March 11th, 2014


so I saw Thor for the first time tonight

(x-posted from FB)

I sat down and watched "Thor" for the first time tonight. Parts of it were magnificent. Predictably, I liked Tom Hiddleston's, Anthony Hopkins's, and Rene Russo's acting in it. Idris Elba as Heimdall was particularly magnificent, though we didn't see nearly enough of him for my taste. I've never been a big fan of Chris Hemsworth's acting or Natalie Portman's for some reason, so their work left me a bit cold, but it was mostly well-done. I did enjoy the cameos from the Avengers 'verse, as well (Coulson, Hawkeye, etc.) I wasn't expecting that for some reason.

I think the biggest problem I had with it was mixed expectations between mythology/fantasy and the comic book genre. This is Thor, and I grew up on Norse mythology so I'm probably much more critical than I would be of, say, Zeus and Prometheus. So I'm expecting, well, mythos. Faerie. Modern movies, Hollywood in particular, never come close, but the closest I've been privileged to see of what I was expecting are probably the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter franchises. Of course it's not anything like that because at least half the story is told in modern-day Earth. But that did mean that some of the bits were at odds with my expectations. The feasting scenes felt cheesy. The redneck (for lack of a better word) attempts to pull the Mjolnir out of the earth were overdone. The family dynamic was well-done for what it was --really well done, actually-- but felt personal to the point that it verged on petty, at some level.

That last point is almost ironic, because, while I didn't like all the motivation of father doesn't love me, I only ever wanted to be your equal, etc., I really liked what they did with Loki. I can't say in his situation I wouldn't have reacted exactly the same way, though I hope I wouldn't have acted quite so recklessly! There's a great deal of moral ambiguity, or perhaps I should say nuance: you're never quite sure what side he's on, why he's on that side, just why he's so motivated as he is. Particularly for the genre, he brought a lot of depth to the role.

Plus, it's Tom Hiddleston. Do I really need to say more?

I want to watch it again in a few days, definitely. I suspect once I've gotten over my expectations I'll enjoy even the bits I didn't particularly care for. Even as I type this up, thinking of those bits (Thor throwing down his coffee cup and asking for another!), I find myself smiling. It really is quite good.

ETA: As we're talking about Tom H. as a villain, this needed to be added: