Film Review: Despite Loveless Love Story, ‘Thor’ Deserves Your Popcorn-Flick Dollar

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CHICAGO – When big-budget films set their sights on being the next Hollywood blockbuster, they’re almost always built on a formulaic groundwork of proven ingredients. While these films often lose points for much of the same and little of the new, plunking a mighty $150 million into the production “Thor” has found a way to be both formulaic and successful.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

“Thor,” which needed a hulking sexpot as its title character, found its quintessential leading man in Chris Hemsworth. Though before “Thor” he wasn’t a Hollywood sensation (you might have only previously glimpsed him in 2009’s “Star Trek”), he will be now.

Most notably in “Thor,” Hemsworth’s “accidental” but entirely on purpose shirtless scene even trumps Taylor Lautner’s memorable chisled-ab scene in “Twilight”. This Hemsworth scene literally causes a roomful of movie watchers – male, female, gay and straight – to gasp for air. Hemsworth’s personal trainer was worth every pricey penny.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Thor”.

But more than just brawn, he’s got the face every parent hopes on their son, the baby-blue eyes you wish your contacts could create and even the accent that melts gelato in a freezer. And he can act a couple notches better than most of the “Jerseylicious” crew. It’s no surprise that Hemsworth has already been cast as Thor in 2012’s “The Avengers,” which is filming now from writer and director Joss Whedon.

While supporter Stellan Skarsgård oddly plays a father-like figure to Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” fame is this film’s surprise supporting gem. Her character is interesting, deadpan, sarcastic and eccentric. And that’s a character we’ve seen nailed before by Portman in films like “Garden State”. As Hemsworth’s co-lead, though, Portman is a blockbuster disappointment. After last year’s Oscar-winning “Black Swan,” we know Portman can draw chart-busting star power.

“Thor” stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Kat Dennings, Clark Gregg, Ray Stevenson, Colm Feore, Idris Elba, Tadanobu Asano, Josh Dallas, Jaimie Alexander and Adriana Barraza from director Kenneth Branagh and writers Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz and Don Payne. “Thor” is rated “PG-13” for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence. “Thor,” which has a running time of 114 minutes, opened everywhere on May 6, 2011.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “Thor” review.

Chris Hemsworth in Thor
Chris Hemsworth in “Thor”.
Image credit: Mark Fellman, Marvel Studios

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “Thor” review.

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