “fantasy action,” it’s hard for me to understand a ratings system where Thor is judged as being equal to the profoundly-disturbing-for-kids The Dark Knight.



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