Well, on the bright side, it wasn’t two months since I last posted. 😛
And I know I said I’d be back with a Doctor Who episode review, but I’ll just be fulfilling half of that. 😛 Doctor Who, no(t yet). Review, yes.
I’ve been in a super big Marvel mood lately after seeing the first two Iron Man movies and Thor for the first time. And to my slight annoyance, I have discovered I have become a slightly obsessed Marvel fan.
I was never really into superheros. Ripped men in spandex with no character development and no flaws and women in immodest and impractical metal bikinis just didn’t appeal to me (and frankly, they still don’t. I mean, seriously).
So when everyone was raving about the Avengers, I didn’t really give it much thought (as one of my quirks/problems is to automatically dislike something the majority is raving about. Which is why it took me so long to get into the Hunger Games. That’s probably a fault I should work on). I heard from some people whose tastes I usually agree with that Captain America: The First Avenger was good. I knew they weren’t ‘follow the crowd’ type of people, yet they loved the new Marvel movies. And I do have to admit that I was slightly curious about why everyone was suddenly on a superhero kick.
So, one night, a long time after everyone else had seen the Avengers, I decided to pull up Netflix and give Captain America a try.
I would start to talk about Cap here, but this is after all, a Thor post, even though it’s taking me a long time to get there. Sorry. Moving on. (BUT. STEVE. <3)
A few months later, Kiera and I watched Captain America, and then The Avengers. I liked it more than I cared to admit, but I didn’t really get obsessed with it.
Just recently, I had the opportunity to watch Iron Man for the first time. When I saw The Avengers, I had thought Tony a funny, sn/tarky (see what I did there) character, but I didn’t really connect to him. So while watching his movie, I didn’t expect to connect with him, or grow attached to him at all. But I did. And then I started discovering the depth of the characters in the Marvel cinematic universe. Turns out, at least some of them, are more than shallow, Mr. Perfect-Hair-And-Abs.
Last weekend, I went home and watched Thor with Kiera, Mum and Dad. It was really fun getting to watch something all of us together. It had been a long time since we’d done that. Dad did complain that Kiera and I talked too much through the thing, but he’d already seen it, so. Hey, we hadn’t seen each other for a while. 😛
Out of all the Marvel movies, I expected to like Thor the least. I had heard that it seemed like the there was no character development, that main plot of the movie was, “Hey, we’ve got this old town in the middle of nowhere. Let’s blow it up.”
And now, having seen it for myself (Twice in the past week… Shush. I had to rewatch it so I could review it. Quiet), I must disagree.
And here’s why.
(ooh, look, we finally came to the review part of this post!!)
A MOVIE REVIEW
(WITH A REALLY EXCITING TITLE CAN’T YOU TELL)
All images, unless otherwise specified were screenshots taken by me. All rights belong to Marvel/Disney.
Caution: Some spoilers. Read at your own risk.
“Whoever holds this hammer, if he be found worthy, shall posses the power of Thor.”
Thor Odinson is destined to be king. He’s nearly there, too. On the day of his coronation, he kneels before his father, Odin Allfather, and takes the king’s oath. Odin declares him ki…. Hold on. There’s trouble abrew.
Three Jotun warriors, the Frost Giants who are the sworn enemies of the Aesir somehow managed to break past the defenses and into Asgard. They make it as far as the weapon’s vault – where they are dangerously close to stealing the relic Odin took from them when he last defeated them in battle, the casket that holds their power. With it, the Frost Giants can regain their former glory and become more dangerous than ever.
The three Jotuns are stopped, and Thor wants to march with an army into Jotunheim, the realm of the Frost Giants, and once again teach them a lesson. Odin refuses, and Thor declares, “As king…” To which his father reminds him he isn’t king yet. The trouble with the Jotuns stopped Odin one word away from passing the throne to his eldest son. And with Thor’s attitude, it doesn’t seem likely that Odin is willing to pass over the kingship right now.
A brooding Thor is sulking on what “should have been [his] day of triumph.”
“It will come,” his younger brother, Loki, tells him. Loki goes on to say that he agrees with Thor completely, and that the Frost Giants should be stopped before they can do further damage, but that there is nothing he can do without defying father.
Thor decides that is the best option, much to Loki’s chagrin.
