Just Pillow Talk v Marvel Comics 13: Thor

This is version 3 of the Thor logo, and I’d like to thank Droid for the wording. 

Anyhoo, I rewatched Thor last night, and I almost think this might be the best Marvel movie not called Blade out there. Now, I know that sounds unlikely, because it’s dumber than a lobotomised Welshman (not sure you can tell the difference, actually), but nevertheless Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of arguably the silliest Marvel Hero has several things that most of these type of films don’t actually have: a sense of scale, a sense of humour, and a good villain. So, credit where it’s due, Shakespeare scholar Branagh took an inherently dumbhouse idea and turned in a film that is far, far better than it has any right to be. When you think about all the po-faced joy-sucking efforts masquerading as Superhero films that Marvel has turned out, I really, truly believe that Branagh needs commending for this. Not that my opinion matters a jot, here’s Just Pillow Talk with his thoughts on the Mighty Thor…

Thor (2011)

The Marvel journey continues, this time in the land of Asgard. It’s home to the Gods, with Odin King of the Gods ruling with both wisdom and strength. His two sons Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are vying to succeed their father as ruler of Asgard. They have very different views on what makes a great ruler, Loki is more of the thinker and schemer, where Thor is just brute strength. He would prefer to fight first and ask questions later. After the Frost Giants infiltrate Asgard, Thor takes the fight to them dragging along some of his friends. Even surrounded and vastly outnumbered, Thor is not willing to back down. Luckily for Thor and his friends, Odin arrives and puts a stop to the battle. This escalation of conflict with the Frost Giants greatly angers Odin who takes away Thor’s powers (along with the hammer Mjolnir) and casts him away to Earth to try to learn some humility and not be such an arrogant bastard.

CAN YOU DIG IT? (Yes, I know I overuse this joke)

Thor promptly gets deposited right where scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is conducting some experiments in the New Mexico desert. They take him to the hospital where he, being a wee bit confused as to where he is, goes a bit ballistic and knocks doctors and nurses around. Even after they subdue him, he manages to wiggle himself free and escape. Jane Foster and fellow scientists track him down and don’t fully believe that he’s a Norse God. While at a diner, they overhear some locals talking about a hammer that landed some miles away from there. No one can successfully pick it up, as only one who is worthy can handle the hammer. The sly Odin…whispering sweet-nothings to Mjolnir so that only when Thor finally understands what it means to be a leader, can he again wield the powerful hammer.

Loki wants to know what shampoo and conditioner Thor uses.

With a ride from Jane, Thor arrives at the spot that S.H.I.E.L.D has camped out at, surrounding the hammer. Thor quickly dispatches various S.H.I.E.L.D agents but, since he’s still a pinhead, can’t lift up the mighty hammer. He’s taken into custody and questioned by the same goober that’s shown up in the Iron Man films. Unbelievably they give him up to scientist Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard), who tells him to leave Jane alone and go his separate way.

GIANT ROBOT!

Meanwhile on Asgard, Odin has fallen ill and Loki has taken up the crown. Unknown to anyone, Loki let the Frost Giants into Asgard previously to prevent his brother Thor from taking up the crown. To ensure Thor doesn’t get in his way, he sends this robot? type thing (help me out Marvel people) to Earth to eliminate Thor. Thor’s friends also arrive on Earth and a battle ensues (quite one-sided) and the robot with flames from his mouth whoops their ass. Thor pleads to his brother Loki to stop the destruction and just deal with him alone. A swift backhand pretty much kills Thor, but that act of sacrifice sends the hammer zooming to Thor’s hand. Bye-bye robot with flames from mouth. Thor races back to Asgard to do battle with Loki, stopping him from destroying the Frost Giant race in the process.

"I'm the only person in this film with an Oscar. What? Portman has one two. Well, in that case, I am the only Welsh person in this film with an Oscar! Take that, Portman!!"

