Friday, November 3, 2017

Rewatching Thor

I forgot how much blasted fun this movie is! I don't think I've watched it since it first came out on dvd, but it's a good one. The only thing I wished for while watching this anew was a better angle at the complications of Loki.

Given his further development in Avengers, but especially The Dark World, we get a better grasp of what drives Loki, which I don't think is touched on well in the first film. There, Loki is depicted as a slick trickster, but also a wolf in sheep's clothing. You get the feeling he was always destined to turn villain even before he discovers his Jotun lineage -since he had already set in motion the disruption of Thor's coronation and the scheme to trick Thor into going to Jotunheim against Odin's orders. As the viewer, I didn't feel like Loki could ever have been trusted or relied on at any point. By the time he turns full-blown villain, it comes as no surprise (admittedly, weren't trying to surprise you with it).

But after the final confrontation of the film, when Odin has stepped in to save both of his warring sons, Loki says [in reference to destroying Jotunheim] "I could have done it. I could have done it for us."

Was he trying to take over Asgard or was it all a misguided attempt to prove himself to Odin? If the latter, why tell Thor -the brother he insists he loves- that their father had died? GAH!!! Loki's a hot mess here, but not in a good way. All I knew was that something was missing in Loki's development here.


You know when you watch a deleted scene and shout at the TV "THAT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE! WHY DIDN'T YOU KEEP THAT SCENE IN? IT'S WHAT MAKES THE STORY WORK!"

This is one of those movies. There is one, apparently insignificant scene, of Loki and Thor preparing to enter Thor's coronation ceremony. It exhibits the exact, beloved brotherly behavior that I devoured in The Dark World. They tease each other, insult each other, and inspire each other; they're freaking adorable and brotherly. It introduces them both in a friendly, grounded light, while simultaneously hinting at Loki's vindictive nature and Thor's arrogance and pride.

Maybe it wasn't a perfect introductory scene, but served up foundation to the entire relationship and conflict between Thor and Loki. More than that? It would have made me more sympathetic of Loki, more heartbroken by his later betrayal. This introduces Loki not as the Trickster-soon-to-be-Supervillain, but as the mischievously lovable brother of Thor, and that would have had a significant emotional impact in the film.

According to the commentary on the deleted scene, director Kenneth Branagh cut it because it was too slow of a moment and he wanted to jump into the punchier action of the scene, Thor entering the ceremony to raucous applause, It does get the story started with a bang, but I can't help but feel this is another case of character being sacrificed for Hollywood's all-mighty action!

It's also possible I'm being a mite overcritical, given that Kenneth Branagh is about to direct the adaptation for Artemis Fowl, one of my most beloved books, and he darn well better DO IT RIGHT.

I also caught another Easter egg this time around! Since I've been reading through some of The Mighty Thor comics I was reminded that -originally- when Odin sent Thor to Midgard, he put Thor into guise of a mortal man called Dr. Donald Blake -the name of Jane Foster's ex in the movie version, an alias she and her friends tack on to the god of thunder since they don't know what his real name is.

Avengers and Thor: The Dark World
Rewatching these I had less revelations, I guess because I've seen them more recently/frequently.

In both I noticed for the first time the brief appearance of Odin's two ravens. Neither is given a role nor are their names mentioned, but it's a nice inclusion for fans. Just a little 'Here you go. We didn't forget them.'

And viewing Avengers once more I remembered Loki's most heinous act of all. I can only blame Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the resurrection of my beloved Coulson for making me forget how much I hated Loki after that cold-blooded murder. If not for the television show, would I be so infatuated with Loki's potential redemption? If not for the so typically comic book move of bringing Coulson back from the dead, would I believe Loki even deserving of a redemption?

Which leads then to the inevitable question -how can Thor believe Loki deserving of redemption after murdering Coulson? They were friends; Thor obviously mourned Coulson's death.

And even if Thor is capable of accepting that, I'm pretty sure the rest of the Avengers are going to have a major problem with that come Infinity War.

Oh, I'll definitely need popcorn for that.

The Road to Ragnarok ends tomorrow with my Thor: Ragnarok Reaction.

The Road to Ragnarok
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Rewatching Thor

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