Together with Thor’s closest friends, the Lady Sif and the Warriors Three, the two brothers march into Jotunheim. Needless to say, they are not welcomed, and are nearly killed in the ensuing battle.
Odin is not pleased with his son’s betrayal. “You are not worthy,” he tells Thor, before stripping him of his powers, his hammer Mjolnir and banishing him to Midgard – That is, Earth.
Thor has much to learn, as he finds in Midgard. Not all is as it seems… and with treachery in the House of Odin, Asgard is not the only realm in danger. Danger, which in order to save those he loves from, Thor will have to discover what being worthy really means.
The Good – Why You Should Watch It:
There were many pleasing surprises for me in this movie. I already knew some spoilers from being on Pinterest and Tumblr… it’s hard to avoid them, and it wasn’t until recently that I really cared. But even then, there were still some surprises, many of which I liked, some which I didn’t. Here are some of the things I liked most about Thor.
The film was both visually and audibly beautiful. The New Mexico desert may not have been very “pretty”, but I loved the rustic little town. Asgard was beautiful, and reminded me of a kind of sci-fi Rivendell. I loved the way Jotunheim and Asgard were contrasted on lighting and colouring. Asgard was lit with bright golds; a warm, noble feeling. Jotunheim was dark and blue; cold and shadowy. The characters were coloured accordingly as well, but that’s getting more into the costume side of things.
The soundtrack is one of my favourite things about this movie. Patrick Doyle does a fantastic job with the underlying themes of the score. If I had to describe it in one word, I would say, noble. Noble, with hints of bitter sadness in appropriate scenes. Sons of Odin is one of my favourite tracks, second only to Odin Confesses (because that one is so heart-wrenchingly beautiful and I just really like sad music tracks, don’t know why).
Here, listen to them while you read the rest of the review:
Letting Go, Loki’s Lie, and Forgive Me are also very beautifully sad (Listening to Letting Go now and wanting to cry. Argh. But you know it’s a good soundtrack when just listening to it makes your heart constrict). Brothers Fight and Frost Giant Battle are beautifully epic, and carry that feeling of nobleness. With Brothers Fight, it carries hints of the triumph of Sons of Odin but at the same time carries the heavy, bitter sadness, which is extremely appropriate and I find beautiful.
Alright, you’ve probably heard enough about the soundtrack. The whole thing is on Spotify if you want to listen to it there.
Costumes are oftentimes my favourite parts of movies. And these did not disappoint! While the “normal” clothes worn by the humans on Midgard were a bit, well, boring compared to the rest of the costumes, the garb of Asgard has me drooling.
My favourite costume has to be Loki’s. I don’t know why – maybe it’s the green. It might be his helmet. Is it possible to be in love with a hat? Because I think I am.
Just look at the beautiful leather, and layers. The gold isn’t overbearing but a nice underlying touch that still speaks of power. And compared to the bright red and blue of his brother Thor, his costume is much darker, going along with his overall appearance and makes sense in the light of the movie. It sets him further apart from the rest of his family.
Frigga, Odin’s wife, had some pretty awesome dresses as well. One of my favourites of hers is the one she wears at the end of the movie:
(Pardon the blurry screenshot. Costume shots can be hard to get.)
With her in that image is Sif, and while I feel her character could have been done better (which I will address later), I love her costumes. Her armor is really neat, though she of course has heels. 😛 Every superhero chick has to have heels. You wouldn’t be able to run and fight baddies without them, right?
The armor and costumes of the Warriors Three and the rest of Asgard are beautiful as well. I’ve always loved Norse designs and culture, so that could be part of it, though their clothing is rather different than that of a typical Viking. Which does make sense, since they’re not Vikings. 😛
And once again, I’ve probably rambled too much on the one topic, so again, moving on to my next point.
I was very pleased with most of the character development. Thor’s development from arrogant prince to real king material was perhaps a little fast, but still good. He had some pretty big failures, most notably when he attempts to get his hammer back, only to discover he can no longer lift it. A bit of his change at the end seemed a little quick, but overall, I thought it was good.
While Thor’s development was fine, and Jane’s not that great, the best character development in the film award definitely has to go to Loki.
His character is so fascinatingly complex that he captured my interest right away. As most people know, he is the villain, but to my surprise I found he was much more than that.
