Tuesday, May 10, 2011
And I’m thinking, “Huh, that looks like JMS.” And while I have no idea if that was him or not, I wasn’t surprised to see Straczynski has a story credit on this flick.
Combine JMS with Branagh and you get “operatic.” I swear, I kept waiting for someone to break into an aria. The motivations are bigger than life, and just as murky. The gestures are grand. And the plots are twisty, complex things. During the movie, you’re thinking, “Wow, how many moves is Loki thinking ahead on this?” After the movie, at the fridge, you’ll be thinking, “Oh, wait, how many moves was Odin thinking ahead on this?” Loki is clearly Odin’s son, perhaps even more than Thor is.
It’s all insane, wild, over-the-top… and it works. If you’ve enjoyed the other Marvel flicks, you’ll enjoy this one, maybe even more. Its visions of the land of the gods and the land of the frost giants are wonderfully baroque. And then they manage to make it not look utterly ridiculous when it shows up on the streets of rural New Mexico, maybe by pointing out just how ridiculous it is.
And that’s part of the fun. One minute it’s all realms and kings and the sacred oaths of warriors, and the next its slapstick humor, mostly at Thor’s expense. It’s an amazing combination, the juxtaposition both humanizing the God of Thunder and keeping the film from being too grandiose. The film needed to be about 15 minutes longer (Loki’s motivations needed more teasing out, I think, and we needed the SHIELD folks to more actively earn Thor’s respect) and we don’t get nearly enough of the Warriors Three Plus One. Still, things are nicely lining up for The Avengers. Captain America is looking better by the day, and to see these characters all brought together for a massive crossover movie, well… If they can pull off another flick at this level of quality, it should be a barnstormer.