If you want to attract an honorable lady, be an honorable man.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thor: Review

Well, I have to say I am becoming rather fond of super-hero movies. After Captain America and Avengers, Thor was naturally coming down the pipe eventually. I had heard some good comments about the movie, and I really wanted to give it a go, especially since #2 is coming out this fall. 

I have to say I wasn't expecting what was coming.

Thor is the first born of Odin, king of Asgard, ruler of the realm that rules the entire cosmos, and boy oh boy he knows it. He is proud and arrogant, headstrong and authoritative. 

On the day of his coronation, the arch-enemies of Asgard, the Frost giants of Jotunheim, invade the weapons vault and try to reacapture their power source taken from them years ago when Asgard defeated them in a battle to save planet earth. 

Thor is furious, and with his four friends and his brother Loki, Thor sets out to teach the Frost giants a lesson, against his fathers express wishes not to. 

After traveling to Jotunheim and wrecking things for a bit, Odin comes to Jotunheim himself and brings Thor back from his streak of vengeance. Thor is removed of his power and title, and is banished to earth. 

Thor runs into, or should I rather say, is run into, by three scientists studying strange behaviors of the night sky, after being hurtled from the heavens into the dirt in the middle of the night. 

His father threw his hammer down after Thor, with these words. "Whosoever shall hold this hammer, if he be worth, he shall possess the power of Thor." 

Thor is at first taken to the hospital, but after wrecking the place up and being placed in stricter confinement, sneaks out on the streets of a small town in New Mexico.

The crater sight where Thor's hammer landed, in the meantime has become the sight of great interest. Only whoever is worthy can hold the hammer, and it is otherwise unliftable to any. Every redneck within fifty miles 
shows up and is having contests to see if anybody can pick it up, until the government arrives and kicks everybody out, sure that the hammer is some sort of international threat. 

Thor hears about this, and tries to regain his hammer. He still hasn't gotten the message his father tried to tell him. He is proud and unworthy, and is unable to lift it out of the rock it is embedded in. Thor finally gets the message - he is no longer a God, a superior race. He is a man, and no more. 


After some ins and outs with the government and his new found friends, Thor is released from his governmental captors, and is set at liberty with his friends. 

While all of this is transpiring, trouble is brewing in Asgard. Turns out his brother Loki, always jealous of Thor, was the one who let the frost giants in that day in Asgard, just to ruin Thor's big day. Now, Thor's father is fallen ill, and Loki is reigning on the throne. Thor's four friends start to smell a rat, and set off to find Thor.

Thor has been told by Loki that his father is dead, and Thor must stay in banishment so Loki can patch up a treaty with Jotunhiem, the treaty being hinged upon the point that Thor is out of the realm. Thor is now informed by his friends that no, his father isn't dead, and what Loki was saying was a lie. 

Loki gets wind that the four warriors left for earth, and sends the guardian of the relics of Asgard, the Destroyer, to kill Thor and wipe out the small town.

The destroyer messes up the town, and Thor, in an act of self-sacrificial heroism, tells Loki (who for some reason can hear him there on earth) that he is sorry for whatever he did to cause the destruction of the town, and instead of killing innocent people, to kill him instead.

In that act of self sacrifice, Thor makes himself "worthy" again, and comes back to life, regains his hammer and power, and of course, destroys the Destroyer. 

Thor returns to Asgard, after promising Jane, the scientist who has been helping him, to return one day for her.

Thor returns to Asgard to find that Loki has been mischief as usual. In an attempt to make himself look noble in his fathers eyes, he rigs the Frost giants to come in and murder the sick king. Just as the Frost giants are going to kill the old king, Loki appears and kills the king of the Frost giants, thus making himself the hero - self rigged glory.

Thor appears on the scene at this point, and calls Loki out on his actions in trying to destroy them with the Destroyer. Loki breaks the meeting up and runs off to destroy the world of the Frost giants, to further his own self-imposed glory in the eyes of his father.

