As with Captain America, I went into Thor with very low expectations. Unlike Captain America, I wasn’t a huge Thor fan growing up. I’d classify Thor alongside Iron Man. They were superheroes so I was into them, but they were the first figures to be captured or destroyed when playing.
Although it plays out over two hours, there really isn’t much story happening here. They are trying to tell two very different stories – one in Asgaard and one on earth. In doing so they don’t fully develop either, and that goes for the characters. Don’t know how they could have rectified this, but it was worth pursuing because the lack of focus and development derailed this movie.
Chris Hemsworth is fine as Thor. He’s got the look and physicality down. However, his character’s arc is rushed and forced. He’s on earth for a few days and changes from a hard-charging battle eager prince to a caring, thoughtful prince? We don’t even see him and Natalie Portman’s scientist character develop a relationship. They have one talk under the stars. It’s all a bit ridiculous.
I didn’t mind Natalie Portman’s scientist, just wish they gave her more to do. I could have done without the chick friend. She seemed to complicate matters unnecessarily and detract from the main relationship. She wasn’t funny, she wasn’t interesting… she wasn’t anything. But no one had much to do here. Even Jeremy Renner making a cameo as Hawkeye – he never actually pulls the trigger. So why bother?
Most of what goes down in Asgaard is rather lame. The set design is terrible, and the world building is worse. Asgaard has the feeling that it is one big set. It is where the rulers of the realms sit, but all in one building? And the Frost Giants live on one mountain? Isn’t there an entire world there? Earth is a place just like theirs, but it is vast. In the scope of the film, if you didn’t know anything about earth you would think it is just a small dusty, desert town in New Mexico. Are we to believe that Earth is this massive place and they all keep getting dropped in the same place? I understand they were probably trying to play up the Roswell connection, but what about the nordic connection they already established? We know they came there – why wouldn’t that be the dropping point? It was all very muddled.
As was the logic behind most of the film. Was he the same Thor from those tales? Did he just age very slowly? Has he been to earth? How come he doesn’t remember? He seems like a petulant teenager or early 20’s. For me, it left many more questions than it answered. And played out like a video game to boot, with the characters almost going to ‘levels’ – and having to fight the end boss (Frost Giants, US military, big metal robot thing, Loki)…
I don’t want to rag on the film too much. It is popcorn entertainment and I realize this. And Hemsworth is definitely fun as Thor. But shouldn’t we strive to make better popcorn films? Marvel did a good job with the first Iron Man and Captain America and The Incredible Hulk… here’s hoping that this was an exercise in laying foundation and Thor 2 will be infinitely better.