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11 November 2013 @ 05:06 pm
I need a Thor and/or Loki icon  
So, I just wrote this FB post in which I said how much I loved Thor: TDW, and how much better than the first one it was. All of which is true. However, that does not mean it wasn't without problems, mostly to do with bad writing. Everything I loved about Thor had to do with the characters. Everything I didn't had to do with plot points and exposition.

Like the first movie, this Thor was gorgeous, with stunning visuals and music (thank you, Brian Tyler).

This is probably going to be a bullet list of likes and dislikes:

~ Like: Loki in his cell, Frigga still caring enough to visit him via illusion and sending him books to read, Loki acting like he doesn't care at all and lashing out at her. (I've seen some speculation that Loki created an illusion of Frigga to talk to, but later in the movie Frigga makes a fake version of Jane w/illusion, so...clearly, she's capable of it, and I believe it when it's also stated that the only reason Odin imprisoned Loki instead of killing him was because Frigga asked him to.) Anyway, it was a nice way of establishing that Loki does care about his mother, even if he's trying really hard not to.

~ Like: Jane and Darcy, doing science type stuff. Also Dislike: I had this faint hope when Jane stumbled into the realm where the Aether was being kept, that she might actually play a more important role in this movie...but that hope was quickly dashed. I mean, come on. ALL POWERFUL RED PARASITIC SMOKE infects her, so she can spend half the movie sleeping? I loved her getting all science-y when the Asgardians were examining her, and then not so much when the writers did nothing else with her until the end of the movie, when she used gadgetry to save the world. But there was this whole stretch in between, when she could have been awesome! For example:

   + How awesome would it have been if when she's smacked Loki, she'd knocked him across the room?
   + Or how about when Sif comes to free her, maybe we could have had a scene with Jane already freeing herself, via some serious smack down with the Aether? Like, no, you will not hold me prisoner here. And then Sif could have given her a measuring glance, and they could have had this back and forth about Thor. And then Jane could have kicked some serious butt during the escape, instead of Thor trying to pilot a complicated flying ship via the age-old "pushing all of the buttons" technique. Because that always works. Instead, we had Jane fall asleep for no reason at all, except that the writers wanted to remove her character for some Thor/Loki byplay. Which, I loved the Thor/Loki stuff, but come on.

And while we're on story elements that SUCKED, let's talk about Frigga's death. I totally get that they needed something to make Thor and Loki work together again. But seriously, killing her was predictable and completely unnecessary. Not to mention...why exactly did the Dark Elves (seriously?) leave after crushing the hell out of Asgard and killing Frigga? They could have torn the place apart until they found Jane, but instead, they...ran away and let Odin regroup? Not that he did much of that. Grief seemed to make Odin stupid.

Anyway, if they had to use Frigga as the unifying force for Odin and Loki, they should have had the Dark Elves kidnap her to use as leverage - give us the Aether, and we'll give you Frigga. That gives them a reason to leave, and gives Thor and Loki a reason to work together.

I also think it would have been cool to focus on Jane and the Aether over the Dark Elves. So, for those not versed in the comics, this movie pretty much established that the Aether is one of six Infinity Gems that when put together, make up the Infinity Gauntlet, an object of absolute and total power over the universe. The Aether is, in fact, the Power Gem (the others being Soul, Time, Space, Mind and Reality). This is what the Marvel wiki has to say about it:

"Accesses all power and energy that ever has or will exist, and can boost the other gems' effects. Allows the user to duplicate almost any physical superhuman ability and grants Omnipotence."

Okay, let's stop for a minute and absorb that. Did ANYTHING they did with Jane reflect that? Imagine what Jane could have done with it if the story had allowed her to. So her frail human body can't hold it for long, so what?? What is she going to do with it while she has it? What effect will the stone have on her while it inhabits her? A stone with that kind of power could, I don't know, rewrite the DNA in her body to create a host strong enough to carry it. She could have matched and beaten any of the Asgardians, power for power. Then there's Thor, worrying at how the Aether is going to destroy the love of his life, either by consuming her body (killing her) or making her Not!Jane anymore. Wouldn't Jane have made a cool villain?? What a better story that would have made than Lord of the Rings in space.