If you’re active at all in any fandom community on the internet, you’ll have heard of “Loki’s Army of Fangirls.”
I’m not the type of girl who typically goes for “the bad boys.” But well-done villains have always captured my writer’s mind, because to me, a story can be made or broken by the villain.
Before I continue, I want to make it clear that I am not what is typically called “A Loki Fangirl.” I’m not cheering for him to win, for the “good guys” to loose. His complexity of character intrigues me and makes me want to discover more about how his character ticks. He is the first character that’s really ever made me want to know everything about them, right now. I want to get to know them on a personal level and understand them as well as I understand myself.
Back to Loki. Now, this section will contain some spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want to have anything spoiled for you, skip ahead to the next bullet point. I already knew this going into the movie, and it didn’t take away much of my enjoyment of it, though I might have liked to have been surprised. But if you’re on the internet at all, you probably already know this. 😛
Loki’s character is unique in that as a villain, we watch him fall. He’s kind of like Anakin Skywalker, though he never was really the hero to begin with. I’m not sure if I would classify him as an anti-hero, or what. He definitely wasn’t completely good, “hero material”. No, the master of lies and tricks was lying to us from the beginning.
His major character change started when they were in Jotunheim. The second time I watched it, I found it fascinating that he was lit differently than Thor. Thor was brighter, while Loki already in the shadows. Already they were setting us up for what we would soon discover about him.
During the battle, one of the Warriors Three (I can’t remember their individual names. Sorry) is touched by an Frost Giant. He cries out in pain, and there’s a hissing sound like his skin is burning. Frost bite, I guess I could compare it to. A few shots later, Loki is fighting an Frost Giant, who grabs hold of his arm. Instead of a burning pain though, Loki watches in horror as his skin changes to same blue colour as the Frost Giant who is grinning at him.
Later, after Thor’s banishment, Loki stands in front of the casket in the Asgard weapons vault. Odin comes in, and when Loki turns around, we see his face and eyes have changed colour – to the colour of the Frost Giants.
Odin tells Loki that he isn’t his biological son, that he was adopted. Loki is no son of Odin – he is Laufey’s son, king of the Frost Giants. The scene has to be one of, if not my all-time, favourite scenes in the film. Tom Hiddleston is an amazing actor, and carried the scene beautifully. I didn’t cry, but I was definitely crying on the inside as Loki is crying, asking Odin why he had kept the truth from him. “Because I-I am the monster parents tell their children about at night?”
Thus beings the complex twisting of his character. I think perhaps, I will do a full post devoted to him, but I want to get to know him better first. But I will tell you this – he made me want to cry multiple times in the film. Instead of rooting for him, I was begging him to come back. To stop this madness, to redeem himself before it was too late. Only one other villain has affected me that way, and Loki definitely wins the prize for most heart-wrenching villain.
Thor and Loki’s Relationship
I don’t know why, but I’ve always had a soft spot for brother/sibling relationships in stories. Thor and Loki, Boromir and Faramir, Mycroft and Sherlock, Katniss and Prim, the Pevensies. Maybe it’s because I have siblings, and therefore I relate to all of those characters just a little bit more.
At any rate, Thor and Loki’s relationship has made them two of my favourite fictional brothers. It adds another layer to them, because their brother is part of them. It makes Loki’s fall so much more bitter. Loki wouldn’t be as compelling a villain if he were, say, Thor’s uncle (which readers of Norse mythology will know, he actually was). They both love each other. Which makes the ending so much more painful.
There’s a deleted scene that takes place before Thor’s coronation with the two brothers. From a strictly technical point of view, I can understand why it was cut. The transition from the scene with Thor and Loki as children (which I also understand why there wasn’t more, but I would have loved to see more of them as kids) to the scene of the coronation is much smoother without it. But another part of me is sad it was cut, because it was a wonderful demonstration of the brother’s relationship. There’s wonderful banter, as well as bitter foreshadowing of the betrayal to come.
The Bad – Maybe Not Why You Shouldn’t Watch it, But the Things That Could Have Been Better.
Overall, there was less that I didn’t like than I previously expected. There were a few problems though, of course, so here are a few things I didn’t like about Thor, and some cautionary things if you’re interested in seeing it for the first time but are worried about content.
