The Thor movie? Not that good. (Review)

I know there’s a plot in there that would make me care. I just cannot find it.

One of the many problems I have with Thor is that the plot strives for drama but falls short of its own ambition, lacking any kind of tension or depth. The result is a bland, flat and boring movie and I frankly didn’t care about anything that happened in Thor.

Surprisingly enough, Thor starts rather promising because Thor is a good asshole you can dislike with passion. It’s not great of a setup (in fact it is pretty generic) but it captivated me enough to look forward to how his character change unfolds. You cannot imagine my disappointment when I watched the actual plot stumbling forward after Odin banishes his son to Earth. That isn’t drama with some comedy; that’s wannabe drama.

What’s so hard about throwing a guy to the bottom? And I don’t mean the lackluster “bottom” found in Thor. I mean the absolute lowest point ever.

What about having Thor have no chance at all of winning against the agents, continuing his humiliation by letting him beg on his knees to see Mjolnir? The finishing blow could’ve been the moment his own hammer rejects him. He goes all emo and after a little bit of whining he realizes something important of moral value on soap opera level.

The result wouldn’t be awesome either but at least something with a little weight to everything. But instead of that we get a seemingly powerless guy that manages to beat some of the best trained humans while a one-dimensional girl drools over him. I’d be happy if that would the lowest point ever in my life.

This brings me right to the action of Thor. What that movie throws at us doesn’t feel very epic or amazing for a very simple reason: the action isn’t getting bigger. The first fight against the ice guys at the beginning promises some really, really huge final fight because that’s what an action movie normally does. So when a movie begins with the clash of civilizations including some freaking huge monsters the final fight has to be extraordinary, right? Wrong. Thor quite contrary to my expectations and to my utter amazement, manages to reduce each major action sequence compared to the one before.

Take the fight of Thor and his friends against that robot thingy. Everybody is just standing on the street for most of the time and show no sign of teamwork at all. Therefore the action lacks any form of tension, speed, urgency or danger. It’s just some robot shooting some fire and that’s about it. Come on guys, you’re supposed to be gods, what about some fast, kinematic action of epic levels?

In that regards the final fight between Loki and Thor is one of the biggest disappointments in recent memory. There’s literally nothing that makes that sequence memorable or amazing. Thor vs. Bridge isn’t necessarily something I’d book as fantastic action, especially after nothing big happened at all despite some little magic tricks and some Swing of the Hammer.

The world of Asgard suffers from a similar disease as the action sequences. At first it looks great but the longer I saw it the less I could endure that over the top and bombastic epicness. Everything in this empty world is big, fantastic and sparkly and seems like a mixture of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. This goes especially for this cold, aseptic look (Odin’s armor for example) that reminds me of those infamous Star Wars prequels. Just because those guys are supposed to be gods doesn’t mean that everything has to look sterile and boring. At least the creators decided to counterpoint this “bombastic plastic” with a rundown town in the middle of nowhere but that’s the only positive thing the rundown town adds to the movie. (By the way: the script totally forgot to add real confusion to a guy who never came in contact with modern technology)

In the end Thor is a movie that gives us basically nothing. The action is lackluster and the character change from asshole to comic book god is too flat to be really interesting. The same goes for the sterile CGI worlds of Asgard.

The crowning moment of all this is that nothing gets truly solved. When the movie ends the girl is on Earth while Thor is stuck in Awesomeland. In the meanwhile Loki’s on the hunt for some Device of Doom© that is in possession of S.H.I.E.L.D. When I saw that final scene with Loki I wondered how the heck he managed to not only reach Earth but also find one of the very few humans on Earth able to get in touch with that Device of Doom©. When the screen went black something important dawned on me, though:

Thor isn’t a movie in the normal sense of the word, it’s in fact a pilot movie for The Avengers.

Rating
Flat drama, boring action. Hopefully the sequel will be better.

Comments

  • Superbman

    Although i won’t try to change your mind, totally within your prerogative to like a movie or not…But I will try to share my own take on the movie. Thor’s plot is simple, but effective. It borrows elements from Shakespeare like Edmund’s jealousy of his brother Edgar from the play King Lear, it mirrors Loki’s hatred for Thor. Thor on the other hand starts of as someone who glorifies war and battle, akin to that scene from Henry V when he was rallying his troops (talking of past glories in battle) only to be exposed to the horrors of an actual war. These are story elements in Thor incorporated in the character’s fantasy world of a comicbook tale.

    Thor started as arrogant, true, but he was not an “asshole”. He was headstrong, and so sure of his abilities, but his heart was in the right place. Even disobeying Odin, the heart of it was only to insure the safety of Asgard. He was a confident and self-assured hero. His banishment was meant to teach him humility, just like in the comics. And it’s not the fact that he was thrown to the “bottom” (no job, nowhere to go, needing help from lowly earthlings) which gave him humility, it was actually the realization that… A) he may have caused the death of his father (lie told by Loki); B) he was no longer worthy to wield mjolnir (“unworhty of your power”); C) his mother hates him (again, another lie told by Loki…”unworthy of the loved ones you betrayed”); D) he sparked anew an ancient war; E) he cannot even come home (“unworthy of this realm”)…once all of those things came flodding in and he realized that for the first time he has no idea what to do…there is the depth of his character that you are looking for. When he sacrificed his own life to save his friends, he realized what it’s meant to “forsake all ambitions” (one of the requrements of being king of Asgard (told by Odin)…and when he sacrificed his only way to be with jane again to save his own enemies, he showed that finally, he is a hero.

    About the lack of a meaningful and memorable action sequences…well, I agree with you on the fight between Loki and Thor, but disagree with the one about the Destroyer. The Destroyer fight was handles as well as it could have, given the budget and story constraints. Asgardians aren’t gods. Not all of them are capable of “kinematic action of epic levels”. In the movie, they are aliens from another realm (world) worshipped by early civilization as gods (Fandral said something like that, and Darcy as well…it’s all there). With the exception of Thor and Odin (and Loki and a few others not shown), a normal Asgardian is just stronger and more durable than humans (so they can push a car aside, no problem, but they can’t fly or shoot lasers from their eyes), which was aptly shown in the movie. There was a level of teamwork shown by Sif and the Warriors Three…their plan was to keep the Destroyer “distracted” (said so by Sif) while Sif attacks it from behind (which she did)…everything worked out according to plan, except the Destroyer was so much more than 4 regular Asgardians can handle, and they wouldn’t stand a chance of surviving the fight…hence, Thor’s “sacrifice”….When Thor regained his powers, the fight between him and the Destroyer was short (but so sweet and awesome) because they wanted to show what it was like to challenge the power of a god unleashed…Thor brought all the powers of the storm and even the “all-powerful” Destroyer was swept away and rendered helpess. That sequence, from Thor’s “death”, regaining his powers and his dismissal of the Destroyer was the pay-off to everything that happened to Thor on earth…and it was glorious.

    Any movie can be nit-picked, I can point out alot of “mistakes” in the Dark Knight (for example), which is both critically and commercially successful, but at the end of the day, a person will enjoy a fantastic tale of a comicbook characters by one’s willingness to suspend disbelief and just going along for the ride.

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  • sam

    Thor the best entertaining movie that i have ever seen.

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