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Joe Mogenstern’s Small but Effective “Thor” Delights

In response to Joe Morgenstern’s 343‑word review of Thor: The Dark World on Wall Street Journal

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Joe Morgenstern’s “Thor: The Dark World” is a great example of what a good critic can do in small space. He’s obviously been given a limited canvas upon which to paint three reviews of current releases, but he takes his coal and makes diamonds.

Now, to be clear, you aren’t going to find any new filmic insights or be bowled over by Pulitzer worthy prose. This one plays like a highlight reel of every other review that has yet been written on the Thunder God’s sequel, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Morgenstern’s audience is probably not looking to him for an essay. They want a quick shot that hits the high points and leaves the philosophizing at the door.

And that’s exactly what he gives them. The writing is fast paced and he’s got wit to spare which makes this a delight to read. He doles out the criticism succinctly and manages to touch almost every base. The “action is generic,” and focuses “entirely on big set pieces at the expense of narrative flow.” Loki, of course, gets the requisite nod, as does the rest of the supporting cast working “with intentional silliness.”

If you only read this one review of Thor: The Dark World, you’ll be in fine hands.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation