Deal, Suck Face, Deal

After reading The Heart, Soul and Center of Practical Magic, a friend emailed me to say “I have a feeling that as a bookworm, you will like any book and old myth Hollywood decides to put on the screen.”

Oh my, I thought, you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried to use religion to justify war. I mean, seriously, hasn’t she read Athena, Arachne, the Furies and Spider-Man… On Broadway? Fine, I don’t expect anyone to read every single word I post, but I have more proof. The way I feel about Thor, the movie, is another testament of the equal-opportunity-love-or-hate-relationship that exists between my story loving heart and this kind of adaptation.

I’ll start at the beginning…

I’m a mythology lover and my Piano Man feels the same way about comics. I was thrilled when my darling suggested we watched Thor, but fifteen minutes into the movie, my excitement was replaced by eye rolling, head shaking and plain old disgust. Kenneth Branagh’s Thor tells the story of how the Norse God of the Marvel Universe is exiled and sent to Earth, where the hammer wielding hunk of pride, played by Christ Hemsworth, is supposed to endure the bit of hubris cleansing his father believes will make him a better god.

The movie starts with a brilliant introduction to the myth as seen through the eyes of J. Michael Straczynski and Mark Protosevich. Anthony Hopkins, who made an interesting eye-patched Odin, defeats the Frost Giants and brings peace to his realm. I watched the movie on 2D, but the images portrayed in the initial scenes were so sharp and moving that I imagine watching them in 3D has to be a real treat. There weren’t many other delights after that.

The best acting was probably done by Tom Hiddleston as Loki. The Trickster God didn’t act as his mythological mischievous self, but he was the perfect walking melodrama—crying because he wasn’t loved enough, enraged because he felt used, and pleased in a way only a god can show because he was able to betray, blow things up, and even fuel a bit of maiming. The second character I felt did a great job was the leader of the Frost Giants. I can’t recall the name of the voice over actor at the moment, but his facial expressions and the execution of his dialogue were so convincing that he fooled me all the way to the end. This gave me a bit of faith in the writing and direction.

Then most of the faith was obliterated by the weirdness of the plot. The story seems to have been written as separate subplots and then hammered into working together. There was mythology, science fiction, a lot of action, fantasy, and some romance slapped into the mix; the latter didn’t take. Natalie Portman was a strange Jane Foster. I tried to believe in her character’s motivation, but the more I tried the more I felt the character didn’t give me enough evidence to convince me that she was a mildly mad astrophysicist who would drive into the jaws of oblivion in the name of science.

I’m sure Mr. Branagh worked hard at making Jane Foster act like she was star searching in uncanny ways, but that worked almost as well as the bit about Jane and Thor being madly in love with each other. The only passion they offered was in the form of a ridiculous kiss near the end of the movie. It went like this: deal, suck face, deal. Translation? Thor tells Jane he’ll be back—no, not Terminator, Thor—and the Norse God ends the phrase with “deal.” Then Jane and Thor kiss so deeply that their lips are probably still numb from the exchange. They unlock smackers, and Jane says “deal”. I heard someone in the audience say, “I need to vomit.” I wondered if I could borrow the bucket.

Thor was a disappointment. If, like me, you expect a lot from a retelling of the myth of the Norse God gone comic hero, you are up for a nasty surprise that includes: non believable scientists, unrealistic government agencies, unfounded passion, and a fake-looking hammer—Mjolnir, Thor’s godly weapon, resembled a cheap plastic toy. I wasn’t asking for a heartfelt storyline or a perfect plot, but a bit of ingenuity would have been nice. 


And talking about um, different...
Thor Spider-Man by Captain Ryno


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32 comments:

  1. Annalee9/26/2011

    And now I'm terribly glad I didn't waste my money on that movie. Humph. You'd think that with the budget they had, at least Mjolnir could have looked better...
    XOXO

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  2. I didn't watch the movie. I think I'm glad now that I was only vaguely aware of its existence in the first place.

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  3. John Xero9/26/2011

    I completely agree with you. I'm a big comics geek myself, and especially Marvel's Ultimates stuff, from which a lot of the inspiration behind the recent movies has come. The way Thor is handled in the Ultimate line is absolutely superb, he is the main thrust of the first story arc... is he a god, or just a raving loony with a super suit/ hammer? (a plot they could pull off because they were re-inventing a lot of the characters, so you genuinely didn't know if he was going to turn out to be a god or not)

    The film was so thin, as you say; too many disparate strands hammered together (ha ha) in an attempt to form a cohesive plot. And this very brief encounter with a human girl is supposed to suddenly capture Thor's heart? Thor who is has experienced war and so much else in his thousands of years... I ain't buying it. Not one bit.

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  4. MELISSA CARMICHAEL9/26/2011

    I am a big comics fan. My favorite comic adaptation was Captain America. I'm not much of a Thor fan. I saw the movie in 2D. The best part for me...seeing Chris go shirtless.

