Odin for Parent of the Year (Not)

12. Thor

I’m still alive! I just fell victim to end of semester madness, the holidays, writer’s block, genuine laziness, and stuff. As it stands, I’m probably not going to get through all of 2012 before the end of the year, but I’m gonna start going out of order, so hopefully my backlog will be a thing of the past in the very near future.

Anyway, let’s talk about Thor. This was my third Marvel movie of the year and I went into it with low expectations. Because, seriously? What can compete with the pure excellence that is Iron Man and the sepia-toned, idealized nostalgia of Captain America?

In short, Thor could. In fact, Thor might be my favorite (I know, I say that about all of them – except the Incredible Hulk, because really).

First of all, Thor is a beautiful film. Asgard, Jotunheim, and New Mexico are all stunning, each a rich setting in its own right. The contrasts between the three are what really gets me. Jotunheim is practically barren and you can almost feel the cold just in watching. Asgard is golden and so alive; I really want to know the minor details that make up daily life there. Then there’s New Mexico, which has an adorable little town in the desert. It’s not the harsh emptiness of Jotunheim and it’s not the sprawling luxury of Asgard. I think that’s what makes it an ideal setting for Thor to finally grow up.

Now, full disclosure, I don’t know much about the Thor mythos, in comics or Norse mythology. He’s not a character that I find particularly compelling, so I haven’t really looked into his history. Thor is your basic cocky prince needs to be knocked down a few pegs for the good of the kingdom, blah, blah, blah. It’s not a particularly new story, but what is these days? You’ve also got your brothers who love each other, but ultimately part ways in a heartbreaking way (I’m not calling this a spoiler because you could basically figure this out from the trailer for the Avengers).

“So, Anna,” you may be asking. “If you don’t really particularly like Thor, why do you love his movie?” Well, hypothetical reader, there are a variety of reasons. First of all, there was a period of about 2 or 3 months where I was a rabid Loki fangirl, but that stopped when I realized that my fellow Loki lovers liked to woobify him and reduce his batshit crazy, evil tendencies to bad parenting on Odin’s part. Which, yes, Odin fails hardcore, for all that he’s also pretty BAMFy and played by Antony Hopkins. But Loki is legitimately disturbed which in his case is definitely more nature over nurture.

I also really love the female characters in this movie. Jane Foster is like my gold standard for women in action movies. Actually, probably all movies. A woman who values her career and can still show interest in a man! And she has her own plot points rather than being one herself! In fact, did you know that Thor is a feminist film? I can’t say it any better than this lady over here, but by golly, do you know how happy that made me? Do you? Because there was some pretty major flailing involved.

There’s obviously a lot more to be said about Thor, but it would probably rapidly descend into me just spewing my feelings about Idris Elba and how much I’m anticipating the day that Tom Hiddleston stops being perfect. I’m just gonna tell you to watch the movie, even if action/superhero movies aren’t your usual thing. And don’t forget the deleted scenes!

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