Thor is being directed by Kenneth Branagh, aka Victor Frankenstein from… Frankenstein (the bad one), it’s probably one of the most strangest comic book film affairs since The Green Hornet getting shafted into something resembling SETH ROGEN POWER HOUR! which personally I wasn’t a big fan of. Thor the film has kept the visual traditions of the comic books from the famous helm to the hammer to the main villain of the piece. It’s honestly mind-boggling how such a true ‘comic book’ movie has come out of Hollywood instead of just usually taking something and pulling homage to the max without embodying the visual soul.
Not to say past comic book films haven’t taken the visual soul with them, but the transfer from pages to camera has allowed filmmakers to take liberties and develop their own work. Consider Kubricks Shining where it shows resemblance to King’s novel but takes liberties in many areas of the plot and showing different thematics. It still embodies some of the original flair and some of the original thematics but takes such liberties to the extent of which it becomes Kubrick’s telling of Shining and not simply showing King’s on the big screen.
That’s what worries me with Thor since this happened with Watchmen to some extent. Zack Snyder presented every intricacy with a true visual flair that I absolutely loved. I didn’t care for the ‘slowy slowy time now speedy uppy’ bits since I felt it somehow fit the pages. Jackie Earle’s portrayal as Rorschach was pitch perfect and the film was well cast, well directed and was generally a shiny shiny film. What I did not like however was some of the liberties he took in telling the story, or switching it from a poke at ‘an actor in the White House’ to a ‘cowboy in the White House’. He essentially turned Watchmen into a political commentary on, again, George Bush.
I’m not even going to mention what he does with the ending because that pissed a lot of other people off and not just me. I liked the film, but I felt it wasn’t ‘pulling a Kubrick’ so to speak. Snyder took some liberties and a very massive change of plot, trying to deviate it from the comic book but putting his own spin on things. A terrible spin, however, in trying to ignore a vast majority of the themes and ideas at play for the sake of saying “Bush is bad.” which I’ve heard a billion trillion times before in 21st Century literature. Of all the things to turn into tired political commentary and ruin the essence, it had to be Watchmen.
This is what worries me about Thor, kind of. There’s no giant political message about Reaganism and the Cold War, but there is a character with history. It’s a lot like with Iron Man 2 where the alcoholism arc is sedated and changed into a small part of a larger picture, whereas showing Stark descend into drunken madness and realizing the monster he had become would be much more interesting and along the lines of Greek Tragedy they were clearly going for. I still enjoyed the film but, like Watchmen, I felt it ignored too much and took too much liberty.
This is why Thor worries me. Visually it’s taking the flair of the comic books and pretty much pasting it on screen in all of its spender. That is wonderful, a true comic book film, although I disagree with the casting of Chris Hemsworth he seems to be doing a more than alright job in the role from what I can tell. Who knows, maybe this film will surprise me and go beyond embodying the visual flair and into the territory of comic book history. We already have the villain of the piece being completely scanned into the film so god knows what else we’re going to see.
Heh, ‘God knows’, do you get it? Thor is a god. Hah.
Speaking of Thor and more importantly The Avengers, can I just say that it is unbelievably awesome to have Joss Whedon helming the thing. Like, if you think about it, that movie should not work. Spider-Man 3 tried to fit too much into such a small space of time and Whedon has to deal with such large characters in such a small space. The film should not work, but if anyone can make it work then it is Joss Whedon. Never in a million years would something beyond my nerd dreams come true like that, since I didn’t even dream of it, shows how cynical I am really.