I managed to catch a screening of Thor at my local theater this past weekend. To be honest, back when they first started promoting Thor (way back before Iron Man 2, if my memory serves), I figured that it’d be the movie out of Marvel’s whole Avengers line-up that I really only saw to complete the set. You’ve got to see all of the movies leading up to Avengers to get the full picture, so I’d be forking over $10 for the greater good. I’ve never read a Thor comic, and the closest I’ve even come is reading bits of New Avengers, and he’s not even around for most of that. Admittedly, I went in knowing absolutely nothing about Thor, except he’s got a hammer, he’s a god of some type and that Chris Hemsworth is a very, very pretty man.
Hey, I’m allowed to be at least a little superficial here.
Spoilers for Thor, and for the post-credits scene, after the jump.
Honestly, I greatly enjoyed the film, regardless of whether or not Chris Hemsworth has many, many muscles. (spoiler: he does.) It was fun, the effects were fantastic (I saw it in 2D, but I hear the 3D version isn’t overly distracting), and I was thorougly engaged the whole time.
I do have a few complaints. The plot was predictable and simple, I thought. Thor’s cocky and overzealous (though, I have to admit, I got a few good laughs out of his tossing Mjolnir around and just being badass for no reason at all), so his father sends him down to Earth to humble him and make him prove himself worthy of his powers. And of course, he falls in love with a woman who helps the process along (and let’s face it, Natalie Portman is going to be great in just about any role you put her in.) I saw most of the plot coming, right down to him getting his power back at the very last minute, just in time to go back to Asgard and save the day.
There weren’t any complex side-stories. Thor was simply the story of Thor Odinson proving himself worthy. In a lot of movies, I’d think this was a detriment, but when a story’s well-written and fun, simple isn’t necessary a bad thing.
The film wasn’t without it’s unpredictable elements, however. At least to someone whose never picked up a Thor comic, Loki’s true motivations came as a bit of a shock. I saw him more as the traitor wanting to get revenge for a lifetime of lies at first, and the reveal of him truthfully just wanting to prove himself and outshine his brother for once was refreshing. I love when movie villains aren’t wholly evil, when there’s a sympathetic side to them that almost makes you want to root for them. At least a little. I absolutely adored Loki. ADORED.
And speaking of unpredictable, I definitely didn’t see the ending coming. If the Bifröst Bridge is destroyed, how will Thor ever get back to Jane? And more importantly, how will he get to Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and the rest of the Avengers? Maybe it’s my own naivety when it comes to Thor, but I’m stumped as to how it’ll be resolved. Unless Heimdall is going to have something to do with it, which is my first guess.
I have to admit though, my absolute favorite bits of the film were the small nods to fans and to other Marvel characters and franchises. Did anyone else catch the mention of the ‘doctor who experimented with Gamma radiation and was never heard from again?’ It was subtle, and it was awesome. And maybe it’s because I didn’t read a lot about the film before seeing it, but I was surprised to see Jeremy Renner cameo as Hawkeye, who apparently already works for S.H.I.E.L.D. And while I know that there wasn’t enough time to make it and fold it in into the Marvel movie-verse continuity, I really wish they’d taken the time to make a Hawkeye film. Maybe after Avengers next year? Also, I know there was a Stan Lee cameo in there somewhere, but I completely missed it. Did anyone else catch Stan The Man?
And last but not least, let’s talk the post-credits sequence. I was seriously glad to see Loki’s not dead. Not that I really thought he WOULD be dead, but the confirmation was great. So, does this mean that Loki’s the main villain (or one of them, because Whedon fans know he’s capable of juggling more than one) in Avengers? A peek at Tom Hiddleston’s IMDB page shows that Loki IS going to be in Avengers next year, so that’s seriously promising. I couldn’t get enough of him. And what was the ‘power source’ in the box? Who knows, with the way they’ve been setting up this universe, this could all have ramifications in Captain America, as well.
Mostly, it was just damn good to see Nick Fury and Samuel L. Jackson again.
Next up, X-Men: First Class, on June 3rd, which I’m looking forward to more and more.