Tho Am I, Buddy. Tho Am I.

Saw Thor right after getting back from a LARP session featuring ghost Vikings. Just so that bias is out there. Also, spoilers.

It is, first of all, a very eye-candy movie, in every possible sense. You’ve got both the cut blond and the pretty dark models of major-character guy–not to mention some serious minor-character hotness in Heimdall and two of the Warriors Three; you’ve got the warrior girl and the science girl and the cute zany intern and the hot badass mom; you’ve got exploding galaxies and awesome CGI and giant goddamn robots. These are good things.

Mythologically speaking…well, okay. I went in prepared to be forgiving, because this is Thor-as-portrayed-by-Marvel, and Marvel has done the “these are actually Advanced Beings who inspired the myths” handwave for longer than I’ve been alive. Still more faithful to the source material than Clash of the Titans: Yeah, Hades is the Greek Bad Guy God. Loki’s crazy scheming is good times, in particular, which brings me to…

..characterization. Notably: there was exactly nobody I wanted to punch in the face during this movie. If you know me at all, you know how wonderful and goddamn rare this is. Wacky Comic Relief Intern? Actually comic and didn’t fuck things up. Romantic Interest Girl? Had her own life, and her friends, and didn’t come off as broken chick. Also, points for having two women who have some level of romantic tension with the hero, not having one turn evil or get killed, and furthermore not having stupid jealousy interactions.

*Furthermore*, and here’s where it gets spoiler-tastic, the hero actually made the smart decision during the world-or-the-girl decision moment. I was worried for a second, but…nope, dude doesn’t even hesitate, because dude has his priorities in order. Go him.

Thor in general? Pretty well done. I don’t know from the comic, but I thought that Branagh and JMS did a good job both portraying the fish-out-of-metaphysical-water trope without making the guy seem dumb* and portraying a redemption arc that didn’t make me hate the guy too much to care whether he got redeemed or not. Again: rare. Could have done without the Standard Christ Figure Moment, just because I saw it coming from about twelve miles away, but it did work okay.

I felt like the pacing lagged a little in the first half hour or so–“show don’t tell” is a great rule about seventy-five percent of the time, except we really didn’t need to see the whole ginormous Frost Giant battle *and* Thor and Loki’s childhood *and* the coronation scene *and*…yeah. Then again, extended action scenes don’t generally do much for me–scenes without words in general don’t, personal wackiness there–so, again, bias.

I generally recommend it. I do not, however, recommend shelling out the extra $7 for 3D, though I don’t know if you’ll be able to avoid it. It shows well in theatres, but you could also get it on Netflix, watch it at home, and try to replicate the various drinking-and-then-smashing-things scenes. They get surly if you do that at the cinema, for some reason.

*Also, I will totally be announcing that this mortal frame requires sustenance from now on when I want some food.

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I'm Izzy. I write stuff: mostly vaguely fantasy stuff, and most notably the following books: Hickey of the Beast, published March 2011 by Candlemark and Gleam, written as Isabel Kunkle Raising the Stakes, a novella that was originally part of the Gambled Away collection Romance novels from Sourcebooks: No Proper Lady Lessons After Dark Legend of the Highland Dragon The Highland Dragon's Lady Night of the Highland Dragon Highland Dragon Warrior Highland Dragon Rebel Highland Dragon Master The Storm Bringer The Nightborn Blood and Ember I also like video games, ballroom dancing, and various geeky hobbies like LARPing. I have been known to voluntarily purchase and eat circus peanuts. Like, a whole bag at once.

11 thoughts on “Tho Am I, Buddy. Tho Am I.”

  1. Oh, cool. I was vaguely toying with the idea of going to see this movie, and I think you just tipped the balance to “yes”! 😀

    I’m not one to care for spoilers, anyway. Anything that relies on mere surprise to interest the audience cannot be that great.

    1. Hey, awesome! Hope you like it. 🙂

      And yeah, I’m not really Surprise Ending Girl. There are those who are among my friends, so I warn for anything that’s not really obvious or dated, but for myself…I, er, check the back of books before I read them anyhow, and look up movies on Wiki, so.

  2. Yay! I’m so glad you saw it. I only wish we could have gone together.

    I agree with pretty much everything you said. The pacing didn’t really grate on me, but I’m easy like that. Plus when I look back, even though the Earth bits were fine, the Asgard bits were the ones that made it an AWESOME MOVIE EXPERIENCE, with more than a bit of spiritual happy thrown in, and I felt the 3D was well worth it. You have a point on the smashing, etc. I do want to play a Thor drinking game ASAP.

    Cut blond guy does less than nothing for me. Hiddleston’s Loki: Still the Prettiest.

    1. Oh, that would have been awesome! We’ll have to meet up for one of these movies.

      Thor Drinking Game would rock. Maybe when it comes out on Netflix.

      3D never really does anything for me. That may be because my vision is sufficiently screwy, now that I think about it–myopia, strabismus, astigmatism–but I never notice the 3D bits. I don’t mind, but nothing ever stands out as “hey, that had a third dimension!” or similar.

      The Asgard bits were pretty damn awesome, yeah. In many senses of the word. The Jotunheim scene…well, I like my fight scenes quick and decisive (…like I like my men?), so I was a little “okay, are we done yet?” by the end. I really liked the coronation, though, and the Thor/Sif/Warriors/Heimdall dialogue moments.

    2. And Loki was uber-pretty. If I ever am in the position of casting some kinda elf king guy…

      I hadn’t expected to “appreciate” Thor as much as I did. He has better facial features than I expect from Built Guy, though, and that plus the accent put him between an 8.5 and a solid 9. The fish-out-of-water thing pushed it the rest of the way up: I’m a sucker for that trope.

      1. Yeah, he has a cute smile and he’s the list obnoxious main guy in any superhero movie like, ever. Well, unless you’re Loki. I think it helps a lot that his major relationships are with comrades / equals or with fish who are not out of water, and there’s no The Girlfriend.

  3. I need to see this now, as it sounds far better than I expected. Or perhaps, as you say, when it comes out on Netflix, and I can gather some friends for Drinking With Thor.

      1. My ancestors were Ukrainian Jews, which is also Polish or Russian depending when you ask. So I think we’re pretty down with the drinking, especially if we use vodka. Thor… well, it’s not really idolatry if you’re playing *drinking games*, right?

  4. Hi Isabel — total tangent here. I just found your blog from an old post of Tez Miller’s talking about your upcoming book, and I’ve really enjoyed your recent entries! Just wanted to drop you a line and say hi, and that I’ll try to pop by and comment sometimes (though I’m often a blog lurker) — and that I’ve added your syndicated page on livejournal to my reading feed. 🙂

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