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  5. Georginamorley9/26/2011

    Don't you find it a tad annoying when someone is surprised that you don't like a particular movie because"well I thought it would be your kind of thing". I consider myself to be quite eclectic in all areas of my life, so I get a bit touchy when people "pidgeon hole" me. Still I suppose at least they are showing an interest :D XXX

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  6. Slommler9/26/2011

    Well darn!!  I was hoping it had a lot to offer.  Sheesh!!  Hollywood...need I say more??
    Sigh
    Hugs and sorry you wasted your valuable time on this
    SueAnn

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  7. Misty Fouquet9/26/2011

    I agree with you! I was excited about the movie because I heard they were going to add a lot of the Norse mythology which I LOVE! But watching the movie there was very little. I am not a comic person so I am not sure how much they stuck to that line so I chalked up all the mistakes in myth to sticking to the story line. And that kiss at the end looked awful! Almost forced and neither one looked like they enjoyed it ;)

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  8. Tamara9/26/2011

    Guess What!?!? You are one of the winners of my Practical Magic Party Giveaway!!! Yay!! You won the wickedly fabulous Verbana soap from Simply Soap!!! Email me at tmesenbourg@gmail.com with your address so I can pop it in the mail to you. :) Congratulations!!! :) 

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  9. zombiegoddess9/26/2011

    I'm still waiting to find out what "my kind of thing" is lol.  I hear often "But you are so *strange*. You didn't like it?"  I may be strrange, but even I know a good book or movie when I see one :)!

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  10. Watch it when it's on TV or something. The first fifteen minutes are half good.

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  11. I watched it, and I'm still only vaguely aware of it lol

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  12. After a while I began to wonder if that was the reason why the hammer looked so terrible. And I'm totally with you on the inconceivability of the love. Seriously, someone as proud and as full of himself as Thor would have probably needed a little more time to feel another person was worth kissing his boots. And that cry when he couldn't get the hammer out of the stone... I wanted to poke my eyes out.

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  13. Yay Captain American! I really loved this one. 

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  14. Yep, at least they are showing something... but seriously...

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  15. We can be strange together ;-)

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  16. I guess I can't expect every movie to be TLOTR, huh?

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  17. Please don't make me relive that kiss... lol

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  18. WoooHooo! On my wait to you ;-)

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  19. Autumn Eyes9/26/2011

    Thor was definitely a miss for me too.. Hubby was so excited since he loves the Thor comics and all that but I knew it was going to be a rough job. Natalie Portman and her "team" annoyed the crap out of me. It was like they decided if they got enough famous actors to do the film, that the crappy story line would be overlooked and possibly believed. I also think they made Loki look like a whiny little brat. And when Thor became all humble after a couple of hours after being told he couldn't go back to Asgard was completely ridiculous. Really? Since when did the God of Thunder all of sudden know how to cook specific mortal foods? Blech!  Hubby really liked the action so I never told him how I felt about the movie. They tried too hard....

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  20. judah sleep9/26/2011

    It was curious to me that the non-comics critics thought quite highly of this movie, given what I've heard about it. The funny thing is, I actually went to see it for my birthday at a drive-in, but ended up watching most of it from inside a car, unable to really see it, since a thunderstorm rolled in after about 15 minutes or so. Appropriate much? (a few cocktails may have added to my distraction)

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  21. I didn't mind the the exploding and maiming too much, I just wanted a bit more substance. But we had fun that day; even if most of the entertainment was offered by the audience lol

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  22. Really? I should do some reading around to see what they are saying...

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  23. Geckostone9/27/2011

    Whew glad I didn't waste money on that! Thanks for the heads up. I love the Thor Spiderman though, he is awesome!!! Deb

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  24. That's always my fear when Hollyweird gets it's hand on something.  I wanted to see it, but now I'm ok that I missed it.  :)

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  25. "Hollyweird" I just cackled.

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  26. I haven't been able to stop laughing at the huge gauntlet and the skinny legs. And the helmet? Oh freaking gods; this is priceless! 

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  27. I had wanted to see it, but after reading your review and the comments here, I'm glad I didn't waste my money. Though I'll probably catch it on TV.  Last year I read a good book called "The Tricking of Freya".  It's about a woman with Icelandic roots and has some nice Norse mythology woven into the plot.

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  28. I would definitely watch it on TV, especially if you like fast action. How did you like "The Tricking of Freya"?

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  29. We didn't even make 15 minutes. You're a hero for your commitment to movies ;-)

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  30. ljrich9/29/2011

    I had someone ask me if I liked all horror movies simply for the fact they were "horror" once. LOL....No. I still have not seen Thor, and judging from what people have said about it and knowing how I am about mythology and story telling when it comes to Gods.....I don't dare.

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  31. I did my good deed for the decade lol

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  32. Not caring about this one might be a safe bet.

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