Don't Mistake My Appetite For Apathy!

THOR (2011)
Powerful. Epic. Alcoholic.
In antici....pation for the badfuckingass Avengers (2012) movie coming out, directed by the man I'd go intellectually straight for, Joss Whedon, I've decided to do a little catching up. To be honest, I was generally doing my best to avoid ever having to see Thor (2011). I'm not a huge comic book geek--I'll sell out to see the movies, but that's about as far as I go. And usually, I do dig on comic book movies--but generally stay to the grittier side of things (Frank Miller, I'm looking at you). So as much as I am a 12 year old boy from time to time, I couldn't leave a trail of candy tempting enough to get the kid in me to shell out the big bucks for this one. With that said, I did shell out the small bucks to rent it...and was glad that I did.

God of Thunder meets House of Pancakes.
This movie's saving grace really lies in its great sense of humor. Here's what I expected: a candy cane flavored bucket of made-for-3D action figures come to life. Here's what I got: a movie that didn't take itself too seriously and had a hell of a lot of fun being itself. I mean, really. How do you portray someone like THOR, who speaks in all caps and demands a stage worthy of his all powerful Godly presence? Well, you strip him of his powers, throw him down in the middle of bumfuck America, and watch him stumble around like a self-important drunkard. Instead of trying to compete for the spotlight with Iron Man and Captain America, Thor made the very wise choice to be the comedy relief of the bunch. The movie is littered with moments of brilliant, hilarious script writing, and I found myself literally laughing out loud as Thor demanded a dog, cat, or bird "big enough to ride" out of the pet store.

On the topic of the God himself, a moment for Chris Hemsworth. Alright, so Thor wasn't exactly a huge departure from his last big role of Kirk in Star Trek (2009). Still, he was somehow totally unrecognizable (must be the facial hair), and there wasn't a second that I didn't believe he was a giant, self important Norse God. He owned the role of Thor, and added a level of humor and humanity to the character that sold me. Onto the rest of the Thor family. I did not recognize Anthony Hopkins. Maybe I'm getting old, or he is. Either way, it wasn't until the credits started rolling did I actually recognize my friend Hannibal. So he spent most of the movie in a Odincoma, but hey. He was larger than life and just as badass when he was on his feet. Thor's evil little brother, Loki, was brilliant. Helmed by Tom Hiddleston, the man did killer job. As someone not familiar with the comics, I was pleased with the neat little twist in the simple fact that Loki...wasn't really a bad guy. At least, not in the beginning anyway. At the start of the movie you're going "Well, shit. Thor's off his fucking rocker, give the throne to Loki, he's the only sensible one in the bunch". And he's got that innocent face, that gentle expression...that is, until he turns into a maniacal little bastard. In short, I'm stoked to see him kick ass in Avengers.

Guarding gay bridges and taking names.
Outside the Thor family, we have some more great actors. I've already got a massive love affair with Idris Elba thanks to the work he's done with Guy Ritchie, and so I was overjoyed to see him kick ass as Heimdall, the gatekeeper. Seriously. He was the most badass part of the movie. Dude was so cool as the stoic, powerful, and justice-abiding Heimdall, I'd trust him with the gate of the universe any day of the week. Thor's band of merry warrior friends were also great--I don't know if it was the acting or the script, but you really got the sense that they would all live and die for each other. And I'm more or less just salivating over Sif, played by the beautiful Jaimie Alexander. Now that's a badass warrior woman. She had no love interest, just intense bromances, and a warrior's heart. Badfuckingass. For a super hero movie, I've got to give this one props for the way it treats its woman folk. Even Thor's love interest, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), does a lot of standing on her own two feet. So, yes, she is a bit Mary Suey from time to time. But she does have her research that she cares about more than anything, and that has to count for something, right? I'll also note here that Natalie Portman stuck out like a sore thumb from time to time. I love the woman to pieces, and she did a great job. But that's just it. After winning the academy award for best actress, it's a little hard not to do a double-take when you see her in a super hero movie. Not to...diss super hero movies. But you know what I mean. Pressing on...

Now for the downside. The plot was too twisted. I didn't really get it. Something about...Frost Giants...rainbow bridges...you had to read the comic to understand, apparently. By the time the third act came around, I was more or less completely lost. But the thing was, that didn't really matter. You got the references or you didn't, Thor didn't really bother so much trying to put all their eggs in the plot basket. So they did something I actually have to give them respect for--they said "fuck this shit with the plot, the only ones who really care about plot are the comic book geeks who've seen it already. Instead, let's just build strong characters and a strong script". Which is really more than you can ask for in a superhero movie. All in all, more or less all over the place narrative-wise, but a fun as hell movie and good for a few unexpected laughs.

Did I mention she's badass?


  1. I loved this movie and I believe Sif should have her own flick. She's hell-awesome. Chris rocked it as Thor. The humor was great, I especially loved his raucousness and the way he smashed the coffee cup and was like "Bring me another." Idris Elba as Heimdall was stunning and Tom Hiddleston made Loki a true hero in his own mind. Can't wait to see what he does in Avengers.

    Sure the plot for this was all over, but really, how are you going to breakdown Norse mythology in two hours plus have time for some heroi ass-kicking on Earth. I think Branagh was the perfect guy for this material.

