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Mega Marvel Rewatch: Thor

I don't understand why people don't like this movie. It's one of my favorites in the series: fun story, good balance between funny and tragic, several excellent female characters are front and center, and Darcy Lewis is possibly the most entertaining character of all time. I think the acting is top-notch, the writing is pretty good, and the balance between Asgard and Earth is well-struck. Basically, this movie is possibly the most underrated of the MCU films, and I will defend it to my dying breath.

So, let's start with Loki and what he was really planning -- how much was by his design, how much was improvisation, and where things really went wrong. People argue about this, but I think he absolutely goaded Thor into his trip to Jotenheim. Loki might misjudge other people upon occasion, but he knows his brother very, very well, and he had to have realized how Thor would react to being poked like that. It can be hard to follow Loki and his bag-of-cats logic, but I'm pretty convince his plan was, roughly, to go with Thor to Jotenheim, then talk him out of attacking and bring him home, just in time to be "rescued" by Odin. This way Loki gets to appear the reasonable, level-headed one in front of his father, and make Thor look impulsive and foolish in comparison. I don't think he intended for Thor to attack or start a war -- remember, at the time, he didn't yet know of his heritage and so had no personal reason to want to destroy Laufey and the Frost Giants. And I doubt his intention was to see Thor banished, either. Humiliated, yes, but not gone.

That said, I'm not here to play Loki apologist. Some pretty unfortunate things happen to him, and at least in this movie I find him somewhat sympathetic (far less so in The Avengers), but as far as I'm concerned, that just makes him a more interesting antagonist, not a misunderstood woobie or secretly the hero. In particular, I'm not on board with reading of the film that cast Odin as the "real" villain. In my mind, Odin really only did two things wrong: not telling Loki the truth about his origin earlier, and his firm shut down of Loki at the very end, when he's hanging off the edge of the Bifrost. (Not that I think he should have encouraged Loki's bad behavior either, but he could have better recognized that, in his own twisted way, Loki was trying to impress his father and earn his love.) Later, in the Avengers, Loki accuses Thor of throwing him into the abyss; while this is not at all true literally, I can see why he would have seen it that way in a metaphorical sense -- although really Odin should be the target of his bitterness, not Thor.

Loki is the most compelling antagonist in the MCU to date, and we do his character no favors by conveniently glossing over the terrible things he's done, or by making excuses for him.

I wish the Thor/Jane romance didn't feel so rushed -- it all goes so fast, and it seems like they barely know each other by the time they're separated. I do like their relationship, and they seem like they'd be well-matched, but it's hard to believe that they've already come to that realization.

That said, I love Jane, and I love Thor. Thor reminds me of a golden retriever: big, bouncy, outgoing, not always aware of how much space he takes up in a room (especially at first), and with a giant heart, full of love and concern for everyone and everything. His character growth is, like the romance, a bit rushed, but I totally buy it. He's cocky, then he's humiliated, then he's grieving, and then he figures out what's really important to him. It's a nice progression, especially on a man being groomed for kinghood. I don't talk about Thor much, but I do adore him, and have from my first viewing of the film.

I feel like I ought to have more to say, but I forgot to take any notes, and it's Avengers time! I'm sure later movies will trigger other thoughts.

This entry is also posted at http://owlmoose.dreamwidth.org/707645.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on DW.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
darcenciel
Apr. 16th, 2015 02:52 am (UTC)
I enjoyed Thor (as much as possible for someone who knows nothing about comics anyway) but for me, I thought Iron Man and Captain America were more entertaining. Again, this is coming from someone who has only watched the movies, not read the comics, so it's more of a plebeian viewpoint than a fan, I guess XD
owlmoose
Apr. 17th, 2015 07:17 am (UTC)
Although I read a few of the comics now, I came to Marvel through the movies and still primarily consider myself an MCU person. I knew there was a Thor comic before seeing the movie, and I think I might have known that J. Michael Straczynski of Babylon 5 fame had been one of his writers (JMS also worked on the script for this movie), but that's about it on my end. :)

I probably overstated my case a little, because while I like this movie a whole lot, it's actually somewhat middle of the pack for me in the MCU, below the first Iron Man, The Avengers and both Captain America movies. But that's more a testament to how much I love those movies than a reflection of my feelings about Thor.
oswulf
Apr. 19th, 2015 07:49 pm (UTC)
I *haven't* re-watched, and having just seen The Winter Soldier and The Dark World for the first time within the last couple of weeks they are far fresher in my mind. That said...

I absolutely find that depth makes for a more interesting and more believable antagonist. A villain *should* be the hero in their own mind.

I keep wanting to write a... not sure whether it would count as fanfiction or not... but a narrative where Loki *is* the hero, but that's not this version of Loki. (If anything that would be Norse Mythology fanfic, not MCU fanfic.)

I started this post thinking I actually had something to say, but I guess I don't. Never mind. By Grabthar's Hammer, you shall be avenged.
owlmoose
Apr. 21st, 2015 01:04 am (UTC)
I've said this before, but if the MCU has any overall weakness, it's the villains. Loki would be an interesting antagonist in any case, but among this crew, he stands out like a beacon, especially in his performance.

What did you think of Winter Soldier?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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