Bridges are the key theme of this weekend's "Thor," a film that bridges us from the doldrums of spring releases to the flashier, if not better, world of summer blockbusters. It also serves as another step in the bridge from the first "Iron Man" in 2008 to next summer's superhero all-star jam, "The Avengers." And within the film itself, a superhero actioner about the Norse god of thunder and his adventures in his home of Asgard and on Earth, a rainbow bridge connects the well-regarded Asgard sections of the film with the less successful Earth sections, set in Puente Antiguo, N.M. (which means "Old Bridge").
According to Times critic Kenneth Turan, the film also attempts to bridge director Kenneth Branagh's high-minded Shakespearean intentions with Marvel Entertainment's bottom-line-oriented need to crank out entertainment product. However, Turan doesn't exactly see it as a bridge: "Think of 'Thor' as the ultimate Superhero Smackdown." Surprisingly, he finds no winner. Both titanic forces fight to a draw in his estimation. He writes, " 'Thor' has its strengths, but it is finally something of a mishmash with designs on being more interesting than it manages to be."