So, right up front, I’m not really a Marvel guy. I’ve always been more into DC, and beyond that, Vertigo. I’ve always thought of it like this; “You read Marvel when you’re a kid, and then you grow up, and get into DC.” The reason for this attitude is that I just find DC characters more complex, and their mythologies more in line with that of classic tales of Greek Gods. They almost work in a subconscious way; with my knowledge of older mythologies being part of how I analyze and deconstruct these stories in my head. I don’t know, I just find that they have a better grasp on what makes these hero archetypes work on a deeper level than Marvel. They always feel kind of “meta,” in a way. Often, the better writers, work within tropes and deconstruct them. It’s all about expectations, and subversion of those expectations. At this point in comic book history, the material covered in these books is so well worn that not addressing this fact almost feels lazy.
That’s my main issue with a lot of Marvel stories. They feel slight, and superficial a lot of the time. I know that’s not completely fair, and like I’ve said on this blog before, it all comes down to the writers, but I feel that Marvel doesn’t allow people to shake things up very often. It all seems pretty “standard boiler-plate” in execution. Yeah, I know “shocking” stuff happens, but it’s all superficial, and most of the time characters end up, emotionally or otherwise, in the same place that they are at the start. I’m talking about sub-text, really. That’s what I feel separates mediocre/good storytelling from impressive/fantastic storytelling. DC implies things, while Marvel just flat out tells you things(AND STUFF!). The amount of awkward exposition in some of those books is really grating, to say the least, and indicative of how I feel about most of their movies.
I’m not sure why I just went into all that. It has literally no bearing about what I’m going to be talking about. I just feel like whenever I talk about anything Marvel related I have to qualify it by explaining how and why I feel the way I do about their universe. Just trying to be honest, I guess. So, there’s some “context” for you, free of charge.
So, how about this new trailer for Thor: The Dark World! Watch it! I’ll wait…
…Okay, you done? Good, let’s move on!
Honestly, I think this trailer looks pretty great. It seems like they have finally embraced the “fantasy” type stuff that makes Thor awesome in the first place. That was always my biggest gripe with the first one, Thor; it was just so god damn plain. I understand they were trying to make sure it “tonally” was in line with the other flicks in their “movieverse,” but it kind of neutered it. Also, there is no mention of S.H.I.E.L.D in this trailer, so, I’m thankful for that, as it was another one of my problems with the first one. It looks to be it’s own movie. Sure, some of the story will most certainly be effected by the other flicks, but it largely looks to stand on it’s own.
It definitely looks like they are working with a bigger budget, as this trailer posits some pretty epic business. Well, either that, or they just figured out how to better manage the cash they have. Everything looks “big,” and appropriately epic. I like that they are having a conflict that will have consequences of this magnitude. Thor isn’t really a character that you should tell a “small” personal story with, like say, Iron Man 3. You can get away with it there, because, Tony Stark isn’t a God, and with the casting of Robert Downey Jr. it can actually be pulled off. I’m not saying that Chris Hemsworth isn’t a good enough actor to do it, not at all, but from a character appropriate stand point, if you’re going to do Thor, then do fucking Thor.
It looks like we’re going to spend a decent amount of time in Asgard, and other places that aren’t earth. I don’t mind if they go to earth, and involve it in the “stakes” of the film, but I want this flick to be as fantastical as they can push it; right up to the line of absurdity, and it looks like I might be getting what I want with this one. With Thor’s universe there is such a great, and justifiable, opportunity to do really “goofy” comic book stuff. They would be remiss if they didn’t, and would expose that they don’t really understand why Thor works, and what makes his world special.
I like that this seems to be a fairly well balanced ensemble. Everyone seems like they have a good reason to be there. I have one small gripe, though. Loki is in this movie. They really need to move on from Loki, or at the very least put him on the back burner. I understand why he’s in here, he’s basically become part of the main cast, and he’s pretty popular, but if they do some weak “double-cross” sub-plot – which they probably will, because he is a villain – then I’ll be slightly disappointed. I like Tom Hiddleston just fine, in fact he was one of my favorite parts of The Avengers, but his continued presence isn’t allowing these characters to move on to different dynamics. He keeps them pretty much in the same place emotionally at all times, because ultimately he will always have to become the focus at some point. You know, like I said before, because he’s a villain.
I really appreciate that there is a fair amount of reservedness with the actual machinations of the plot. It does what a good trailer should do. It gives the basic plot without showing us how everything will play out, and it seems to be holding back on the villain stuff. Yeah, I’m sure he’s going to try and “TAKE OVER THE WORLD,” but I’m hoping there’s some interesting motivations. It’s going to be weird to go see one of these movies and not know how it’s going to play out before I get there.
I’m also curious as to how this is going to fit into the larger Marvel Movie Universe. Even though this appears to be refreshingly stand alone(Like Iron Man 3 was.), I know that something that happens here is going to hold bearing on future movies in the universe. I’m hoping it’s more tertiary, though, and doesn’t take away from it’s own story. You know, like they had to do to set up The Avengers in the original Thor.
Also, just as a small aside. I really dig the latest poster for this flick. I don’t know why, and it bears a similar “tone” to the Iron Man 3 poster, but it works for me. Maybe the similarity was done on purpose, and exists to subconsciously remind us of the continuity in the universe. That’s probably reaching, though. When I read into something I go deeeep! Apologies, I blame an over active imagination and too much coffee.
I’m pretty optimistic about this one. I’m glad that they seem to be allowing these second, and third, outing to exist on their own. It’s smart. They are moving past the awkward set up movies and seem to be making an effort to make some bolder moves. Now that they know these will make money, regardless of quality, it should allow them to get really original, and bring some interesting stuff to the table. Anyways, here’s hoping!