Sunday, March 16, 2014

In Which I Am Late to The Thor Movies

I should start by explaining that superhero movies are not generally my cup of tea.  I rarely watch them.  I actually fell asleep in the theater during a Batman movie.  I know that lots of people adore the genre.  I think part of my problem is that you already know the major plot line before the movie even starts:  Good Guy is going to meet a villain, he will meet his love interest, the villain will be defeated, and Good Guy will get the girl. Happy ending all around.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and I understand why people would enjoy good conquering evil.  I really do get it -- I have watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy repeatedly.  For some reason it just does not translate to superhero movies for me.  It seems like the superhero wins through brawn, not smarts.

Last evening, after I got home from work, I noticed that Thor (the first one) was on television.  I have had numerous people tell me that I have to watch this movie, I will love it, it is so good, etc and so forth. I haven't read any of the comics, but I have a passing familiarity with Norse mythology, so I decided to give it a go.

I missed the first bit, and Thor was already exiled to Earth when I tuned in.  He definitely had some problems, and presumably there was a villain somewhere, and here comes Natalie Portman as the love interest. The actors are great, but I am not getting why people have been telling me that I have to see this.

And then came Loki.

Well hello there, shape-shifter, trickster God!  Now the movie has my attention, and I might just be rooting for the "bad guy".  He's smart, witty, and  you never really know which side his loyalty is going to lie with at any given time.  I'm intrigued.  Maybe I was overly tired, maybe my brain just makes odd connections between things, but Loki made me think of The Prince by Machiavelli. (To think that people told me my degree in English was pointless.  Look at the wonderful use I put it to in my own head!)

I was hooked by the end of the movie.  Odin was awake, Thor had saved the day but lost the girl, and Loki fell into space.  I was not best pleased by that last part, as Loki had quickly become my favorite character.  Hang on -- didn't another movie just come out last year?  Bless you, Verizon Fios, for having Thor: The Dark World available On Demand!  I had to watch it.  Immediately.

**You might want to skip this next section if you have not watched Thor: The Dark World yet.  There are going to be some spoilers.  Just scroll down the page until you see more red text.  Or go watch the movie now.  This will still be here when you are finished.**

First off -- the Dark Elves are just creepy.  I don't like their faces.  They are nightmare fodder.

Secondly, why is Loki in jail?   Last I saw he fell out of Asgard.  He was naughty and caused some problems, apparently.  I'm not sure why locking him up in solitary confinement was the solution, as that is just going to tick him off even more.  Mistake, good guys, mistake.  That's a lot of free time for him to think, and thinking is his strong point, not yours.

Let's jump ahead to the part where I almost turned off the movie, shall we?

Did Loki just die?  Unacceptable!  There had best be some illusions going on right here.  And Thor -- really?  You're going to leave your dead brother who just saved your life lying on the ground?  Your Mom just got a fire boat, and lights, and became a star.  You just left Loki dead on the ground and promised to tell your Dad that he had died nobly?  I'm disappointed in you, Thor.

Of course I could not stop watching at that point.  I'm invested in defeating the creepy Dark Elves now.  So let's just skip to the end.  Thor goes to have a chat with Odin.  Odin wants him to be King.  Thor is all, "I don't want to be King.  It's too hard and you have to make tough decisions.  Loki would have been better at it.  BTW -- he died nobly."  Thor leaves, and OMG Odin is really Loki!  I cheered, by myself, in the middle of the night.  I'm a tad concerned about what might have happened to Odin, but Loki isn't dead!

Somebody start working on a third movie, please!

**You can start reading again below this point.  No more spoilers from here.  Just don't look up the page or you will ruin it for yourself.**

So today I did the Heart Walk, and the friend I was walking with happens to be a big fan of all of the superhero movies.  I told her that I had finally gotten around to watching Thor, but that I had preferred Loki to the good guys.  Her response?  "Oh, I'm so glad you discovered Loki!  I knew you would love him! *pause* Not that you are evil or anything, but he seems like your type of character."  Yes, yes he is. We went on to discuss the movie, and I explained how I immediately had to watch the second movie, and how distressing I had found parts of it.

She asked if I had seen The Avengers.  No, obviously I had not.  That is about multiple superheroes, so why would I ever have watched that?  I had looked up the movies on IMDB last night, so I knew Thor and Loki were listed as being in The Avengers, but I assumed that with all of those superheroes crammed into one movie the main focus would be on all of them, and Loki must just be a tiny part.

I was informed that my assumption was incredibly wrong.  Turns out that Loki is a big part of that movie, as he is the villain that all of the superheroes are fighting.  Who knew?  It actually explains quite a bit of context that I missed in the second movie, like the whole "This is for New York" face-slap.  I did think it was a bit odd that they kept referencing all of this chaos that Loki had caused, yet they weren't showing any of it.  Apparently it rates its own movie, which I now have to watch.  (I'm not counting the face-slap as a spoiler -- even I had seen that in the trailers.)

What have I gotten myself into with these movies?  I did not realize that Loki was going to suck me into an entire franchise.

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