Yes, this made it onto my love and not-so-much love lists. That’s because there were really well done, well rounded and developed characters like Loki and Thor and Loki (Oh, did I mention him already? His development deserves more than one mention; it was so wonderfully done) and Loki. But then we come to the two characters I feel should have had more.
I don’t dislike her. On the one hand, I really, really like her. On the other hand, she feels really underdeveloped.
I understand that she along with the Warriors Three were only side characters, and therefore don’t deserve as much development as Thor or Loki. But I feel that her character was slightly cliche. I was torn between liking her and groaning at every other scene.
I’m all for strong (both physically and otherwise) women characters. I’m a woman. I like female characters I can look up to. I love sword-wielding princesses, archer chicks, martial arts gals. I like that female warrior character who rolls down the hall to take out two baddies (or good guys) with a swift kick to the head. They’re fun. But they also deserve to be more than that.
With Sif, I feel like her only purpose was to bring a female presence representing Asgard to the film. She seemed to be just another warrior, kick-butt princess. Which made me sad, because I want to like her, and I do. But not as much as if they had let us get to know her a little better. The only time I felt emotionally connected to her was when they *MINOR SPOILER* were fighting the Destroyer, and she says to Thor while he’s trying to convince her to leave, “Stories will be told of this day!” And he replies, “Tell those stories yourself.” *END SPOILER*
I feel that she had more than a little crush on Thor, and one thing I’m not looking forward to about seeing Thor 2: The Dark World is I fear a love triangle is coming (Don’t tell me either way, I’ll see as soon as the DVD hits Redbox).
And that brings us to the one character I was most disappointed with:
I’m not really sure what my problem was with Jane. I think most of it was probably the romance, which I will address in a moment. Something about her just felt… flat. I did like her in some parts, but overall, her character was just ‘meh’. I think most of it was the romance.
So, let’s talk about both at the same time, so I don’t have to repeat it all one bullet point later.
This was, by far, the biggest disappointment for me. There was potential, but in my opinion, the romance was not played right. It was too fast.
Thor’s part was handled well, I thought. He seemed to be more curious than anything else of Jane. He kind of seemed to have a little puppy-dog crush on her, which I found cute. He found her intriguing.
From Jane’s side though, it fell through.
It happened all too fast. She seemed to be more than curious about him from the beginning. The two biggest things that bugged me was *SPOILER* when she thought Thor was dead, there was an overdramitic, slow-mo scene with her screaming, “No!” and running to his side. Bit on the cliche side, in my opinion. *END SPOILER*
And, of course, they had to kiss.
I nearly squealed with delight when Thor kissed Jane’s hand the first time. I don’t know why I’m such a big fan of hand kisses. I find them really sweet, and gentlemanly. And the second time, the camera angle was all set up for a passionate kiss (it was about that time in the movie, right before the hero goes off to face off with the villain) and I was groaning already. Then Thor kisses her hand again, and I squealed happily again.
And then they kissed. Ugh.
I think it would have been much better if it had been left with another hand kiss. It would have created a greater sense of longing when other events transpired at the end.
Overall, I think those were the two points that bugged me the most. Now, onto a the content:
I found Thor to be a fairly clean movie. There’s some intense battle sequences, and a brief scene in which we see a battle-scarred Odin missing an eye, but no over-the-top gore. There’s some swearing, but not a lot, and nothing worse than a couple of d-words and h-words.
The film was released in 2011 and stars Chris Hemsworth (Who I just recently discovered is Liam Hemsworth’s brother. Did not know that) as Thor, Natalie Portman as Jane, the Amazing Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Anthony Hopkins as Odin. It was directed by Kenneth Branagh and Joss Whedon (uncredited). The screenplay was written by Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, and Don Payne, and was based on the Marvel comics created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby.
It’s sequel, Thor 2: The Dark World was released in theaters in 2013, and is set to be released on DVD February 25, 2014.
Redbox here I come!
Would You Recommend it?
Yes, I would! I would give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars, the romance and weak development of some characters the things keeping me from loving it more than I do.
Have you seen Thor? If so, what did you think? Do you really like superheroes, or are you more like I was/isstillskindof?
I’d love to hear what you think! 🙂 Leave a comment below and let me know your opinions!
Hope you all had a great weekend!