“Thor” (2011)

Thor movie lead Chris Hemsworth holds his action figure at Hasbro's Toy Fair showroom in New York

★★☆☆☆

They should have called this one “Thnor”.

Here we have another fine example of not being able to predict a movie’s quality based on the cast or the production company. The cinema has been flooded of late with graphic novels (what we used to call “comic books” before everything got so politically correct) being converted into feature films. Some work. Some suck.

This one sucks. But, you ask, how can it suck with that cast? Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Natalie Portman, etc., etc. etc. Somehow they must be able to carry this movie across into awesomeness. Right?

Wrong.

Portman is actually pretty fun to watch. This was a nice change of pace from her usually more serious roles. Hopkins looks like he’s half asleep. The rest of the “big name” cast are largely forgettable in their performances.

Chris Hemsworth looks the part of Thor, albeit he could have “Conan’d” up a bit to look more Norse God-esque. But he’s as believable as anything else in this mess. The ease with which he adapts to modern American English idioms of speech is a bit tough to accept, but they need that for Hemsworth and Portman to get the romance thing clicking.

The basic problem is that this whole thing really wanders around and the writing is so dull you really start wishing people would start dying off – but they don’t. First you’re up in the castles of the Gods, next you’re in New Mexico (or where ever they were supposed to be). You have ice giants here, CIA spooks there. Weird science involving ice abounds.

The special effects are OK but half baked. Thor’s whole flying act with his hammer is generally only seen from a distance. So you never really get a feeling for the force or speed of what’s happening in battle. Even the battle scenes are kind of lame – I almost started wishing for the fight scenes from “Sucker Punch”.

Unless you’re really into this kind of thing (comic books turned into movies), and just want to watch the semi-spectacle of it all, it really isn’t even worth downloading.