Archive for November 12th, 2013

Thor 2 Thoughts For SERIOUS

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

PostAvatar_EugeNow that more people have had a chance to see Thor 2, I can talk about what I really thought about it. So let’s. Get. Dangerous. Or something like that.

I feel like it has to be said that I was not OVER THE MOON about Thor 1. Thor’s never been a book or a character that I had a strong connection with growing up. Because I HATE fantasy, as my friends put it. I’m not a swords/sorcery/dragons guy (except GoT, which is AWESOME), and I doubt I ever will be. So the first Thor movie itself was a weird introduction to a lot of concepts that I was not too familiar with; and a large portion of the movie was balanced between my mild boredom with Asgard as a fantasy realm, and the parts on Earth that fit into the Marvel Universe that was slowly being built up. So it’s weird to say this: I liked the fact that Thor 2 took place mostly in non-Earth realms, and it’s amazing to me what a difference it makes to fantasy stuff when you add lasers. For me, the fantasy-like nature of Asgard didn’t take away from how much I enjoyed it, and I thought the playing of the nine realms against each other worked well for the movie (yo dog, you like portals?).

Like many others, a lot of the first movie for me was spent wishing there was more screen time for Loki. So it’s almost kind of weird to have the whole “Oh this is my cake now? I can eat it?” sensibility of a movie that had almost TOO much Loki (is there ever too much Loki?). Thor, now being the protector of Earth and everything, is now such a paragon that it risked running close to boring. Loki was infinitely more enjoyable. They tried to balance this off Thor by bringing in some more characters, fleshing out The Warriors Three and having Sif be around to stare at Jane a lot. But I wanted more. I wanted more Heimdall (now that I got a sweet sweet taste of his invisible ship knifing skills). I wanted more Frigga knife fights. I dunno, I wanted more everyone else, and maybe a little less Darcy, y’know? It was almost like I had a taste of a bigger cast, and now with Thor not smashing cups on the ground and kind of being a dick to everyone, I wanted to see that cast fill in around him. I wanted to see a Warriors Three on Earth moment too. But that’s not really a complaint. It’s just me babbling.

I’m not entirely sure what Eccleston was doing as Malekith. There’s no question he was a bad guy. But I’m not entirely sure I gave a crap about him. He’s dangerous. He’ll kill you. He’s a BAMF. And the aether is crazy and powerful. But beyond that, I feel like it missed an opportunity, and really made the movie lack a great villain (see Thor 1: Loki). And the plot with the aether, I mean it made sense – don’t get me wrong- but I’m not entirely sure WHY it had to walk us around the long bend to get to the point of getting Jane to Asgard, and then bringing Malekith to Earth. I mean, there was the convergence. The portals. The aether. The darkness. yadayadayada. Do you see why I don’t like fantasy. SNORE!

So here’s the weird thing. You’d think from me telling you all this, that I obviously liked Thor 1 better than Thor 2. But I didn’t. I liked Thor 2 better, because it seemed to have a better sense of being a Marvel movie. There’s no question that Branagh gives a true emotional core to Thor 1 that the second can’t rival; and yes, Alan Taylor is a TV dude, who basically made a really dope TV drama arc this time around. But Thor 2 has the benefit of a universe around it, a studio that is letting the toys in the sandbox play with some degree of freedom, and at this point? There’s a certain confidence and swagger that Marvel movies have, where even when they dip and stutter, they’re still…magical. Even watching that new opening Marvel Studios logo shot was thrilling. Add in the Collector post-credits, and I’m ready to say that we may all not be truly prepared for what is coming. I mean that in the best way.

Thor 2 was a movie full of awesome, amazing, cool ass moments: the numerous Loki moments; the awesome Mjolnir shots; a great caper/heist escape from Asgard; the awesome fakeout of Thor vs. Loki in front of Malekith – that adds up to a pretty to very good movie. I say that not as an insult. Not as a bag. I say that as my honest belief.

And honestly? Pretty to very good movie used to be ASTOUNDING for a comic book. That used to be a resounding win. And Marvel in a weird way, has set itself up to crazy, unrealistic standards. Because now, pretty to very good feels like a slightly missed opportunity. You did it to yourself, Marvel.

But if the job of Thor was to keep me intrigued and engaged? Mission fucking accomplished.