Saturday, May 7, 2011
Last night began the Marvel Movie Marathon which involved watching Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man 2. Sadly, as I watched these movies in order, I remembered how each one had been progressively worse than its predecessor. Iron Man was incredible and is still enjoyable to watch over and over again. The Incredible Hulk was good, at least a lot better than Ang Lee's Hulk. Then came the robot overload in Iron Man 2 that made the story seem redundant. Iron Man 2 at least had the redeeming quality of really pushing forward the Avengers story with lots of screen time with Nick Fury and the Black Widow.
After seeing Thor tonight I fear for how much worse it can get as we head into Captain America and then close with the Avengers. Thor was a massive disappointment. But not from a story perspective- Kenneth Branaugh may be the worst director ever!! Without any spoilers- below are the 3 main reasons I did not like Thor.
1) This is a comic book movie. Remember that Ken. Beginnings of movies that are just a short tease as to an event later in the movie using the exact same footage is screwing the audience out of some valuable story building time. This movie was less than 2 hours, and a good 10 minutes was wasted by showing the same scene twice (opening scene, flashback to the beginning of the story, then catch up to current time). This strategy of filmmaking should only be used when making artsy movies while trying to prove something profound.
2) This is a comic book movie. Quit trying to make it artistic. Iron Man 1- lots of action backed by a strong story. Iron Man 2- even more action than the first- backed by a great story. Thor- completely boring at parts backed by what could have been a great story. Numerous times the action would start to build in the movie and you would feel that twinge of almost excitement, but before you could fully realize the intensity of the scene, it would end in some ridiculous artsy shot. Or it would switch back to Asgard (another complaint- way too much of Asgard in the middle of the movie). There are numerous fight scenes in which Kenneth slows down the pace of the movie by using slow classical music, instead of rock and roll superhero kick butt music. I never thought I could be bored in a comic book movie but I had to eat Twizzlers to stay awake in this.
3) And 3- this is a comic book movie. No one will be upset if you make it 2 hours or 2 1/2 hours. But when you introduce a new hero in a movie less than 2 hours, you lose some of the storytelling capabilities. Sif and the Warriors Three were almost annoying by being in the film at all. If they were not going to be developed more as vital characters to Thor, they should have been left in the background or just disregarded completely. Ideally though an extra 15 minutes of footage building up these characters would have proved invaluable to the quality of the movie. And its not like you could slow it down anymore.
So now- what was good about the movie? The casting was perfect. I could not think of better actors to hold the parts. Chris Hemsworth is Thor and his meddlesome brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) was brilliant. Anthony Hopkins was also powerful and of course Natalie Portman played well with the others.
And the end- STAY AFTER THE CREDITS!!! I do not understand people that still leave during the credits. Do they not remember that all of these movies have awesome teasers at the end! This one is no different. I will not tell you what the end is- but its incredible and has now got me pumped up to see Captain America and the Avengers.
At the end of the day, you have to see this movie because it does further the entire story and there are some cool hints at other movies and characters. If nothing else check it out to see Stan Lee with his first lines in a movie!! If you get bored, just fast forward to the end past the credits- its worth the less than two hours worth of sub-prime movie in front of it. I rate it just a 2 star movie but check it out as a matinee before Captain America comes out. You will enjoy it much more after seeing Thor.
Movie poster found at: http://movieodyssey.com/files/2010/12/Thor-Movie-Poster.jpg