A howling turkey is at least something to laugh at, and maybe even something to see. But "Thor" is an example of the programmed triumph of commercial calculation over imagination.
"Thor'' shows the Marvel movie formula - amp up the laughs, deploy stars smartly, protect the franchise at all costs - at its most obvious and efficient. It gives mediocre a good name.
There is pleasure to be plundered from some of the battle scenes, especially when Thor is confronting ice monsters with blood-red eyes, and from the culture clash that resounds when he descends to present-day Earth...
The story might perhaps be adequate for an animated film for children, with Thor, Odin and the others played by piglets. In the arena of movies about comic book superheroes, it is a desolate vastation.
Essentially, when the movie comes down to Earth it's pretty good. But when it spends time across the universe -- and it spends a lot of time across the universe -- it's pure geek fare. Which may thrill geeks but leave others yawning.
Thor delivers the goods so long as butt is being kicked and family conflict is playing out in celestial dimensions, but is less thrilling during the Norse warrior god's rather brief banishment on Earth.