I went to see Thor 2 on Tuesday, because I had some time off in the middle of the day. I really enjoyed it, continuing Marvel’s winning streak with me. And of course, I am in the Loki fangirl category and couldn’t resist seeing it right away. And of course, I had Thoughts. I’m not intentionally going to spoil anything below, but if you’re someone who doesn’t want to know anything before seeing a movie, this is probably not the review for you.
So, anyway, I thought it was a lot of fun–visually very cool, especially the way the aether moved and the visual differences between the different realms. Also, the funeral scene, which was beautiful and beautifully shot. And I’ve been impressed by the Marvel movies so far. They’re not serious, but they do what they set out to very well.
First things first: the previews. I had a slightly flaily moment as I got a preview for The Day of the Doctor, Catching Fire, and The Hobbit, all in a row. (Don’t disappoint me, movies! And show!) I really enjoyed the fact that the family of a mom and three kids in front of me got really excited for Day of the Doctor and The Hobbit too. My people! The rest of the previews seemed very unfocused–i.e., not tailored to the audience very well.
I personally thought the beginning of the movie was slightly hilarious in its echoes of Fellowship of the Ring (movie specifically). The whole backstory struck me that way, actually. Just substitute ‘Ring’ for ‘aether’ and see what happens. I don’t mean this in an accusatory way–LotR underlies a lot of contemporary fantasy. But in this case, it was a little more obvious, down to the “well, we didn’t destroy it way back when because…” explanations. (Also that moment when Jane turns into the Dark Queen. I almost started reciting Galadriel’s line.)
Also hilarious? The weird bizarro-world Doctor Who thing. I find it hard to believe you can cast Christopher Eccleston as your villain and have him crash a spaceship into London and NOT be slightly aware of this. But seriously. Doctor Who. Crashing a spaceship into Greenwich.
I was happy to see Eccleston in a decent role, since he’s been pretty out of sight since his Who days (and I love Nine). For the campy material he was given, I thought he did a decent job, although all the sneeriness got to be a bit much after awhile. Then again, they’re painting characters in pretty broad strokes throughout.
Darcy! Darcy was awesome, as expected. Kat Denning steals almost every scene she was in. I also enjoyed the banter with Ian, the intern’s intern. He was a bit of a Rory, in some ways, although not as cool. (Sorry, Ian.) I didn’t quite like the “You saved my life! Now kiss!” thing, but oh well.
I have slightly mixed feelings about Jane. I appreciated the fact that she and Darcy are clearly friends and respect each other, and I generally felt like Jane is portrayed as an actual person. But the number of times she’s unconscious or absent at crucial moments started to add up. I want her to be the counterpoint to Sif and Frigga, the badass ladies of the movies, the one who shows a different kind of strength. I think that’s probably what the writers were going for, but I don’t think they quite get there. I did like how involved she was with the resolution, though–that was definitely the moment when she was most proactive and self-possessed.
And then there are Thor and Loki. The flying scene was one of the best things ever, even it was blatant fangirl pandering. I DON’T CARE, THEY CAN JUST KEEP BANTERING FOREVER. I am actually warming up to Thor a bit; in the first movie he really did come across as a kind of oaf who keeps hitting things. But he’s being shown with some more depth and conflict here. You can see it in the way he stands up to Odin, and the way he calls Loki on some of his stuff. (“No more illusions.”) I also think they’re playing with Loki’s character in a more interesting way–rather than simply being evil, there’s more of that shady trickster will-he-won’t-he side coming out. Also, I continue to ship Loki/Sif, in a doomed will-never-happen way.
As far as plot goes…well, no one watches Thor for the plot, right? This one jumps all over the place, ending with a “WHAT JUST HAPPENED?” moment, as well as two during-credits clips (yes, two, keep watching) that set the scene for more to come. For the record: I totally called it. Still, while I was watching, I didn’t even think about it because I was having too much fun.
I could probably go on for a few more hundred words, but I won’t. It’s enough to say that if you’re looking for something fun and relatively cohesive, I recommend this one. It was one of the more purely pleasurable movie experiences I’ve ever had.