DAY 16: Thor

I went to see Thor the other day, and thoroughly enjoyed it; I find Norse mythology to be exponentially more intriguing than Greek, and, as such, found something enjoyable in this film. Notwithstanding, however, it was too shallow for my taste, and turned out to be a fairly forgettable movie, in my humblest opinion. I’ll explain why as this post progresses.

To begin with, Thor is a character in the line of Marvel characters from The Avengers, as they are called; from there, I don’t know anything more. I am not, and will not claim to be, an expert on all things Marvel, and so think I will prevent any humiliation on my part by only giving the information I know for sure is accurate 🙂

And I’m not even sure the information above is accurate… Comment below if I’ve made a mistake, or left out crucial bits! 😀

But more than that, Thor is a prominent figure from Norse mythology; he is chiefly the god of thunder in Germanic paganism, wields a hammer named modestly after himself (originally called Mjolnir in Norse mythology), and has a name that means “thunder” itself! One of the most interesting facts that still affects us today; “Thursday” is derived from Thor’s name! When the Germanic tribes borrowed the Roman calendar, they implemented Thor’s name into it, and the act of it helped shape what we now call “Thursday”, or, in their times, “Thor’s day”. Fascinating stuff; everything affects everything in history, culture, and all aspects of life in between. What a marvelous tapestry God has painted!

Now that you have a very general background of who Thor was, I can end this digression and get to the movie.

Thor, as its namesake implies, is about the Norse god Thor, the son of Odin, who is the king of the realm of Asgard; the movie opens with Thor on the verge of being crowned king by his father, but his hopes are dashed when his father changes his mind after witnessing his son’s rashness and impetuous behavior. Indeed, Thor is exceedingly headstrong, proud, and disrespectful, to the point that his father banishes him to earth (Midgard, in Old Norse).

Whilst there, Thor is compelled to learn the qualities of humility, self-sacrifice, and respect; in other words, his personality must change dramatically, and it does, in the end. I won’t tell you how, as well I should not, but the journey is not worth so much as the result.

There’s more to it all, of course, but you’ll have to see the film youself; I won’t give any more away 😀

To put it succinctly, Thor is shallow and poorly executed. While the conflicts in the movie are cool to watch, and the nimiety of humor permeating throughout a hoot, the aspects that make us care about the characters and believe that Thor really fundamentally changes were not given adequate attention. In other words, we know Thor has changed, and why he has changed, but can’t believe it, because we don’t fully witness, experience, or understand it ourselves.

Well, we do witness it, in a very general and superficial way. But it seems that, one moment, he’s disrespectful and presumptuous, and another, he’s willing to sacrifice his very life to safe those he loves; what happened? When did we get this new Thor? What happened in the movie that explains all these changes? One rarely becomes benevolent so instantly as Thor.

To put it briefly, it was just shallow and pure entertainment. Not inherently bad, but, in my opinion, forgettable. The movies that stick with me forever are the ones that are beautiful and true – that tell stories with deeply drawn relationships, moving stories, and elements that strike chords within our souls. The sort of artwork that The Lord of the Rings achieves; the sort of emotional responses and lessons you get and are taught from and by Soul Surfer.

Those are the movies that I remember. I’ll remember Thor, but not for long; it will probably vanish into a secluded shelf somewhere in Target where the rest of the pure action movies have been set; pleasant to watch on the spur of the moment, and maybe again later on, but not to remember and to cherish as something true and wonderful.

Three stars for Thor.

In Christ,

Ryan

Above: Thor doing battle with Jotunns, the giants from Norse mythology.

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1 Comment

  1. May 23, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Of all of the “main” Marvel characters, I’m probably familiar with Thor the least. Because he plays a part in the actual mythology of Ragnarok, I did research him a bit while writing (did you know that he ends up dying in Ragnarok?)

    I am sad to see that it is shallow, because many other movies also take that path. It seems like way too many go from “immature” to “mature” in no time at all 😦 I still do wish to watch it, though. If only for the action 🙂


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