  2. Good point, good point. They can't very well hand out a Norse mythology guide for dummys and the door. But the rest of the movie was so much fun, I did more or less try to let the plot slide anyway.

    And I'm so with you there, a Sif flick would be the shit. It was funny, there were moments when you definitely felt like they were going to push something with her and Thor, and I cringed in anticipation, and then...they passed! And I breathed a sign of relief. The coffee cup was definitely a moment that had me laughing out loud. Another was when he wakes up in the hospital and the doctor is like "I'm just taking a little blood". Because if you're not from this world, yeah, that's a terrifying fucking sentence to wake up to. All in all, way fun. Here's to hoping for a female director for the sequel! Though Branagh was so badass, I really wouldn't be complaining if he came back.

  3. Although it didn't blow me away, I really enjoyed it for what it was. The plot didn't bother me at all.. I even thought it was a bit too simple. Chris was great as Thor, the role suited him perfectly. I gave it a 7.25 out of 10. Excellent review, buddy!

  4. You're usually pretty spot on with your ratings, and I'd say 7.25 is about right. It's a great movie...for what it is. And the plot may have been a lot less convoluted than I made it out to be I might've...just not been paying attention. Which isn't really a good sign for the script writer anyway. But! Still a ridiculously fun movie. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Hemsworth and Hiddleston made this movie!

  6. They really did! They were both such strong actors and worked really well off each other. I approve.

  7. No, no, no and NO!

    This film was stupid as hell. Aside the few scenes of really good humor, the plot was jumbled, cliche-ridden, and plain dumb as fuck, with so many of those lucky occurrences (aka the deus ex machina moments) it had me pulling my hair out!


    - Heimdall is frozen by the Frost Giants, but just when our heroes need him – he manages to break free by the sheer power of his will in order to save them.

    - Thor dies as a mere mortal before recovering his hammer Mjolnir which gives him superpowers. Oh, a pinch! Or not. Because, inexplicably, the hammer decides to fly to Thor and mysteriously revive him. You know, just for kicks.

    - Odin falls into a coma (an Asgardian version of it, anyway). When Thor and Loki battle on the Rainbow bridge and are hanging on the verge of death (literally), Odin awakens in that precise moment, and in about 5 seconds he miraculously spawns on the bridge just in time to grab Thor’s hand and prevent him from falling to his early demise.

    I mean, what the fucking hell screenwriters? I'm usually the first to suspend my disbelief, but "Thor" was simply too much. At least establish SOME rules and work within those boundaries. I'm sure that if somehow the situation was reversed, Loki wouldn't have his superpower-bling flying to him. Give the bad a guy a fucking chance.

    "Thor" can go fuck himself.

    Now that I've vented my anger, a question: have you seen Idris Elba as Stringer Bell in 'The Wire'? It was a brilliant HBO series, and Elba was beyond amazing there. It pained me to see such an actor being reduced to this role in "Thor"...


  8. Thor is a different movie. I like the story of and cinematography of the film. You have to give credit to Joss Whedon for superb direction. THE story has lots of twist which I find the best part of movie. All the performances are good. You can watch it.

  9. @ Ventilation Shaft--Thor anger! I'll definitely give you that it's campy as shit. That's a give-in. I should probably mention that the reason I enjoyed this movie was because...I thought it was targeted to 12 year old boys. So, for a campy kiddie movie, it was fun and I was pleasantly surprised when it just took the humor and ran with it.

    The script was definitely littered with deus ex machina moments, and you got some good ones. Especially the Odin bit was little "....", because that one was kind of...you know. Unnecessary. With the others, we needed Heimdell to be a badass and Thor needed his hammer one way or another, so they made sense. I get that Odin needed to wake from his coma at some point, but that scene was already so scattered for me and I wasn't really following it, so when Odin did appear it was just another thing thrown at me that I wasn't really following.

    However, there is the little bit that...well. They ARE the deus in the deus ex machina. I don't really know crap about norse mythology, but I've read the Odysseus and the Iliad like the good high school student I was. And they seemed to mirror a lot of that "larger than life" mysticalness of the gods...because, honestly, Thor isn't really...a superhero. He's a fucking god of thunder. If anything, I was surprised that the movie wasn't completely deus ex machina moments, which was what I expected. Since they're gods, they can literally do anything and everything, rules be damned. Which was 90% of why I didn't want to see the movie. How do you find a human way to connect to a god? Nonetheless, I think they did a good job of making Thor "human" instead of keeping him in his unattainable godliness.

    In short, I think the writes definitely had to focus a lot on balancing the deus ex machina moments with the reality of the situation and the humanity of Thor...or else it would just be a crazy movie with nothing to connect to. Which it clearly felt like to you, so I'd say they definitely walked a thin tightrope act with their "godliness".

    And, off Thor, I haven't see the Wire! I've been told I have to. Idris Elba has been a badass to me since Rocknrolla, so I've got nothing but respect for the man, I might have to check it out. Thanks for the lengthy comment!

  10. @ Watch movies--it's definitely an interesting one! I don't think Joss Whedon actually directed it, though, he just did the post-credit sequence (which WAS very Whedon, come to think of it). He's going to be directing Avengers, though, so time to get psyched for that! Thanks for the comment!


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