Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thor Is A Sequel but Is It Thunderous?

Allow me to rant for a moment.  I will get to the movie, Thor: The Dark World, but I need to set something up.

One thing you need to know is I will generally forgive adaptations be they novel or comic book providing they do a few things.  Tell me a good story and stick to the essentials of the original story.  They need to capture theme and mood that transports me just as the original did.  Do this, and I will forgive a lot of indiscretions. If you are going to do a show called Sleepy Hollow then changing Ichabod Crane into, oh I don't know, say a resurrected Revolutionary War Soldier who married a witch and is now working with a cop who happens to be one of two of the witnesses of the coming Apocalypse, I may be a bit less forgiving.   I mean why bother naming your characters after those in a famous story?  Don't get me wrong, I like Sleepy Hollow.  It's just that it has zero to do with the original story.  I digress...

I did not regularly read Thor comics as a kid, teen or adult.  I have read perhaps only handful total.  I always found him too egotistical for my taste and thought his over-sized hammer kind of silly, even for a comic book.  That said I have liked the movies.  I feel that, from what I know of the comics, the movies do meet my requirements for an adaptation. The first had that majestic spectacle of a great play, a clear mark of its director, Kenneth Branagh.  It had a powerhouse actor, Anthony Hopkins in the form of Odin and pretty straight storyline.  So what makes Thor: The Dark World different? It has more character and less over-driven action sequences.  Although I didn't see it in 3D, I am pretty sure it would be pointless pay the extra money so I could wear the glasses.


Thor: The Dark World is a comic book movie.  It takes its time to find its legs, and it doesn't really take any risks except one at the end that I thought was pretty pointless.  There was something though that once it does start moving draws us into the story.  Like most comic book movies some things are never going to make sense.  It is the nature of the beast plus the fact there is probably a ton of different back stories and alternate stories and other world stories from the comic book world to sift through.  It is probably why all comic book movies eventually must make their own way much to the fans' chagrin.  The other thing is this: this Thor movie is darker and at the same time not as serious as the first movie was.  Like Tony Stark in The Avengers, we have moments of fun such as the intern's intern and their sudden romance, the naked professor and, of course Loki suddenly becoming Captain America.  There are some moments of nudge, nudge, wink, wink fun.  Just ride it.  I was also not over-whelmed by the battle sequences.  I have to admit that in several of the comic book movies, the battles are almost too long.  Yes, I know every Avenger needed screen time, but it just seemed to go on and on.  The battles in Thor: The Dark World are tight and creative.  There was also more character and back story, but the narration at the beginning was over the top, but then again, IT IS A COMIC BOOK MOVIE.


I want to take a moment's thought and point to the Loki storyline.  There are moments when the movie is not Thor's but Loki's.  I loved the whole idea of a redemption storyline.  Tom Hiddleston has played the character to the hilt.  He owns the screen when he's on it.  The killing of Loki was from a comic book/morality tale point of view perfect and is just completely trashed with Loki suddenly becoming Odin in disguise.  Let's face it, the movies have pretty well set up future villains, and unless we desperately need one for Thor 3, the noble death of Loki should have stood. Did Loki fool Thor by being stabbed using illusion and then play dead? Did he replace the guard sent to find Thor and him and then replace Odin, and as the trickster god fool everyone including King Odin, Thor and all his buddies, even though Thor told Loki to stop the illusion?  It did not need to become a clever plot twist. It wasn't. It stole the moment from the audience.

Stay for the credits.  Half way through the credits we meet The Collector and have a statement about the Infinity Stones which connects the Thanos appearance in Avengers, and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy.  We now have two stones (there are six): the Tesseract and Aether.  The Collector is one of the oldest aliens as is Thanos who originally collected all six stones to make the Gauntlet of Infinity a Guardian story. The last scene after the credits is like the one in The Avengers, just kind of a treat.

Overall, I liked the movie.  Is it the best, no, but it is fun to watch, and it was nice to have some story rather than one continuous action sequence. I will buy the DVD when it comes out.