Thor’s out, and it kicked moderately decent butt during it’s opening weekend. However, despite the cries of “BEST COMIC BOOK MOVIE EVARRR”, I’m just not seeing it. Clearly, that title is still held by the legendary film Captain America II: Death Too Soon.
Now, let’s get one thing straight: I absolutely loved Thor. I thought it was a great movie with a heart, a superhero movie that knew exactly what it was, and didn’t try to take itself too seriously. However, I still feel that the movie was lacking a few things that really hurt the film in the end. So, here’s three things that could have made Thor flawless (and, because negativity is lame, one thing that it nailed perfectly).
1) For Odin’s Sake, Put On Thy Helm.
We all know that Thor wears a winged helm. We even get to see him wearing it during the film, so we know it exists. But, and here’s the thing…it’s in the movie for about 30 seconds.
Seriously, go back and look! He wears it when he’s entering the Halls of Asgard to see Odin. He takes it off as he kneels before Odin, lays it on the ground and….then it’s gone. We don’t see it again, even at the end of the film when everyone is gathered around in their more regal attire.
You’re probably going to say “But Chris, this is just another instance of bitching about things that aren’t just like the comics!”. And, well, kind of. Thor wears his helm constantly in the comics, rarely taking it off. It’s an identifying symbol, and one that’s associated with the character much like Cap’s shield and Iron Man’s Gin & Tonic.
You could argue the hammer is more important, but the helm is clearly meant to have some significance in the film; he’s wearing it when he’s going to be proclaimed King of Asgard! But what’s more, it adds a level of armored protection to his head, a fairly important part of the body to protect. We know Asgardian’s are tough, but not invincible, a protective skull cap, winged or not, would definitely be something you’d put on as you dashed back home to beat up your younger brother, but it appears to have been ditched in favor of keeping Chris Hemsworth’s face unobscured. Adding it back may have looked goofier, but it would have helped maintain the character’s classic appearance, and added something that made him much more easily recognizable.
2) Better Flesh Out The Supporting Cast
Quick! What’s the name of Thor’s mom? You remember when they said it, right? No, you probably don’t…because they didn’t.
You don’t know it unless you’re a fan of the comics, or keep up with your ancient Norse mythology. How about the Warriors Three? They’re named off and on, but you probably missed it. And hey, what’s significant about them? Other than Baldur eats a lot and Volstagg is really, really pretty? And what about Lady Sif? You know she’s a fighter, and you probably picked up that she’s got a thing for Thor if you paid really close attention to how she longingly stares at him, but what’s her significance to the character?
Again, Thor is a comic book movie that knows exactly what it is, and that’s fine and dandy. But the Warriors Three and Sif are, again, a huge part of the comics, and can easily garner a giant fan reaction by themselves due to their unique characterizations and personalities. But in the film, they’re reduced primarily to Thor’s aides, following him around expressly so that they can be thrown into a car or an ice cliff when Thor has to be in danger. They don’t serve to do much to move the plot forward. Yes, they help fight in the beginning. Yes, they tell Thor that Odin is still alive. But when they get to Asgard, they all but disappear until the film’s final celebration. These are four, powerful characters who have a huge following and backstory, and they primarily serve to be canon fodder and plot devices. I know you can only fit so much into a 2 hour movie, but a better display of their fighting prowess beyond some bullet time and a handful of fights would have been nice.
3) Thy Exile Was Far, Far, Far, Far Too Short
This has got to be, by far, my BIGGEST complaint about the film. Thor is exiled to Earth, where he must learn humility and shed his brash ways in order to prove himself worthy of Mjolnir. He does so in TWO DAYS. Seriously! The brash, arrogant, loud Thor does a complete 180 in 48 hours.
There’s other implications here, too. Odin falls into the OdinSleep, after everyone fears that he’s been putting it off for so long that he may never wake up. Again, based on the events of the film, this lasts for TWO DAYS! The OdinSleep, for those of you who don’t know, is a periodic slumber Odin falls into in order to recover his energies, and may actually replenish the magic of the Nine Realms. It doesn’t last days, it lasts years. The OdinSleep has no impact in the film; he simply naps for a few hours, then wakes up to save the day.
What’s sad is, this could be fixed easily. All you really have to do is go to that shot where Thor is cooking breakfast, and slap a “Six Months Later” sub title on it. Sure, you could do more with it; reshoot it to make it look like the Warriors Three have been searching for Thor, and that Loki has been visiting Thor all along to continue goading him away from humility. But either way, giving Thor six months to learn to be kind and for Odin to get a bit of a longer nap would have helped the movie’s plausibility a lot more.
One Thing It Did Really Well: Loki
Jesus Christ, Tom Hiddleston. This guy ate up the screen, almost as much as Hemsworth’s Thor did. He had a slimy vibe to him the whole movie, while still coming off as sympathetic. I’m excited that Loki is scheduled to appear in the upcoming Avengers flick as the (or rather, one of the) big bads, and cannot wait to see what Hiddleston has in waiting for a fight with Thor, Cap and Iron Man. No matter how you felt about this movie, Loki is easily the second best thing about this film.
And somehow, that feels weirdly appropriate.