and said so in my review. As a result I was crushed by fanboys. You would have thought I had said something nice about Patty Heaton – that’s how furious the Thor faithful were. The film did well at the boxoffice of course, and a 2 was hatched.
I decided to see the sequel. Full disclosure: if CAPTAIN PHILLIPS had played at a better time I would have seen that. But it didn’t so I gave Hammer Boy another try. Two things: Sometimes sequels are better than the original (SUPERMAN II back in the day… and I’m sure there are other examples), and now that I have a sense of the mythology I would be more up to speed. Guys wearing twisted Jewish shofars on their heads wouldn’t throw me. Plus, I love a good action flick.
So I went in with a completely open mind.
And I can say, objectively speaking, knowing the comment consequences I may face – that THOR 2 was just a giant fucking mess. Bring it on fanboys, point to its boxoffice success, call me a thousand years old – this was a jumbled train wreck of epic proportions.
You know when you see a trailer and there are all these quick cuts of explosions and special effects? A dazzling ninety-second montage of CGI? Well, imagine that for two straight hours. That was THOR 2. Completely and utterly incomprehensible. Action-packed, I’ll give it that. But nothing made sense. And before you say, “Sure, it didn’t make sense to you. You told Sophocles you had notes on his plays” I conferred with several “young” people I know and none of them could follow it either.
They’re on this planet, they’re on that planet, now in this world, now in London, there’s a massive war scene like in 300 and then Natalie Portman is on a blind date. Soldiers defend themselves against sophisticated space weapons with brass shields. Dinosaur-looking creatures suddenly appear two hours into the movie. I was waiting for Jar Jar Binks to make a cameo. THOR 1 was GODFATHER 1 compared to this.
Look, I may not know comic mythology, and I may not be the target audience for an ancient-modern superhero who at times can fly and other times needs to take the subway, but I know a little something about dramatic structure. Stories have to track. The audience needs to know what the stakes are, they need to know where they are (at least which universe and time continuum), and they need to understand the rules. Characters can’t suddenly morph when they want only when it’s convenient for the plot. Characters can’t travel through time and space in two distinct ways.
Actions need to be clearly motivated… even for Batrriconarritifanorkians. We need to know why and the answer needs to make sense. Hiding behind lore is not enough.
But, if none of that bothers you, if it’s not important to know what’s going on as long as the effects are cool and Natalie Portman wears chiffon, if you’re stoned and don’t give a shit anyway, or you just like movies with hammer weapons then THOR 2 is for you. Enjoy. As for me, I hope I didn’t annoy the theatergoers sitting near me too badly by calling out “What the fuck?!” forty-five times.