Monday, May 16, 2011

I Want My Mumblecore Thor And I Want Him Now



Thor (Hurrgh! What is he good for??) didn't blow me away, but it benefited from being the first film I saw after the Your Highness debacle. Anything was going to be generously received after that.


So, Thor (Hurrgh!) was alright, but I don't want to waste ink describing its okayness in minute detail. No. I want to suggest that somewhere, buried under the Flash Gordon CGI (Asgard = Mongo) is the ghost of a film I would watch the heck out of struggling to get out.

We'd keep most of the start of the film, partly because the Attack on the Planet of the Ice Giants is pretty cool, but crucially Thor (Hurrgh!) needs to get exiled and lose his powers for this to work.

Hammer-deprived Dave Thunder falls to Earth and hangs out with The Radiant Natalie Portman and her astronomical Scoobies in a few charming scenes. Chris Hemsworth and TRNP (given that she's a scientist, does that make her TRNP-PHD?) have chemistry, there are cute misunderstandings of 'primitive Earth culture', it's a rather sweet underplayed romance.

Thanks to discussions of inter-dimensional Marvel astrophysics, it even just about passes the Bechdel Test.

This is comfortably the best bit in the film. Really.

Unfortunately, this is where reality and my ghost film part accompany.

The real Thor (Hurrgh!) sees our hero regain his weapon and godlike powers and frees Asgard from the confused and incoherent tyranny of his adoptive brother Loki. From that point the film is passable, but nothing special.

Yet what if this didn't happen? Hammerless, lost on Earth, like the Third Doctor on steroids, what does he do?

Perhaps Thor (Hurrgh!) would move in with TRNP. Maybe he would use his Asgardian super-science to assist her research, maybe employ his hammer-fu to make his living from hand-crafted furniture, like some kind of Viking Viscount Linley.

There would be the inevitable comic resolution of the everyday misunderstandings arising from a modern woman dating a Dark Ages deity. Heck, there can even be an tolerable amount of learning if you want it.
All done in a arthouse (ArtNorse?) style, of course.

Okay, so I'm being a little flippant here, and it may feel like I'm turning Thor (Hurrgh!) into Mork & Mindy but my point is this: for about ten minutes Thor looked like a gentler, better film, and was the poorer for not persisting in that vein.

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