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'Thor': What the Reviews Say

Zade Rosenthal/Marvel

The mythical movie opens Friday; see how the critics are responding.

Chris Hemsworth (who beat out brother Liam for the part) stars alongside Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings in Marvel's latest superhero adventure. The 3D film, based on Norse mythology and helmed by Kenneth Branagh, opens Friday.

See what the critics think. 

The Hollywood Reporter's Meghan Lehman calls the film "a burly slab of bombastic superhero entertainment that skitters just this side of kitschy to provide an introduction befitting the mighty god of thunder." Lehman praises both the director, "a man with a highbrow history who knows his way around an epic tale," and lede Hemsworth, whose performance she calls "star-making."

"Thor sports a permanent scowl — perhaps because, in the alternate universe of the movie business, he had his, oh, thunder stolen by the carjackers of Fast Five, which jumped the traditional opening date of the Hollywood blockbuster season by a week and proved a popular smash," quips Time. But, the mag concludes that, "After a rough start, and when it comes down to Earth, Thor works pretty well."

Access Hollywood's Scott Mantz compares the movie to Marvel's 2008 blockbuster Iron Man (starring Robert Downey Jr.) and says Thor comes up on the losing end. His reason? "It goes through the special effects-heavy motions," he writes. And while Mantz says the movie will be an apt start to the 2011 summer season, Mantz adds, "a weak story, a choppy pace and underdeveloped characters tone down the overall impact of the God of Thunder."

ABC News is a little more critical, writing, "The plot — credited to three screenwriters and two story developers, among them Marvel Comics scribe J. Michael Straczynski — is a bit unfocused, since it not only has to relate Thor's journey but also help set up next year's superhero ensemble tale The Avengers."