Now don't get me wrong. There were things I loved about this movie.

~ I loved the silence as Loki expressed his rage/grief at Frigga's death. I loved Thor's "I wish I could trust you." I just wish Loki's response had been something less cliched than "Trust my rage." It could have been this moment of vulnerability, where he quietly says "So do I." I mean, Loki's story is the classic sibling rivalry gone really, really wrong. Sure, he wants power, but what he really wants is Odin's love and approval. He wants to be as good as his brother, not only in the eyes of their father, but in his own eyes. I'm sure there was a certain amount of calculation in faking his death that had nothing to do with escape, and everything to do with "How will they react thinking I'm dead?" Will Thor grieve for me? More importantly, will Odin? Why else return as a soldier to report the news of his death in person? Loki could go somewhere else in the multi-verse and set himself up as a King, but he chose to go back to Asgard. I wonder if Odin didn't react with enough grief, and that's what pushed Loki to...do whatever he did with him, before taking his place. I can see Odin saying something scathing and dismissive about Loki's death, and Loki reacting really poorly to it.

Anyway, that's a lot to say about one badly written line, but it irked me. There is so much gold to mine from the Thor/Loki relationship, especially the way those two actors play off of each other. I see all of this potential, and the writers do some cool stuff with some of it, and then ignore the rest.

Also, I would really have liked something with Loki and Frigga, where she tries to explain to him how Odin doesn't see the strength in what they do, and this is a shortcoming that only means he needs her, and by extension Loki, all the more for it. Odin and Thor tend to be all brute strength, while Frigga and Loki are the sly, strategic ones. Loki would dismiss this out of hand, of course, but it would show that Frigga understands him better than either Thor or Odin, and it would draw that parallel between them more thoroughly.

For someone happy with the movie, I guess I had a lot to say. I'll own it, of course. And I still think it was better than the first one. But I am frustrated at the potential the writers have to work with, that ends up wasted in these movies.
kistha on November 12th, 2013 02:40 am (UTC)
*notlooking* Guess I need to go see it so I can read this. LOL!
A wandering fellow on the long roadtsarina on November 12th, 2013 03:21 pm (UTC)
See, I would have expected Lokie saying "So do I" at that moment to be sort of cliched and perhaps too obvious or too vulnerable for him. He's still got some vicious pride when it comes to comparing his strengths to his brother's. So I feel like the rage line was very much in character.

My favorite line in the entire movie is Loki on that little ship, arguing with Thor "Satisfaction is not in my nature." Because yeah, that sums up the entire character there.
rhienellethrhienelleth on November 12th, 2013 04:52 pm (UTC)
Hmm. You make some excellent points! I see Loki using that line (the "So do I") as another manipulation of Thor, making Thor wonder if he's genuine, if he's just trying to play him, etc. The rage line still doesn't quite work for me. Maybe that would have been a good opportunity for the writers to have Jane interrupt and say something. You know, if she hadn't been sleeping.

That satisfaction line was awesome. :) I also really liked it when Thor said "She wouldn't want us fighting like this." and Loki's response with a crooked smile "But she wouldn't be surprised."
A wandering fellow on the long roadtsarina on November 12th, 2013 05:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Jane's really making a hash of having one of the greatest powers in the universe in her body. I don't even like to think about the mayhem I'd cause if I had that!

That ship argument was the best. It felt like one of the most genuine conversations Loki has with anyone.
Nuquiet_rebel on November 13th, 2013 02:07 am (UTC)
Great points. I agree that Jane/science had some great moments, but she was wasted in the middle when she was asleep! Then, she disappeared during the fight moments before Loki died. Literally, where did she go?? I also agree that they missed a Jane as Dark Phoenix storyline esp. when she started getting visions and her eyes would go all red/black. I was also disappointed that she went back to normal afterward. Wouldn't her body be all funky after being invaded by something alien?

I love the idea of Frigga being kidnapped instead of killed. But that was such a lovely funeral scene! I also didn't understand why the bad guys left at that moment when they still had the upper hand.