The way the Asgardians travel from world to world is a beaming device called the Bifrost, but if used too long in one shot on one planet, will destroy the planet. Loki rigs the Bifrost to destroy the planet of the Frost giants.Thor appears and tries to save the planet, which precipitates a smash and bash battle with Loki, which ends in the second, and greatest act of self sacrifice in the movie. The Bifrost is the only method of transportation between the worlds, but Thor destroys it to save a world of people that had tried to do him harm.

The reason this is so powerful, is because he at the same time cut off his only chance of seeing Jane ever again. He put aside his own love to save those he hardly knew. It is one of the most powerful scenes in the whole movie.  

Loki falls into the dark of outer space, and Thor, now the humble son, tells his father he was right - he does have much to learn.

The movie ends with a scene that kicks the door wide open to the sequel coming out this fall.

Overall, the worldview of Thor is what blew me away. The subtitle to the movie is 'Courage is immortal'. I would change it to 'Humility is Immortal'. The whole message of humility, and being humble, even if you are powerful, was astoundingly well out, I thought. They contrasted the rule of Loki verses the rule of Thor well indeed. Loki tried to use his power for his own glory and profit, Thor used his power for the good and profits of others, at the ultimate expense of his own. I have to admit I was deeply touched and convicted by the lack of self interest Thor showed in the movie.

Also, another thing that struck me in the movie, is the high view and dignity shown to patriarchy. The father could have been shown a bumbling idiot, an overrated failure, trigger happy with his self conjured power. But he wasn't. He was shown as wise with his power, just with his decisions, quick to forgive and try to make peace, and never once was put in a light that disrespected him in honor or position. His wife, the queen, was even supportive and loyal to him, and didn't try to make excuses when Loki called out some of his deeds he didn't agree with. Don't see that often in movies do you?

The worldview is what sold me on this movie. I walk away from movies what the worldview was preaching, despite what the rest of the movie conveyed, or tried to convey. And I walked away from Thor feeling uplifted, encouraged, and humbled, at the same time.

The good:
The worldview is outstanding, the message of self sacrifice is flooring, the humor is great, the fight scenes are epic.
Oh, and despite the modern tight clothes of the people on earth, and the warrior maiden in Asgard, there is no real immodesty to mention. Just the average every day clothes are a hair tighter than they should be. Again, not perfect, but loads farther than other movies, and loads father than they could have made it. Two thumbs up to the wardrobe director on that one.

One friend of mine was amazed at how clean this movie was, considering how recently it was made. Hollywood just doesn't do that often enough to really be believed when they do really put one out. But hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Another thing that I liked was how accurately they depicted the role of the government. Most Super movies have the government as the one behind the good guy, while in this one it is not. It is shown to be an annoying thing that thinks it is in control of everything, and is sure that it is they and their high tech equipment and professionals alone who are keeping the world safe, when in reality, they all look like fools for thinking they are so important. They are nothing but in the way, because the problems they were facing were far beyond the scope of anything they could handle, in fact, were entirely out of their class.
Which is exactly the case of the modern government. It was interesting to see how accurately they portrayed the government for what it really was, and not the hero.

The bad:
Of course, there always is bad. I think I caught two bad words in the entire movie. Two. That's flooring for a movie made in 2011, let alone an action super-hero movie. Far better than Captain America and Avengers.

There is a romance that weaves it's way through the whole movie, which although not blatantly annoying, ends in a kissing scene near the end of the movie. Only one, but its there.

There is also Sif, the warrior maiden of Asgard. Tough, feministic, with a "I can beat you hollow" attitude ascribed across her face, she is a bit annoying. Fortunately, she is a minor character, and doesn't tarnish the screen enough to diminish from the effect of the movie.

Another thing, is that although the message of the movie was flooring, it wasn't the most intriguing movie as far as super-hero exploits are concerned. Avengers, Captain America and the like seemed to focus on the story of blasting the bad guy and saving the world, while the whole story of Thor was merely to support the message of Thor. Not as much of an action puncher, but it has more moral kick than most. If you are an action junkie, this movie might disappoint you.

Overall, I give Thor a 4 out of 5. The 1 out is because of Sif, the kissing, the lack of smash-battles common in most super-movies, and the two words I caught.

Well worth it, to most ages.

Here's to round two.....


