Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thor the Movie VS Thor the Product

A Bashful Thor....
GET IT?!?!
by John J

The Marvel Universe is shaping up the team for The Avengers film coming out in 2012, and the successes of the Hulk and Iron Man has created an enormous buzz for every following film. But Thor suffers from the same problem that Iron Man 2 suffers from. It fails the experiment of trying to balance a stand-alone film with a "serialized" set up for a larger project.

This is a spoiler-free review, but I am going to touch on the overall plot of the film, so if you're completely absent from the plot outline good for you (but stop reading). The basic premise of the movie is that Thor, a young roustabout who likes getting into trouble and breaking the rules of his father Odin (a very grizzled Anthony Hopkins, who looks like he's waiting for a glass of warm milk that'll never come the entire film). After going into a headstrong battle with the Frost Giants, who closely resemble "Snowmeiser" but taller, Thor is banished from Asgard to Earth... which apparently is a bit shitbox to the Asgardians.

Cut to standard movie fare, Thor acts brazen, Thor falls for Natalie Portman, Thor saves Earth, Thor fights Loki back on Asgard. I appreciated the Shakespearean tones of the movie, but I'm not necessarily writing this to discuss the overall merit of the film. The movie could've been anything and the droves of comic fans would've made it the #1 box office hit for the weekend no matter what. Why?

The Avengers.

Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, now Thor, and soon to be Captain America. The movies don't necessarily matter, because they're all simply building blocks for the bigger movie that'll be coming out in 2012, The Avengers. While I liked how Iron Man snuck in its Avengers bits slyly, the sequel was too jam-packed with it. The entire 2nd act was Nick Fury and Black Widow sitting around and just being. The incentive for fans to watch these scenes were simply that the characters existed, which is/was cool in and of its own right.

Thou believst thou dost protest too mucheth,
for in thine warmest of mothers' milks...
 Thor was fine. It wasn't a bad movie by any means. It wasn't great either. It was formulaic. It was safe. It was written and directed to be a decent popcorn movie that made fans say "Man, I can't wait to see what Thor does in the Avengers movie!" without actually analyzing what worked and didn't for the movie itself (although I gotta say, the Hawkeye sequence was pretty sweet).

The idea of "serialized" movies is kind of a scary one. Is one movie not enough to get a point across anymore? The trilogy idea now giving way to the method of films being interlocking pieces of a large narrative is an exhausting, and frankly lazy way to do a story. Are they difficult editorially? Probably? Is it a pain in the ass making sure that each part of the overall story has it's own position and release in sequential order? Yup.

But timeshares are a pain in the ass too, and those fuckers get set up all the time. How about a well-crafted narrative with 3 solid acts packed into 2 hours where each character is given something to do other than say "I'm Maria Hill. I'm from the comics."

That's not a film. That's "Transformers". That's a big advert for something other than what I paid for, and it makes me unhappy than I'm not dumb enough to enjoy the trickery of it.

But Thor was okay.

1 comment:

  1. Thor was a great movie if I were to choose over Captain America. Thor has some style and solid ending while captain america was not also bad but it lack some story lines.


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