Sunday, December 01, 2013

"Thor: The Dark World"

Previews: Captain America: Winter Soldier; Vampire Academy; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; Robocop

Interestingly, the new Captain America movie looks to address some of the things I brought up w/r/t The Avengers. And Vampire Academy felt horribly out of place attached to this movie (and with these trailers).

Thor: The Dark World has gotten a lot of good reviews, but I have to say that I didn't love it. There was good stuff in it, and it wasn't a bad movie, but I wasn't particularly caught up in it or thrilled with some of the story. Jane, in particular, frustrated me throughout most of the movie. I'll try not to be too spoilery, but be warned...

First, I don't buy at all how she became infected with the aether. There's no good reason why she'd stumble into that particular area and get sucked into the other world -- or rather, why her and not the kids that had apparently been playing in the area for ages? Just didn't buy it. Second, as pleased as I was to see a number of female characters pick up weapons and defend themselves and their worlds, Jane is simply a vessel/a thing to be possessed for too much of the movie. She mostly hides, is carried around, and is eventually emptied. The writing improves a little bit at the end, as she uses her intelligence and knowledge to help save the day ... but it's all based on Selvig's technology, isn't it? While Jane isn't a completely passive character, I really struggle with her lack of agency for so much of the movie.

Incidentally, the film *does* pass the Bechtel Test, although with some debate.

I also appreciated what felt like at least a slightly increased number of characters who aren't white men -- the female warrior Sif, the Asian warrior Hogun, Heimdall and Algrim, played by black actors. And I totally either forgot or didn't realize that Heimdall was Idris Elba, who I love, and I spent far too much time while he was on screen saying to myself, "That's Idris Elba, isn't it? Is it? Wouldn't I remember if it was, though?" and then he took of the helmet and I was pretty sure that it was. I did not recognize Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Algrim) at all, though; mind you, he was under major makeup for most of the movie. And Zachary Levi! Didn't recognize him at all, even though I immediately liked his character (and was convinced that he'd end up somehow betraying everyone, since I liked him (this is what usually happens to characters I like)). And yay for Ray Stevenson!

ETA: Oh, I totally forgot how annoyed I was at the beginning of the movie, when we get to see Sif and Hogun (and Fandral) fighting and doing fine, but wait! Here's a blond, male warrior Thor to save the day! Blech.

I would have liked more time with the team, who we barely saw. And I didn't realize that some of those minor characters were in the first Thor movie, which I haven't seen in ages (and also didn't particularly like).

ETA: OK, I watched the first 20 or so minutes of the first movie, and look! There all the Asgardian warriors are (with a different Fandral). Did not remember them even a little bit.

So, yeah, I probably would have been as happy waiting for this one.


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