While I cut my geekynerdy teeth on the X-Men animated series in the 90s, I have been a relative latecomer to the films of the Marvel Universe. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen most of the movies, though likely not in the order Stan Lee would have preferred. Thus far, while I have enjoyed all of the little things that are tying the Avengers movies together, I have also been able to appreciate each film as a stand-alone feature. At least I had been.
Like many people who have gone to see Thor: The Dark World this weekend, I found myself leaving the theater with more questions than answers. I’ll admit, I never saw the first Thor movie (one of the few I haven’t seen yet), but I had read a number of plot summaries so I felt pretty confident about going into the theater and knowing the backstory. Unfortunately, that didn’t really help me much.
Thor: The Dark World was so chockfull of different storylines that it was difficult to pick out which things were referencing the first film, which ones were harkening back to the Avengers, and which ones were paying homage to the comic books. It was also hard to get worked up about any of them because the movie veered from one to the next before you could develop any real attachment to the characters or what was occurring. Frankly, I found it to be a little anti-climatic and disappointing.
That said, there was one bright spot in the film – Tom Hiddleston. He completely stole the show as Loki and looked like he was having so much fun as the God of Mischief that you couldn’t help but want to join in. Though I am an only child, I also enjoyed the banter between Loki and Thor because it reminded me of so many stories I have heard from my friends with siblings.
Almost more interesting than the movie itself was the debate it prompted between my boyfriend, the Mysterious Mr. C, and me once the lights came back on. Now C is much more of a comic book geek (CBG) than I am, so he knows way more about these story arcs than I do. As such, he thought the film was pretty good and that other CBGs would enjoy it as well. I agreed that they probably would and Thor would clearly win the weekend box office race, but I felt like the director/producers/writers had lost sight of the fact that not everyone in the theater would be as knowledgeable as he was. It seems to me that as the Marvel Universe gets bigger, the films are becoming harder to understand on their own. C thinks that’s fine because most audience members will know the comic books or Norse mythology. I’m a bit more skeptical and think that they need to strike a better balance between giving the dedicated fans the insider winks and nods that they want and making sure that the average viewer (i.e. me) doesn’t feel frustrated and lost. Ultimately the
argument discussion ended in a stalemate, but I’d love to know what you think!