Saturday, November 09, 2013
"Thor: The Dark World" (2013) -- Initial Thoughts
First off, I must write a small ode to the wonderfulness of Thor. Gone is the arrogant, war-hungry boy. Gone is the giddy boy enjoying the admiration of a woman who drools at everything he says. Gone is the blind trust he continually offered Loki in The Avengers, when he thought he could save his brother. Thor has grown up at last, making measured decisions, trying to find ways to serve the greatest good, no longer blinded by his love for Loki. I am so very proud of him.
Second, the plot has more to it than just Loki-is-petulant-and-trying-to-hurt-his-adoptive-family, which is refreshing.
Third, there's a nice lot of Darcy (Kat Dennings), and she's as quirky and delightful as always.
Fourth, I liked the fight scenes a lot better in this than in Thor. They seemed more realistic, less CGI and over-the-top. Kind of gritty and crunchful.
However, there are a couple things that annoyed me, and one that has me angry. I'm annoyed that Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgaard) is turned into a punchline. One shot of him acting crazy was enough. Two was too many. Also, there is this one completely pointless, lingering shot of Thor washing his face while shirtless that has no point whatsoever other than to make girls drool, and I felt pandered to. I also felt bad for Chris Hemsworth for being momentarily reduced to beefcake. He's worth more than that, folks.
But here is what makes me angry: the writers cheated, and it feels like they just did it to please fans. But the thing they cheated about is VERY SPOILY, so I beg you NOT to read any farther if you have not seen this yet and are intending to go see it. Seriously, this will totally ruin the emotional impact of part of the movie. You don't want to read past this until you've seen it. Stop here. Come back when you've seen it. I'll even put a very nice picture of Loki here so you can remember where you stopped reading.
You've been warned.
I feel like they cheated by bringing Loki back at the very end. His death, saving Thor and Jane, was magnificent. One of the best deaths I have seen. I forgave him for all the times he'd hurt Thor, for all the bad and nasty and mean and awful things he'd done. I really did. I was at peace with Loki. I almost liked him.
And then they threw that all away! Oh, ha ha, Loki was faking! Psych! Not dead after all, just broke Thor's heart because he wanted to. La la la la la. NO! You can't do that! That's worse than "It was all a dream," to be honest. Because now Thor went through all the anguish of losing his brother for nothing. And yes, Loki's death brought Thor peace too, and the opportunity to forgive him, and so I appreciate the closure Thor has now. Except it's all a lie! GRR! ARGH!
It just really feels like they wrote this amazing death scene, this great redemption arc for Loki, and then said, "Oh, wait! Loki has fans! They will hate us if we kill him! Let's just bring him back, then." And I'm sorry folks, but that's not good storytelling. That's just catering to what they think people want, not what the story needs. And that angers and disappoints me.