May 8, 2011 § 3 Comments
I wanted to watch Thor because I thought it would be a solid action movie after the mild disappointment that was Fast Five. Thor seemed unique — very rarely do we get movies based on Norse myths, and having done no research except watching the trailer on TV, I had no idea this was a Marvel production. So I went into the movie with no expectations except to be entertained.
After watching it, though, I’d say that Thor was a bit of slapstick comedy combined with a lot of hot mess.
First of all, I forgot [or never knew] that Natalie Portman was in this movie. After all the hullabaloo with the Oscars and the ballet, I’m frankly tired of seeing her face everywhere despite having watched neither Black Swan nor No Strings Attached. My affection for her is waning in tandem with my love for James Franco.
Anyway. The main problem with Thor was that it tried to incorporate too much, which made for a baffling and sometimes incoherent narrative. There’s the brother vs. brother drama. Father vs. sons drama. Abduction and self-hatred drama. That random race of frost-giants drama. That frustratingly inexplicable split-second romance. The group of federal agents whose presence and purpose are never explained. How Natalie Portman is following sky-static in the middle of New Mexico with poly-sci major Kat Dennings and her dad’s old bud and is somehow getting college credit. And what exactly was that glowing blue cube??
Everything is just piled on, and I can understand that they tried to pour in so much in order to help the plot move along, but it was just too much. B even fell asleep on my shoulder for half an hour and essentially didn’t miss much.
Can I also point out the racism in this movie? The only Asian person in the whole film speaks with an accent. It would be fine except HE’S FROM ASGARD, the mythical realm in which EVERYBODY ELSE speaks with a Viking accent [LOL I don’t know how to describe it exactly]. I mean, I get that Tadanobu Asano is a Japanese actor and that’s probably just how he normally speaks English, but the perpetual foreigner thing really grates my nerves.
At one point during the second half of the movie, one of the secret agents sees the group of four warriors strolling down the quaint New Mexico street and mutters into his walkie-talkie, “We’ve got Xena, Jackie Chan,” and some other description I’ve since forgotten. It was funny — the theater laughed, because it was mostly true. I get the Xena reference; Jaimie Alexander played a female warrior who was dressed like this:
But what about this looks like Jackie Chan?? [Note that the agent was standing on a rooftop, so all he could really see was the hair/costume.]
It’s because he’s Asian, isn’t it? It’s the equivalent of calling a black guy Chris Rock just because he’s black.
The frost-giants looked like they were styled after the Green Goblin. It’s always interesting to see just how much a movie will make an alien look like a deformed humanoid. I get that we’re limited in our scope of imagination, but do foreign species really just have to look like people with acute epidermodysplasia verruciformis [I don’t know how to pronounce it either]?
I was surprised to see that Kenneth Branagh directed this film. I remember watching his many Shakespeare films in middle & high school English classes. Good to see that he’s moved on to bigger and better productions!
[Movie stills courtesy of Yahoo! Movies.]