  1. I like your thoughts on it, David. I am quite fond of "Thor". The worldview definitely sells it for me. Since I saw Avengers before it, I didn't realize how far Thor had come in terms of humility. In fact, speaking of worldview, Marvel has done pretty well with their choices in their latest movies. (Cpt. America, for example. Good morals in that story too)

    I have to say though, I am actually pretty sympathetic for Loki. I have never seen a villain with more depth and intricacy than him, and it was good to have a relate-able real character rather than your typical cardboard-cutout "bad guy". Up until the final words from his father as he hung over the abyss, I think he was redeemable. Plus, the fact he was part Frost Giant, his motives for destroying them could have been out of his own desire for acceptance. After all, he was raised to believe the Frost Giants were the evil ones, the scum of the universe, and he found out he was one... maybe his desire to destroy them all could have been so that he was the only one left, and thus could be accepted as a "good guy".

    Anyhow. Glad you enjoyed it! I am looking forward to the second one, and hoping Marvel delivers as good - if not a better - story.

    1. Oh, fooey. I forgot to do a whole section on Loki that I was going to do.
      Loki was the most real villain, for the most real reasons, I have ever seen. I felt exactly with him. He was trying so hard to please his father, feeling left out of the family and not accepted. He is the only hero I could ever have a real emotional attachment too, because I could feel his emotional battle all through the movie. Marvel has been doing pretty well indeed - Probably one of the only movie makers today consistently making movies where the Manly hero defeats a worthy villain.

    2. Oops, I called Loki a hero, not a villain. Rats.
      Anyway, what I was trying to say was that most villains are so far evil with no leftover attachments to the emotions and feelings of humanity, that they are almost fake. Loki was real, with the real passions, fears, and hurts that all humans hold alike, but yet, still a real villain, and he was doubly so in Avengers.

  2. lol, I just recently watched Thor, because I was trying to figure out how the Tesseract made it to earth. I didn't like it quite as well as Captain America or the Avengers, but it definitely had it's really, really funny moments!

    I don't think you'd like the Iron Man movies. They have many more problems than the other Marvel films.... I don't know if you were considering them or not. I haven't yet seen I M 3. Really looking forward to Dark World and Winter Soldier, though :)

    1. Yeah, you find out the Tesseract in Cap, (but you obviously know that already) but Thor definitely had some required background for Avengers. And yes, this movie had some serious laughs.
      I have a real distaste for Iron Man, even from what little I have seen of him in Avengers. I will admit he does have a riotous sense of humor, a quick wit and I love the banters he and the various other supers have in Avengers. Besides that, he is stuck up, arrogant, and hardly fits the bill for what would be called 'Hero'. The one area where Marvel has their hero ideas a bit screwy. Although, I have heard he does redeem himself in IM3, and become a little more down to earth. I don't think I will see the IM series, but Dark World, Winter Soldier, and Avengers 2, are really looked forward to.
      I see Iron Man and Thor as opposites. Cocky, and powerful - Humble, and more powerful.
      Lets hope he carries the slightly more redeemed qualities in Avengers 2.

  3. Okay.....somehow totally missed this post till just now! Either computer/blogger error or operator error - one just as likely as the other ;)

    So glad we decided to watch this movie...I was definitely impressed. Actually went and looked up when it was produced because I couldn't believe the worldview and the overall "wholesomeness" of it. Although, I think I'd have to give it more like a 4.5 out of 5 - merely because Sif really doesn't bother me (she's *such* a minor character), and there was plenty of action in my book :)

    I also had no idea there was a 2nd coming out! *excited grin* :) :)

    1. Yeah, the quality was so high I almost gave it that as well, but taking the movie as a whole, It doesn't have the same flow that most hero actions movies have, with a climactic super battle, all or nothing, to save the day, at the end of the movie, like Avengers, Captain America, and the like, have. So, on the scale of all the elements of the movie rolled together I had to take it down a notch. I wish they had the story and plot and action of Avengers (which is simply amazing - you can have no idea until you actually see it) with all the moral cleanliness and redemption of Thor.
      But hey, you can't get everything your way. :)


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