Right, I like this movie. I like pretty much all the performances, it cracks along at a fairly good pace, and the action is solid. Chris Hemsworth is good as Thor, much better than Chris Evans’ Captain America. He displayed the necessary arrogance for the God of Thunder before learning the error of his ways. Too quick a change? Yeah, it really was, but due to the performances and the way the story moved, I choose to overlook that. I like Tom Hiddleston as Loki, one of the better Marvel movie villains. In the context of the story (seeking their father’s approval, competition between brothers, being used by his father in hopes of a grander purpose), the villain here works as a sympathized one. Maybe not sympathized, since he is rather an evil bastard, but one who has daddy issues that work (a big fuck you to Lee’s Hulk…hehehe). He feels betrayed when he finds out his father stole him from the Frost Giants in hopes of uniting their two peoples down the line. His anger towards his father is real, yet he still loves his father, and even at the end so wants his father’s approval. Hopkins is solid as Odin, bringing the necessary weight to the role without overdoing it. Hell, even Natalie Portman is good in this. To me it seemed like everyone had a good time making this and I think it shows in the final product. It’s a fun movie and really a lot of the credit has to go to Kenneth Branagh, who really pulled off something I didn’t think possible. I laughed, nay scoffed, at the idea of this movie. And yet he made the most entertaining Marvel movie last year and one of the better ones overall. I know that’s not saying much, but it is an entertaining, fun movie and that’s all I want from a movie about a comic book. I give it 3 mini Thor’s out of 4.

Pillow out.

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

44 responses to “Just Pillow Talk v Marvel Comics 13: Thor”

  1. Jarv says :

    Rewatched this last night, and actually really enjoyed it again. It’s prime dumbhouse, but Hemsworth really sells it, and it is far better than it has any right being.

  2. Continentalop says :

    Good review Pillow.

    The robot thing is the Destroyer. In the movie it is just a robot guard, in the comics it is actually a magical suit of armor you have to project your soul into. It is also the most ultimate, indestructible weapon designed by Odin and the Asgardian gods to fight the Celestials (basically alien space gods – they are to the Asgardians as the Asgardians are to us).

    Fucking awesome in the comic. Ok in the movie.

    • Just Pillow Talk says :

      Once again, they short change things that exist in the comics and throw them in a movie. But, in this case, they probably just needed some threat for Thor to prove himself to, and decided that was the easiest option. Not a true villain, just a vehicle to use for Thor to get back to being Thor.

      • Continentalop says :

        No, I understand why and how they used it and it makes sense in the context of the movie. I’m just saying in the comic it just seems cooler and is involved in a lot of awesome stories, stuff that the movie version doesn’t and can’t hint at. Different mediums and animals I admit though.

      • Just Pillow Talk says :

        Yup, such is the limitations of comic book movies compared to the decades of stories/events/characters.

        I think as long as they use them in an effective way in the movie, that’s fine by me. It’s just comes out like shit when you try and throw a bunch of shit against the wall and hope it sticks (hello Spidey 3).

  3. Continentalop says :

    Not to surprise anyone here but I am not that big of fan of Thor either. Like the other Marvel movies it just feels lazy at times. I’m not saying it has to be serious and written for adults like some superhero version of the Lion in Winter, but man does it feel like they just slap things together just so they can have an avengers movie.

    Also I’m probably the only person who thinks they made a big mistake not having Thor’s alter ego Dr. Donald Blake in the movie.

  4. Droid says :

    Yeah, this one was pretty decent. Probably the best Avengers trailer, and one of the best Marvel movies overall. I think a lot of it’s success is down to Hemsworth.

    Did I review this?

  5. Xiphos0311 says :

    haven’t seen it seems like it might be OK I’ll give it a shot and see. It’s Marvel so I will keep my expectations very low.

  6. tombando says :

    Will look at this and give it a go. Its always seemed like a decent effort.

    • tombando says :

      Plus as you said it has the big robot (which I remember from comics by the way)

      • Jarv says :

        You can never go wrong with a Giant Robot or two.

      • Droid says :

        Yesterdays bowel movement just called. It met Trannyformers 2 on its travels and told it what you said. My bowel movement would like you to know that Trannyformers 2 begs to differ.

      • Jarv says :

        That is indeed a very valid point indeed- if such a film existed…

        You would think that someone would make a sequel to the first transformers, I hear it was very profitable.

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        Good job Pillows,
        I liked this flick – not as much as Cap’n ‘merica, but I liked it. To me what held it back from being great was the scope. After he left Asgard, they plopped him into a damn desert. The end.

        It felt like a cheap TV movie at that point -and I know it was done to save money because marvel had no idea if the public would accept a Thunder God, but still it harmed the flick.

