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5 Reasons Why Thor Is a Second-Rate Superhero Franchise

Chris Hemsworth plays the hammer-wielding god like a slab of beef.

by
John Boot

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November 8, 2013 - 9:00 am
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Thor-Hammer-Bottle-Opener

It’s been all of six months since the last so-so Marvel superhero movie, and yet here comes another weak entry: Thor: The Dark World. Despite the hype, this one is easily skippable. Here are six reasons why the Thor franchise is strictly B-list.

1) A hammer? Seriously?

Thor’s all-powerful weapon “mjolnir” is simply and literally a blunt instrument. What else can you do with a hammer except smash things with it? It’s not like flying, or the ability to cast webs out of your palms: It doesn’t open up a world of possibility.

A hammer is such a short extension of reach and force that Thor might as well just punch enemies in the face. And when he winds up the hammer by swinging it in super-fast circles he just looks as ridiculous as a character from an old Warner Brothers cartoon.

Superhero weapons are supposed to be deeply marinated in myth, not in cheap jokes, and yet you can tell from Thor: The Dark World exactly how seriously the writers take this supposed all-powerful item when Thor, on a visit to Earth, simply hangs the object on an ordinary coat rack. Isn’t the hammer supposed to be so heavy only Thor can lift it? Why doesn’t it rip the coat rack off the wall and maybe smash through the floor below it? 

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Top Rated Comments   
I for one find it refreshing to see a superhero who is not consumed by self doubt despite having super powers. Give me a break. If somebody has super strength and is a worldwide legend he is going to be like Thor. Arrogant etc. not these emasculated, metrosexuals Hollywood continually tries to shove up our butt. I am still waiting for the superhero character with multiple girlfriends.....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Isn’t the hammer supposed to be so heavy only Thor can lift it? Why doesn’t it rip the coat rack off the wall and maybe smash through the floor below it? "

Let me answer your question with a question: why do you write entire columns about topics on which you have absolutely no knowledge?

It's ok if you don't like Thor, you're certainly entitled to that opinion. But your question bespeaks such complete ignorance about the character and his world that one wonders why you bother. It'd be like tapping me to write a column about "Fifty Shades of Grey".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
#1-3 are straight from the Norse mythology. Thor's primary weapon is his hammer (and a nasty one it is, too - short of a morningstar, it's probably the best way to deal with people in helmets and chainmail armour), he's known for his fighting and drinking prowess but not especially for his wit, and Loki is a trickster, not a warrior (the death of Baldur is his most archetypical work). It's called "being true to the source material."

#4 "As for Thor, he seems interested in her mainly because she happens to be the random earth girl he encountered" is, again, straight out of god/human interactions in the mythology. Try reading Homer and Herodotus; you'll find this is pretty standard.

As for #5, well, it's humour. If everyone found the same things amusing, the world would be a pretty sad place.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (48)
All Comments   (48)
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I have a response to this article from my niece, who considers herself an expert on superhero movies:
He thought Superman was better? Clearly, this person has no understanding of Norse Mythology. When it comes to superhero movies and the geekdom you have to be careful about your sources. The guy that reviews for the Dispatch gives all geeky movies a bad review. I still remember when Nine and The Amazing Spiderman came out. The only time he gave a superhero movie a good review and it tanked. Nine he hated and it won a couple of Academy awards. I'm still excited about Thor. I like how it mixes science and magic, and modern culture with Norse myth. The only thing I would agree with is that Jane Foster needs to play a bigger role. Mjolnir is awesome. Superman sucks.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"What else can you do with a hammer except smash things with it? It’s not like flying..."

He flies by throwing his hammer and forgetting to let go. So, it IS like flying. Almost exactly, in fact.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, I thought the movie was great fun, and my wife -- not a superhero movie fan by any means -- very much enjoyed it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Disagree with all but the love story part (and that's on the insufferable Miss Portman). I like Thor more than other superhero films (which pretty much bore me, especially in taking themselves seriously) precisely because of the last reason - the silliness and the Buffy-style self-awareness. Superheroes are inherently ridiculous because they're dressed in clown suits. I loved The Dark Knight not for the brooding weirdo in the bat suit, but for the lunatic in the (literal) clown suit - who SHOULD be wearing it because he's a LUNATIC.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The only thing I agree with in this whole review is that I don't get any chemistry between Thor and Jane Foster. Of course, I'm a Sif fan-boy, so I'm biased.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Also, people who like movies like Thor, The Avengers, and that awful movie about the blue aliens (Avatar?) are in desperate need of a better education in good taste.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Roger Ebert wrote a hilarious take-down of the 1st Thor movie and why it is such an uninspired, terrible piece of film-making. I personally couldn't make it past the 1st hour of the first movie. I suggest you check it out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I take everything that clown wrote with so much salt I have to take blood pressure meds.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think Ebert threw darts at a board with one to five stars.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
After that, check out the box office receipts for both movies. Real-world data suggests that you are in the minority...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think you misspoke. Should be Third-Rate Superhero.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sorry, but, the metrosexual you are seeking was not born in Thor's milieu.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If you consider the dismal Batman movies a standard to live up to, your ship is lost and your friends will not survive.

PS: Thor's hammer isn't heavy, it's his brother.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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