Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saw "Thor" yesterday

Was intrigued by the very positive reviews.  I expect one of the Avengers movies to suck majorly, and my initial prediction was that it might be this one.

I preface the following with my not knowing shit about the characters here.  I realize my Geek Cred is on the line, but other than a very rare dabble, I haven't crossed the line into comic books.  Therefore, I had no idea of the original Thor.

Well, no.  What I did have an idea of was the original Thor -- him from Norse mythology -- and couldn't figure out how they'd manage to fit fantasy into a world that was basically science fiction.  I mean, you've got pseudo-scientific explanations for how Tony Stark became Iron Man and how Bruce Banner ended up Hulkifying himself (those darned gamma rays).  But now they've got to co-exist in the same world with a Norse god and I wasn't entirely sure that this was going to, you know, work.

(During the film, I spent a small amount of time actually trying to dredge up what I remembered about Thor from that one chapter on Norse mythology in the mythology book falling apart on my shelf.  I came up with a basic fact or two about Odin, Thor and Loki and... that was about it.  I also had a bit of a giggle when I remembered the last time I'd read something about Thor finding himself on modern-day earth -- a bit in Douglas Adams's The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.  Especially the passage that begins, "The big man awoke and tried to look up, but could hardly raise his head.  He tried to sit up but couldn't do that either.  He felt as if he'd been stuck to the floor with superglue and after a few seconds he discovered the most astounding reason for this."  That was one of only two times (to date) when I'd found a book to be so funny, I had to just set it down for a couple minutes and laugh my butt off.  Maybe I should read that again...)

ANYWAY, the movie had no problems at all bringing Asgard and the rest into the universe as we know it, so I was pleased.  Also, it moved swiftly and there was lots of comedy and ass-kicking working side by side.  No problems there.  I was a bit annoyed at the whole love story -- mostly because it was underdeveloped and impossible to believe.  If it was wedged in there to appeal to a female audience, it was totally misguided -- the female audience was happy enough with the (completely gratuitious) Thor shirtless scene.  (Commented my friend, the master of understatement, "Thor's pretty.")  I understand it being somewhat necessary for the plot (the romance, not the shirtlessness), but ... come to think of it, I wonder if this sort of totally underwritten romance (with no mental or emotional connection) is meant to appeal to the target teen male demographic in the first place.  (Just throw Natalie Portman in there, call it love, and that's the end of it.)

But, basically, it had everything we look for in one of these Marvel films, and I think Thor will fit in quite nicely with the rest of the group.  It didn't elevate beyond the material the way the original Iron Man did, but it neatly delivered the (somewhat difficult) goods.  Am satisfied.


peg said...

Was Natalie Portman good in the movie? I have trouble seeing her as "love interest" for some reason.

peg said...


I need to work for these people.

nzforme said...

Well hello Ms. Peg! Natalie Portman was simply not believable as "love interest" (and I wasn't all too sure about her as astrophysicist, either). To be completely fair to her, the script gave her very little to work with. I mean, other than that Thor was crazy hot. Sex interest, maybe, but love interest? There was just nothing there.

peg said...

Well, she had to be better as an astrophysicist than Denise Richards was as a nuclear physicist.