I like your analysis of Thor and Odin compared to Loki and Frigga. He was so much like his mother, everything from the magic to their weapon of choice (his dagger and her blade). I want to believe that his grief over her death was real.

Any thoughts on what happened to Odin at the end? Do you think Loki killed him?
Nuquiet_rebel on November 13th, 2013 02:08 am (UTC)
Only Tom Hiddleston can add all those layers to Loki. He goes from hero to villain in the blink of an eye. No wonder he loves playing that character.
rhienellethrhienelleth on November 13th, 2013 03:25 am (UTC)
Totally. He does a fantastic job. I hear rumor of a possible spinoff in the works...although what they would do with it, I have no idea.
Nuquiet_rebel on November 13th, 2013 03:53 am (UTC)
I would love a Loki spin-off, but I would predict an uproar if Loki got his own movie before Marvel put out a female-lead movie!
rhienellethrhienelleth on November 13th, 2013 03:24 am (UTC)
Then, she disappeared during the fight moments before Loki died. Literally, where did she go??

Right?? Seriously.

I did find it really interesting that twice during that whole long fight, though, Loki protected her. All of the Asgardians, including Loki, were all "She's mortal, she'll only live 100 years at best, etc" and yet when it came down to it, he shielded her from being killed with his own body, twice. And after New York and Loki's overall opinion of humanity as destined to be his subjects/slaves...it just really made me wonder what was going through his mind when he did that. Did NY change how he thinks of humans? Did something about Jane spark a flash of empathy? Or is it as simple as Thor loves her, and Loki acted instinctively to protect her despite himself?

I totally agree that there should have been some lasting affect from Jane carrying the Aether. That's like, the quintessential Marvel origin plot, right? And they did nothing with it. So disappointed.

I want to believe that his grief over her death was real.

I choose to believe it was. That moment when he finds out was a nice, quietly powerful one. I think Loki didn't want to love his mother, but I think he did. And I think it will always torment him that the last thing he said to her was "You are not my mother." I also think the fact that he got to be the one to kill her murderer, not Thor, was deeply satisfying to him. The fact that he also got to use the moment to fake his own death? Bonus!

Any thoughts on what happened to Odin at the end? Do you think Loki killed him?

I don't think so. I don't think Loki could resist being able to gloat. Even if Odin is incapacitated somehow, like he was in the first movie, Loki would still derive satisfaction from visiting and lording it over him, so to speak. I have a hard time believing he would kill him, but as to what else he may have done with him...I have no idea. On the other hand, something seemed to be missing from Odin after Frigga's death. I wonder if he may not have fought Loki as hard as he otherwise might have, hoping to die and join her.

What do you think Loki did with him? I am open to brainstorming! :)
Nuquiet_rebel on November 13th, 2013 03:50 am (UTC)
I think Loki protected Jane because of Thor. Like he said in his "dying" breath, "I didn't do it for him." He could have easily allowed Jane to die there, but I also feel the moment when he almost got sucked into the black hole and Thor rescued him was another defining moment for Loki (also another moment where I went "Whoa" in the theater, I seriously thought Loki was going to bite it there). I think that rescue meant something to Loki. Jane is important to Thor, and even if Loki is playing a part, he still chose to protect her twice in that scene.

Wanted to add, if Erik could walk around with no pants after what being brainwashed by Loki, why was there no effect on Jane and Aether?

There was a moment where Odin's steps kind faltered after Frigga's death when he was talking to Thor. I was waiting to see if they would bring that up again, but nothing. Was his health deteriorating? Is that why he pushed Thor to take the throne so quickly?

I thought Loki killed Odin (and from what I'm reading online, Anthony Hopkins said he was done doing Thor), but the more I read online, the more I agree with you and others that Loki would want to gloat and have another chance for a "Ta-Da!" moment when he reveals himself to Asgard and Thor.

Edited at 2013-11-13 03:51 am (UTC)
Nuquiet_rebel on November 13th, 2013 04:24 am (UTC)
On another note: I also thought the pacing was off during some crucial moments esp. right after Loki died. Instead of Thor grieving esp. right after losing Frigga, we get a comical moment with Jane's phone. There were a couple moments like that.