        I thought the performances were all solid to very good with hiddleston being consistently very good and hemsworth going from solid to very good at times.

        Portman did not annoy me in this like she usually does, although there was little real chemistry with her and hemsworth.

        The Asgard scenes far and away saved this flick. The Destroyer was wasted. One hit and it was over – once again blame the budget, but still blame the script as well.

        The warriors three plus sif were well cast, but did not get much use. Idris was outstanding as heimdall. Shows what a great actor can do even in a severely limited role.

        Hopkins was very good, he was the one i was most concerned about going in. His tendency to chew on scenery was not evident.

        Overall I think branaugh did a great job.

  7. Toadkillerdog says :

    Jarv,
    I crack up at your blatantly anti marvel intros to pillows pieces!

    • Jarv says :

      Don’t know what you’re talking about.

      *walks away whistling insouciantly*

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        Yeah, uh huh!
        Well keep it up regardless, it is quite amusing.

      • Jarv says :

        The thing is, now JPT is nearing the end of this Odyssey, the amount of bad to terrible films far outweighs the good.

        I’d put Thor, IM and Blade 1 &2 head and shoulders above the rest which I think are either bad or meh at best.

        The other thing is how, well, miserable they all are. It’s like someone has gone out of their way to suck the life out of what should be a fun concept. Only Thor, really, of the post-Blade films gets this.

        Once he’s done, I’ll do the averages and I bet he’s below 2 again. Furthermore, he hasn’t been brave enough to do Ghost Rider 2, which I suspect is an Orangutan of Doom film.

      • Just Pillow Talk says :

        *wipes brow*
        Yes, almost over. Still have to do Howard the Duck (NOT looking forward to that), I think I even came across some other Blade movie on blockbuster which I may just be stupid enough to view, First Class…forget what else.

      • Jarv says :

        Remaining off the top of my head:

        1. 1990 Captain America (better than the Evans one)
        2. X-Men First Ass (awful. Utter shite)
        3. Ghost Rider 2 (and it’s a Birthday film)
        4. Amazing Spider Man (coming soon)
        5. Howard the Duck (FTW!)

        Here’s a list though to help you out:

        http://www.listal.com/list/marvel-comics-in-film

      • Jarv says :

        Men In Black and Men in Black 2 of course.

      • Droid says :

        Don’t forget MIB3!!!

      • Jarv says :

        He really needs to do the TV Movie Hulks as well.

      • Droid says :

        The Bayvengers.

        Or as it’s known in the UK…

        Bayvengers Bayssemble.

      • Jarv says :

        Er whoops.

        D’oh.

        Even money on that sucking ass, by the way.

      • Droid says :

        Aren’t there cheapy Spiderman and F4 movies as well?

      • Jarv says :

        Yup.

        Was it you that rewatched The Duck the other day and said it was arse.

        I have fond childhood memories of it, but I’m scared to revisit it.

      • Droid says :

        I did say it was arse, but it wasn’t the other day. I rewatched it a couple of years ago after one of our conversations where a number of people professed their love for it. I remember hating it as a kid, and I thought I’d missed something. Like there was satire that went over my head or something. Nope, my 8 year old self was correct. It’s a total fucking stinker.

      • Jarv says :

        “The other day” just means at some point in the past that I can’t remember when.

      • Droid says :

        I’d go out on a limb and say I hate Howard the Duck more than The Garbage Pail Kids.

        It’s that bad.

      • Jarv says :

        I badly need to see that, as I never did.

      • Droid says :

        Oh, god. It’s fucking awful. I tried to give it another watch about 10 years ago and turned it off after 10 minutes. It’s OoD, easy.

      • Droid says :

        I think you should review it.

      • Jarv says :

        I was meaning to, actually.

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        It might be war when he reviews Howard the Duck – it is a bad movie, but dammit, I loved HTD comic and B&W mag as a kid, and i have a certain fondness for the flick.

  8. ThereWolf says :

    No montages? You can count me out then. I love a good montage, me…

    Oh, all right, I’ll take ‘Thor’ for a rental. But Hemsworth looks like a girl.

    Howard The Fuckin Duck?. No. There’s no need. Just don’t.

    Good work, Pillow.

    (and as for R2’s ‘get hammered’ pun… deary me…!)

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