Apr 18, 2021

"Thor" (2011): I See the Way You Look at Him


In the year 965 AD, some benevolent aliens called the Aesir, who had super-advanced technology but still preferred to ride horses and fight with swords, used a transdimensional bridge to come to Earth and help the primitive inhabitants of a small town in Norway stave off an invasion from evil aliens (called Jotuns or Frost Giants).  

After the crisis was over, they left, but the Earthlings continued to worship them as gods, especially Odin Allfather and his son Thor (whom they imagined as an adult wielding the magic hammer Mjolnar, even though he was still a little boy and wouldn't get to wield Mjolnar for centuries).


Time passes slowly in Asgard, the Aesir's homeworld; it took over a thousand years for Odin's two sons to pass through childhood and adolescence and become men.  Thor (Chris Hemsworth), whose blond hair signified goodness, became amiable, gregarious, fun-loving, surrounded by loyal companions: Sif, who the Earthlings imagined as his wife although she was just a little girl when they last saw her, and the Warriors Three, Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), Fandral (Josh Dallas, left)), and Hogun.  




Odin's other son Loki Tom Hiddleston), whose black hair signified evil, became introverted, sullen, a loner, jealous of his brother's popularity ("Dad always liked you best!").  Eventually he discovered that he was adopted, a Frost Giant, so innately evil. Nature, not nurture, in this world.

When some Frost Giant activists broke into the Aesir vault and tried to re-take a cultural artifact that Odin's troops stole from them, Odin forbade retaliation, but Thor disobeyed him and led Sif and the Warriors Three to their planet for a vengeance-battle.  Enraged, Odin stripped Thor of his powers and threw him off the transdimensional bridge to a place called New Mexico, on Earth.  He sent Mjolnar along.  When Thor proved his worthiness, he would be allowed to pull the sword...um, I mean the hammer...from the stone.

Fortunately, all Aesir are equipped with universal translators, so Thor was able to communicate with the humans.  He didn't understand Earth customs, of course, but he learned quickly under the tutelage of a scientist, Erik Selvig, and The Love Interest, his daughter (actually his colleague's daughter) Jane, who happened to be studying intradimensional bridges.  There was another girl with them, but she didn't do much.  

Jane civilized Thor, like the Jane in Africa civilized Tarzan, teaching him human traits of compassion, empathy, and kindness.  Dr. Selvig assumed that they were falling in love; "I see how you look at him," he noted, without realizing that, when Thor took his shirt off, everybody looked at him like that.  But eventually they did kiss.


The heterosexual romance turned out to be essential to Thor's salvation, allowing him to prevail over many threats: Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), head of the sinister SHIELD organization, which stole all of Jane's research; Loki, who usurped the throne, put on an evil-black costume, and set out to kill him; and Laufey, king of the Frost Giants, who was emboldened by an alliance with the new alt-right king of Asgard.  

The kiss allowed Thor to finally embrace his humanity, receive the hammer Mjolnar, and regain his powers.  But after the final battle with Loki (it always comes down to a sword fight), the transdimensional bridge was destroyed, so Thor was forever cut off from the Woman He Loved. Until the sequel, anyway

Beefcake: Only Thor, but isn't he enough?  I see the way you look at him.

Other Sights: Very impressive depiction of Asgard and the Bifrost Bridge.

Getting the Myths Wrong:  Don't get me started.

Heterosexism: Only Thor and Jane express heterosexual interest, but their romance is crucial to the plot.

Gay Characters: I figured that Loki was a standard gay villain, but during the climactic final battle he threatens to go to Earth and rape Jane (according to The Hollywood Reporter, he's canonically bi).

Cliche Plot: Extreme.  But still fun.

My Grade: B+.

3 comments:

  1. Yeah, Loki being bi at least is true to the myth.

    When Jack Kirby went to DC, he wanted to continue Thor's saga. (Sorry.) That's where you get the New Gods. And Thanos is a ripoff of Metron with Darkseid's aesthetic. Probably explains the weird connection between Asgard and the Infinity Gauntlet in the movies,

    So Apokolips is J├Âtunheim, Loki is Orion, and I wish you a very loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + self-worth ÷ mockery ÷ condemnation ÷ misunderstanding × guilt × shame × failure × judgment let y=n where y=hope and n=folly love=lies life=death self=Darkseid

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is one of my favorite Marvel movies because of the mythological angle. Chris Hemsworth is beautiful and we needed more shirtless scenes. Hemsworth is so sexy that even when he becomes Fat Thor he was still hot.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tom Hiddleston is an amazingly talented actor but, honestly, what were they thinking?

    ReplyDelete

No comments that use abusive or vulgar language or point out that a character is Not Wearing a Sign. DO NOT use the homophobic term "homosexual."

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