Entertainment Movies
Entertainment Entertainment Movies

'Thor' review: Hammer goes thud

** (out of four)

Forget being grounded; when a god insults his parents, he’s banished from his twinkly space kingdom. That renders rebellious hothead Thor (Chris Hemsworth) powerless among the mortals on Earth, who are well-represented by an unusually pretty astrophysicist (Natalie Portman). Naturally, the government’s all paranoid about this mysterious mountain of a man—built like a wrestler and fights like Van Damme—who longs to return home and resume battling the Frost Giants, blue meanies whose look is as corny as their name.

The buzz: Director Kenneth Branagh (“Hamlet”) doesn’t exactly bring to mind terms like “3D” or “fun,” but the Norse mythology-based Marvel Comics superhero “Thor” is both in 3D and positioned as the blockbuster kickoff to the summer movie season. That’s a lot to put on the shoulders of relative newcomer Hemsworth, who, for what it’s worth, has absolutely gigantic shoulders.

The verdict: The only impressive thing about “Thor” is his wingspan. Does Branagh want us to take the movie seriously or not? The tone volleys from the humorlessness of “Wolverine” to the wink-wink silliness of “Paul” as uptight grandiosity in the gods' realm gives way on Earth to Kat Dennings' (as an assistant astrophysicist) annoying comic relief in scenes that try clumsily for lighthearted entertainment. Hemsworth wields his mighty hammer with authority and “Thor” has a few laughs, but this isn’t the exhilarating story of a great love, or even an interesting hero. It’s a movie that wastes two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner in a two-line role and features an extremely worn-out subplot involving Thor’s traitorous brother (Tom Hiddleston). Translation: Not awesome.

Did you know? Thor flips over a table when he’s mad, fights a hospital staff when he feels trapped and thunders into a pet store demanding, “I need a horse!” If only anger management classes could be held on horseback.

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Fridays at 7 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Good movies to rent now

    Good movies to rent now

    See what recent DVD releases are worth your time and money. Don't rent? Check out the newest movies to stream here.Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page. 

  • Worst new movies

    Worst new movies

    The recent awfulness we've seen, like 'A Walk in the Woods,' 'No Escape,' 'Zipper,' 'Mistress America,' zero-star 'Fantastic Four,' 'Vacation,' 'Pixels,' 'The Gallows,' 'Terminator Genisys,' 'Entourage,' 'Aloft,' 'Aloha,' 'Pitch Perfect 2,' 'Hot Pursuit,' 'The D Train,' 'The Squeeze,' 'The Longest...

  • Best new movies

    Best new movies

    Reviews of recent favorites like 'Queen of Earth,' 'We Are Your Friends,' 'Digging for Fire,' 'Straight Outta Compton,' 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,' 'The End of the Tour,' 'The Gift, 'Ricki and the Flash,' 'Mission: Impossible--Rogue Nation,' 'Ant-Man,' 'Amy,' 'Magic Mike XXL,' 'The Overnight,' 'Me...

  • Shrug-worthy new movies

    Shrug-worthy new movies

    'Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine,' 'Meru,' 'American Ultra, 'Ten Thousand Saints,' 'The Diary of a Teenage Girl,' 'Dark Places,' 'Samba,' 'Southpaw,' 'Paper Towns,' 'Unexpected,' 'Irrational Man,' 'Trainwreck,' 'Self/less,' 'The Tribe,' 'Ted 2,' 'Infinitely Polar Bear,' 'Eden,' 'Inside Out,'...

  • Hot Hollywood interviews

    Hot Hollywood interviews

    The most memorable quotes from our latest movie Q&As, including Zac Efron/Emily Ratajjkowski/Max Joseph, Sam Elliott, Ice Cube/O'Shea Jackson Jr., F. Gary Gray/Jason Mitchell, Jason Segel, Joel Edgerton, Cobie Smulders, Amy Schumer, Vanessa Bayer, Mike Birbiglia, Colin Quinn/Dave Attell, Jada Pinkett...

  • Chicago's Joffrey Ballet debuts 'Millennials' in fall lineup

    Chicago's Joffrey Ballet debuts 'Millennials' in fall lineup

    If the word “ballet” makes you think of pink tutus, satin slippers and dollar signs, maybe Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet can change your mind. The company opens its 60th anniversary season with a three-part production called “Millennials.” Each show is brought to life with the help of a young choreographer...

  • Heading to the North Coast Music Festival? What you need to know

    Heading to the North Coast Music Festival? What you need to know

    The North Coast Music Festival returns to Union Park on the West Side this weekend for its sixth year, featuring The Chemical Brothers, Widespread Panic and D'Angelo and The Vanguard as headliners. 

  • Leather Corduroys teams up with producer Two Fresh for 'We Don't Know How To Stop'

    Leather Corduroys teams up with producer Two Fresh for 'We Don't Know How To Stop'

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

Comments
Loading
73°