Some people have an issue with the blond haired and blue eyed Thor as portrayed by Chris Hemsworth. I don’t. Some people have issues with the way Marvel flexed and altered Norse lore. I don’t. I have only three issues with Thor 2. There are huge spoilers in this piece, so if you haven’t seen the film, do that and come back and read this then. I can wait.
The first is the biggest. For the god who is supposedly the All-father, Odin makes some outrageously stupid calls. He orders Thor to take Jane back to Midgard, not considering that Thor, while young (for an Asgardian) and in love would not have brought her back at all unless he had very grave reasons for doing so. He holds to this position until a few guards DIE from an explosion of the eldritch horror she has come into contact with, and finally relents and admits Asgardian medicine is her best chance at survival. He then blows another call by completely discounting the possibility that even a single Dark Elf could have survived his father Bor’s purge. Bor is also shown as the previous King of Asgard, when in fact Asgard didn’t become a factor until Odin’s time, but that’s mythology nitpicking, and if I wanted to do that, we’d be here all day. Odin’s outright stupidity and pride costs him the deaths of countless souls in every realm, not just his own, and really proves he’s no longer fit to bear his throne. It also costs him his wife, Thor and Loki’s (step)mother, Frigga, who is tragically killed while protecting Jane Foster. Odin then fails to formulate any sort of meaningful plan to stop the Dark Elves, resorting to a plan of “we’ll just let them throw themselves at us until one side or the other runs out of soldiers”, a plan so outright stupid even Thor calls him out on how bad a plan it is, calling to mind the thrashing Asgard just received on the part of a HANDFUL of Dark Elves– and they’ve still got an army left to deploy if they don’t get what they want another way, and everybody but Odin seems to care rather a great deal about this. Never mind about, y’know, RAGNAROK and how you’ll need all the soldiers you can get for that down the line, Odin’s happy to waste them all here right now for no clear tactical advantage or long term purpose, the latter of which is supposed to be kind of what Odin is all about. Also he’s an asshole in the film, even when compared to the first movie.
My second gripe is shorter. Frigga should not have gone down as easily as she did. I get there’s plotlines and all to fulfill, but she’s the Allmother. She is second only to Odin, a match for his wisdom and probably his power too. She should not gone down in under a minute like she did. The funeral scene was BEAUTIFUL though.
Also, my last complaint is the Jane/Sif equation. This is the only time Odin shows his alleged wisdom in the whole movie. Thor is missing Jane, and Odin basically says “look son, she’s a nice girl and all, but she will be dead in 60 or so years, and you will live for thousands more beyond that. Look to someone who can give you long term comfort, like Sif, who is so obviously in love with you.” Worth noting that in Norse myth, Thor and Sif are married, later with children. But then Thor goes “waaaaaaaah I want Jaaaaaaane” and while his resulting plan to protect Asgard and save Jane is better thought out than Odin’s plan of running his soldiers into the Dark Elves until the Elves run out of arrows, Odin was right to accuse Thor of being reckless, and primarily for Jane’s sake as well.
In short, everyone but Loki and (ironically) Darcy has their fair share of time spent running with the idiot ball in one hand and scissors in the other.
It’s not a bad movie. Far from it, I’ve enjoyed it so much, better than any other film so far this year. But those three things just bug me, and they bug me a lot.
Go see Thor 2 no matter what though, if nothing else than for the Darcy and Loki plotlines. Also a Chris O’Dowd cameo.
It’s still one of 2013’s best offerings, and far better than Iron Man 3. Go forth and enjoy, readers! Gods bless!